Thursday, 16 May 2013

Behind the scenes at new Rovers Return on Coronation Street

Coronation Street Art Director Rosie Mullins-Hoyle explains how she and the design team created the new look Rovers Return.

 “The redesign of the Rovers was a massive challenge firstly because it was the first time in 25 years that the set had come out of stage 1! For myself it is an iconic set and perhaps the most famous in the country so there is a lot of pressure to get it right and do it justice.

 I was given a brief from Producer Stuart Blackburn that the pub needed to feel like the Rovers - it needed to keep its character, the changes needed to be subtle and people had t notice new things about it after seeing a few episodes. Stella had made a conscious effort to try to make it feel like the same pub. In the back room she has picked out the the same wallpaper she had before as this is her home and she wants it to feel like it did.

We had an additional Rovers set built for the Fire which then became the Rovers building site allowing us time to recreate the new Rovers on the original set. The work took approximately 6 weeks and a team of 3 painters, 4 Chippys, an upholster, construction manager, setting team of 4, a dressing team of 4, 2 Production Buyers, a Graphic Designer and Myself. Every aspect of it was carefully thought out down to the detail on the panelling and bar top and the colour samples of wood grain were done to get the colour perfect, every detail was considered.

A big challenge we had was time as due to tight filming schedules we had just one week to get the Rovers building site set out of studio and the new Rovers in, up, lit, dressed and ready for filming! It was well and truly all hands on deck! It had to be carefully planned and systematically done with a tight deadline and the dedicated construction and dressing teams worked through the night and gave up their Bank Holidays to make it happen.

The wallpaper was picked by the show’s Head of Design Alan Davis and approved by Stuart. The wallpaper was bought in bulk in case it discontinues as it potentially needs to last us for the next 50 years! A couple of gallons of paint were used. The Rovers hallway was given a new look with the continuation of wood panelling from the bar and a change in wallpaper which tied in with the pattern in the Rovers bar. I was careful to make sure that the colours used in the hallway are the same as the colours used in the old hallway bringing splashes of orange in the artwork on the walls. All of the wallpapers were tested on camera prior to filming to see how they looked under studio lights and we checked that we were technically able to shoot with them.

Stuart wanted it to feel like it had been kitted out with items from a pub that had shut down. I sourced a stained glass bay window online  from a pub in Birmingham that had been knocked down . This was then used to create the glass partitions in between the booths. Additional reclaimed stained glass was sourced and used in the back bar optics which were redesigned. Both the seating and the new back bar have an art deco detail to them adding to the theme that these have come from another old pub and are continuing their life in the Rovers.

When picking the upholstery with upholsterer Alan Eccleston I must have looked through hundreds of samples to get the perfect one - a traditional gold fabric with repeat flower pattern which colours tied in with the Rovers wallpaper. Once selected it then underwent flame tests to check it was suitable for use on a set. The curtain fabric was sourced from a local company that provided us with upholstery and curtain fabric for the last Rovers redesign.

The dressings were all sourced with the original Rovers in mind and with us not wanting it to look shiny and new. The Buyers sourced across the country to get every detail right - old Salford prints, brassware, hot plates, old pub stools and tables, pictures, establishing a pub poser table and a new juke box.

Look out for the Rovers continuing to change in its first 4 weeks on screen and then subtly in time as it gets its life back. For instance the back room with vintage beer posters and day to day life and memorabilia that will be added to over the years. We have just added a hand painted 'Rovers Return' dartboard. All of these details add to the character and history of the Rovers Return Inn. “

See also: FIRST PICS of new Rovers Return on Coronation Street

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Chewy said...

So glad they scrapped the "Landlady" bit on Betty's photo!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I would've put such light-coloured upholstery on those seats! Drinking/eating = staining and loads of maintenance for pub owner! :-)

~JB in Canada

Tvor said...

"splashes of orange in the artwork on the walls"
I see they're continuing the tradition of having orange somewhere in a business that's had a major fire. :)

Defrost Indoors said...

Doesn't seem like there's much seating?

Anonymous said...

There are so many different shades of wood. While I personally like the upholstery it's far too light to stand up to the daily wear of a busy pub and the wall paper seems so dark against that dark wood paneling. If they'd have done the opposite and gone with a lighter wood stain, rich burgundy upholstery, and lighter wallpaper like Annie Walker preferred during her tenure as landlady I would have liked it better.

Joseph said...

I like it! It's cosy and personally somewhere I'd wanna go for a drink and a hotpot. My only complaint is that it seems a little too small, like there doesn't seem to be much room betwen the comfy seats and the bar but that may be just how the photo was taken.

Tvor said...

The set isn't very big at all, it just photographs on screen larger. The last time there was redecoration, the booth seats were also a beigey sort of fabric so they've been like that for awhile now. I like it, as Joseph said, it's cozy

Neets said...

Would anyone know how I could find out the colour of the woodwork in the hall. I just love it and looking for colour just like it for my panelling and doors.

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