Production Design for Philip K. Dick’s ‘Ubik’

Ubik screenplayFor this 12 week individual project  I designed sets for a film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1969 novel Ubik, working from the screenplay written by Dick himself in 1974. The story revolves around modern society’s fear of death and our desperation to postpone dying for as long as possible. In Ubik technology exists a person can be frozen immediately after death so they are suspended in a state in between life and death known as half-life. These people are kept in a facility called Beloved Brentham Moratorium where their loved ones can talk to them via microphone and speakers, like visiting a sick relative in hospital. I designed a series of interconnecting sets to make up the front of house part of the facility, as well as a control room where the half-life caskets are processed by staff. I intended the front of house sets to be sleek but sterile and soulless, with the only colour coming from garish advertising. Black and white was used to signify that this is a place where life and death meet but cannot touch. The control room was intended to provide a stark contrast to the front of house sets by being industrial, colourful and messy to show that this place in fact has more life.

Would you like to read more about this project? Here is a detailed Summary Book