Toolkit: Director Sam Miller and costume designer Lynsey Moore discuss working with Michaela Coel to create Arabella’s world.
It is one of the most important moments of the entire series and a turning point for “I May Destroy You”. In episode 8, Arabella (played by series creator Michaela Coel), after learning that the police have fallen into a dead end in identifying her rapist, feels an intense urge to return to Italy – the place where she has been. found love and happiness before her sexual assault. .
It was a key moment in the series that the star / creator had fully blossomed with her costume designer Lynsey Moore. “In her mind, she has to come back to who she was,” Moore said, when she was on the Filmmaker Toolkit podcast with director Sam Miller. “So she puts it back on the [pink] wig from before, she puts on the same coat we all know and says, ‘This has to be the answer, this is the thing I have to do for my recovery.’ “
What wasn’t fleshed out, and what is the product of Coel’s ever-evolving rewrite and collaborative creative process, is that his character would step into the ocean during a scene. “They made the decision 10 minutes before,” Moore recalled. “And I was called out to play, I was like, ‘You can’t, you can’t.’ They were like, can we find another one [jacket]? ”
As Moore explains in the video below, the jacket was a key part of his collaboration with Miller to create Arabella’s iconic ’90s look in the early episodes of the limited series. The problem was that the Italian part of the London-based limited series was arriving early in production; Coel, Moore and the crew would return to the UK to shoot a good chunk of these episodes before his sea trip.
To see how Moore collaborated with Coel to create Arabella’s iconic look, watch the video below:
The jacket was “a needle in a haystack, a unique find,” for which Moore had previously unsuccessfully attempted to find backup versions. “It was faux fur on leather, so I knew after seawater it never went like that, and it wasn’t,” Moore said. “We spent hours combing and conditioning it, stretching it again. I know my team and I can notice when you watch the show that it doesn’t quite look the same, but I don’t know if anyone else will. I think we got away with it.
Moore also quickly understood the importance of the moment that accompanied “cleansing” imagery. “It’s rebirth, walking into the sea and emerging thinking, ‘Okay, I’m going to try something different,’” said Moore. “And that’s what I guess everything from ‘I May Destroy You’ is about, she’s on this road to recovery through the different avenues and things she’s explored.” [in] conscious efforts to heal, and that’s what we’re trying to show through the wardrobe.
While on the podcast, Moore and Miller detailed their collaboration with Coel and the creator’s process to become Arabella, visually adapting her scripts, the importance of capturing the energy of East London, as well as breaking down the power and potency of the series. surreal final episode.
To listen to the full conversation, subscribe below:
The Filmmaker Toolkit podcast is available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Covered, and Stitcher. The music used in this podcast is taken from the sheet music “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present”, courtesy of the composer Nathan Halpern.