Thursday, May 30, 2019

CREATING WORLDS - An interview with Jon Gary Steele by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Outlander Homepage originals written by Susie Brown 

3D Blueprints

There is no doubt that the beating heart of Outlander is the amazing characters created by Diana Gabaldon. Millions of people all over the world have come to love the Frasers and have lost themselves in the epic story. But while readers can happily bask in an author’s descriptions of people and places, when a show is brought to the screen other experts also play a vital part in bringing these elements to life. Fortunately for Outlander fans, the person in charge of recreating the settings since day 1 has been the very talented Jon Gary Steele. And equally fortunately for Outlander Homepage fans, he graciously agreed to chat to us about his journey.

We began our interview by asking Jon Gary to go back to the beginning, to tell us a bit about his training and how he got into the world of design.

I was born in Los Angeles California, but I was raised in Farmington which is 2 minutes away from Fayetteville, Arkansas,” Jon Gary said. “I studied architecture at Fayetteville because they have one of the best schools of architecture in the South. It was a five year program, but half way through I noticed that a mini-series called ‘The Blue and the Gray’ was being filmed in our home town and in the surrounding areas of Arkansas. I saw how the film company was taking lots of old buildings and streets and changing them to look period correct and to fit what they needed to tell the civil war story. I thought, ‘That looks so damn interesting!’ I decided right then that I wanted to work in film & TV!

But this wasn’t a decision that met with universal approval at home, as Jon Gary explained.

My mom, who was a force of nature, said ‘Oh no you’re not!’ We argued for several days and finally came to a compromise. I would finish my major in Architecture and minor in Film and Television.

So, once the study was over, we wondered where Jon Gary began his career.

My first real design job was as Art Director on a soap opera called ‘Capitol’, he said. “Then a year or so later, the Production Designer left and I took over. A few years after that, I went into features. My favorite features to work on were “American History X”, "Cruel Intentions” and “Burlesque”.

When asked which designers have inspired him, Jon Gary turned to the world of film for his answer.

One of my favorite production designers was Ferdinando Scarfiotti who designed “The Last Emperor,” he said.  It is still one of my favorite feature films. I also loved Eugenio Zanetti, who won the Oscar for ‘What Dreams May come’ and ‘Restoration’. He is one of the most brilliant people I have ever met!

Currently, of course, Jon Gary is a vital part of the Outlander team. Now in the thick of season 5, he describes working on Outlander as “an amazing adventure” so we asked him how that adventure first came about. 

Terry Dresbach, our costume designer for season 1- 4, has been one of my best friends for decades,” Jon Gary told us. “We both had always wanted to do a period film or TV show.  It is always hard to get those jobs because productions always want to hire someone who has designed period films before. But Ron Moore hired Terry and I to do an electronic ‘Look Book’ to take to his pitch meeting with Sony & Starz. We had a blast doing tons of research and had many meetings with Ron about the direction he wanted to take the show.  A month later I was in Scotland scouting locations - and then a month or so after that Terry and I were both over here prepping the first season of Outlander!”

And since that first season?

It has been wonderful because we get to design and build tons of huge beautiful sets every season,” Jon Gary enthused.  I have now been here in Scotland for over six years with a month or so off after each season. It does sound glamorous and all but it’s really hard work!!! The work level never ever slows down!

In fact, Jon Gary regularly finds himself working on two seasons simultaneously. 

At around the half way point each season we start prepping the designs, sketches, drawings, illustrations, models for the next one,” Jon Gary told us. “That way it gives us a jump on the next season because we always need more time to get everything done.

As for the team around him, Jon Gary has nothing but praise.

We have amazing crew in the Art and Set departments,” he said. “The construction, paint, plaster, props and set dressing department all do a brilliant job. It’s a very big show and everyone works extremely hard to make the show look like it does. They all love doing it or they wouldn’t stay!

When asked if he had a favourite set, Jon Gary listed his choices by season.

In season 1, it was the Great Hall and Gellis’s attic space, while in season 2, it was Jamie & Claire’s Paris apartment, the Paris Apothecary and the Star Chamber,” he said. “In season 3, I loved Jamie’s Print Shop and the Claire & Frank Boston Apartment. Last season, my favourites were the River Run plantation - both interior and exterior - Jamie and Claire’s cabin and the Indian village.”

The big hall 

The star chamber

The print shop

The Jamie made cabin

And is there a front runner favourite for season 5?

Yes,” Jon Gary replied. “It’s Jamie and Claire’s Big House Interior on stage and the whole exterior built on location. 

Gary dropped this on Twitter for droughtlander season 4

Not that we really want to think about it, but we asked Jon Gary what he would like to do after Outlander.

What would I like to do next?” he asked. “Something fantastical like Lord of the Rings or American Gods! Let's see what the Universe brings!”

Whatever it is, we know that it will be brilliantly designed. We’d like to thank Jon Gary for being so generous with his time in answering our questions. We can’t wait to see what design delights season 5 has in store!

