A Rough Room

In the Motherland universe, the singular weapons our soldiers wield can be precise as an assassin’s blade or devastating beyond comprehension, so the place where this training happens needed to be suitably robust. For lethal training on the Fort Salem base, we created a “Rough Room”. Here our soldiers hone their skills in defensive and offensive combat situations.

In another universe, this place would be called a weapons training facility or firing range. Starting from that premise, we started with a contemporary “weapons facility” theme. Thanks to Brian Kane’s ongoing discussion and regular input from Steven and Eliot, we were able to bring our initial idea fully into the Motherland world. Modelled in SketchUp and rendered in SU Podium. Final illustration by Frank Hong.


Gallows Hill – Fort Salem

From Motherland: Fort Salem, Season 1.

On the scripted page, there’s a powerful layering of imagery and a blurring visual boundaries during the Gallows Hill scene. What we think is real is only pretend and what we discover to be real in this world is fantasy in our own.

With show runner Eliot Laurence and director Steven Adelson, the art department was determined to give this scene the visual impact it demanded. In order to achieve this, we drew on theatre imagery from the 18th century, specifically the street spectacles of France and Italy. This was a world of flickering floor lights and painted canvas, where great crimes and great deeds were both on the playbill. The “hand pained” curtain and backdrop were in fact created digitally by the brilliant Jonathan Stamp and then printed onto commercial sign canvas.


Top Secret Military Outpost – In three easy steps

6 days from initial scout until filming. We try not to make a habit of this, but we can bring it when we need to.

Siberia Start
Step One – Find a spot with some potential
563 Ext Military Outpost Reference Illustration 181108 PB
Step Two – Imagine what it could look like
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Step Three – Get 10 tonnes of crushed ice and some very capable film professionals

Supergirl properties copyright Warner Bros. Television & DC Entertainment

Smooth Surface Form Studies

As Bruce Mau says: “Begin Anywhere”.

I’ve noticed that often scriptwriters/producers’ offices are filled with figures and objects that are used for working out senarios and dialogue. Building on this, I created my own series of objects to have on hand as visual story telling idea generators.

Copyright Peter Bodnarus