How ‘The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance’ Production Designer Gavin Bocquet Kept the Spirit of Jim Henson’s Film [Interview]
Posted on Thursday, August 29th, 2019 by Hoai-Tran Bui
It’s been 36 years since Jim Henson released the The Dark Crystal, and the rich world of his groundbreaking fantasy film is still fresh in fans’ minds. Which presented somewhat of a challenge for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance production designer Gavin Bocquet.
Bocquet is no stranger to a big fantastical production. He has worked on the big-budget Star Wars prequels, flowery fantasy films like Stardust, and Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But he felt the immense pressure of expanding on the wholly unique world of Henson’s The Dark Crystal. “It was a huge film when it came out,” Bocquet said. “It affected an awful lot of people in a certain age group, maybe late 30s, early 40s — film people who are directors now, or designers now, or concept people… But we felt to get the audience to connect with us, we really had to get that look of the movie right.”
That proved to be more of a difficulty than Bocquet anticipated, he said in an extensive phone interview with /Film. The original designs and blueprints by The Dark Crystal director Jim Henson and his original production designers Harry Lange and Brian Froud, had all but disappeared. “Things weren’t archived as well in the early ’80s as they would be now,” Bocquet said. “There was no digital backup of the sets that were made in the original film so we had to rely on Jim Henson’s library of photographs and some basic set plans.”