This interview was compiled by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher librarian who lives in Australia. She secretly wishes she could get a peek at that original electronic look book! 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Outlander season four DVD giveaway

Outlander Homepage raffle Giveaway

In honor of this we are doing a giveaway
3 lucky winners will recieve
the Outlander season four dvd, with all the featurettes
Open to fans in the UK ONLY.....

#Outlander #OutlanderSeason4

Our Giveaway Rules:
If you're on twitter, follow us and retweet our raffle post. If you're on Facebook, join our page and like our raffle post. (Make sure it's Outlander Homepage) Your account will automatically be entered into our raffle application. 3 names will be picked as recipients, 'winners' on June 1st 2019. The prize will be shipped by the PR firm DnA, representing Sony Pictures Home UK.

About the season 4 DVD, which is available now on Amazon!


Includes Four All-New “Outlander Untold” Bonus Scenes

Featuring Fan-Favourite Characters

An Exclusive Excerpt* from Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Go Tell The Bees that I’m Gone’

Finally reunited, Claire and Jamie’s epic time-traveling love story continues when OUTLANDER: SEASON FOUR debuts on Blu-ray™ and DVD. Based upon Drums of Autumn, the fourth of eight books in Diana Gabaldon’s international best-selling Outlander literary series, OUTLANDER: SEASON FOUR sees Claire (Caitriona Balfe in her Golden Globe®-nominated role) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) trying to make a home for themselves in Colonial America on the cusp of the American Revolution after being shipwrecked on their way back to Scotland.

OUTLANDER: SEASON FOUR contains all 13 episodes in five-disc Blu-ray and DVD sets, along with four additional “Outlander Untold” scenes and an exclusive excerpt* from Diana Gabaldon’s 9th instalment in the Outlander book series which is yet to be released.

“Outlander Untold” features four all-new scenes allowing viewers to dive deeper into Lord John Grey’s life as a single father to William, Murtagh and Marsali navigating a confrontation with deceitful landlords; Young Ian meeting Rollo for the first time; and Aunt Jocasta teaching Phaedre & Lizzie a valuable lesson about working together. In “Here in the New World,” the cast and crew take a look at the new cultures, costumes, social rituals and homes this season; Caitriona and Sam along with the cast and crew reflect on their favorite moments from the last four seasons in “Nothing is Lost: A Look Back;” and “Training Rollo” has John Bell and Animal Wrangler David Stewart taking viewers through some of the training they did with Rollo, the wolf. There’s also an exclusive excerpt*, available as a booklet with the DVD only, from author Diana Gabaldon’s 9th book in the Outlander series, ‘Go Tell The Bees that I’m Gone’, which is yet to be published.

Outlander, the pop culture phenomenon that has captivated audiences with its breathtaking romance, science fiction, history and adventure also stars Sophie Skelton (TV’s “Ren”), Richard Rankin (TV’s “Thirteen”), Duncan Lacroix (Outlaw King), John Bell (TV’s “Into the Badlands”), David Berry (TV’s “A Place to Call Home”), César Domboy (TV’s “Borgia”) and Lauren Lyle (TV’s “Broken”) and introduces series newcomers Maria Doyle Kennedy (TV’s “Orphan Black”), Edward Speleers (TV’s “Downton Abbey”), Colin McFarlane (The Dark Knight), and Natalie Simpson (TV’s “Les Misérables”). Developed by Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore (TV’s “Battlestar Galactica”), the Outlander TV series is produced by Tall Ship Productions and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Season Four of “Outlander” continues the story of time-traveling 20th century doctor Claire Fraser and her 18th century Highlander husband Jamie Fraser, as they try to make a home for themselves in colonial America. As Claire and Jamie build their lives together in the rough and dangerous back country of North Carolina, they must negotiate a tenuous loyalty to the current British ruling class, despite Claire’s knowledge of the American Revolution to come. Along the way, the Frasers cross paths with notorious pirate and smuggler Stephen Bonnet in a fateful meeting that will come back to haunt the Fraser family. Meanwhile in the 20th century, things are complicated between Brianna Randall, Claire and Jamie’s daughter, and Roger Wakefield, the historian who helped Claire search for Jamie in the past. But when Roger and Brianna search for proof that Brianna’s parents reunited in the 18th century, a shocking discovery makes both of them consider following in Claire’s footsteps.

Blu-ray & DVD Special Features Include: 

Outlander Untold: Episode 12 Bonus Scene: Tea for Two
Outlander Untold: Through the Stones
Here in the New World
People of Worth: The Frasers
Nothing is Lost: A Look Back
Gag Reel
Deleted and Extended Scenes with Introductions by Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore
Writer & Producer Commentaries
Training Rollo

*DVD Only:
An Exclusive Excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s 9th book in the series is available as a booklet with the DVD only *while stocks last.

Good luck!

Sample blooper reel

Buy the DVD on Amazon

The Bear McCreary soundtrack for Outlander is also out buy or listen here!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Season 5 begins....

Looks like a great start! The cast weighs in...


Official stills...