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Leeroy New Takes Us Behind the Set Design of La Luna Sangre

The artist created the vampire’s lair!
Leeroy New Takes Us Behind the Set Design of La Luna Sangre The artist created the vampire’s lair!

The first time we were introduced to Leeroy New’s work was when he and designer Kermit Tesoro collaborated on an astounding collection at Philippine Fashion Week that easily became Holiday 2010’s favorite. A year after, a version of one of their designs from the said collection was seen worn by Lady Gaga in her “Marry the Night” music video. The rubber armor also made it to her single’s cover art.

IMAGE Screencap/YouTube

Contemporary artist, Leeroy, has since been immersed in the art scene, both local and abroad, creating startlingly impressive installations—post-apocalyptic sculptures in the Paoay Sand Dunes, a cyber-site series called Aliens of Manila, and a mobile exhibition on Pasig River, to name a few.

IMAGE Geric Cruz

Contemporary artist, Leeroy New

Currently, Leeroy’s intriguingly imaginative design is showcased in—surprise—primetime teleserye La Luna Sangre, ABS-CBN’s horror-action-fantasy drama series, starring Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, and Richard Gutierrez. He put together the set for the show, particularly the vampire’s lair of Richard’s character, Sandrino Imperial/Supremo.

IMAGE Courtesy of Leeroy New

 

Today, we put the spotlight on Leeroy as he takes us behind the scenes of La Luna Sangre. Read on!

1. Could you describe the set design you created for La Luna Sangre?

“I was going for an ancient underground tunnel-like lair with cryptic abstract carvings and textures on the surfaces. Ancient structures inform a lot of sci-fi visual culture and I think this is quite evident in my designs.”

IMAGE Courtesy of Leeroy New

 

2. Could you describe the creative process for this particular project?

“I have a soft spot for creating worlds and designing sets for film and theater is not unlike doing interactive installation projects. Film or TV design is also quite technical in the sense that you have to consider the human element, safety, cost limitations, lighting, and unpredictable timelines.  It's even more challenging in the local scene where we are still developing a system that works at the same time attempting to elevate the content and aesthetics of our output.”

3. How long did it take you to put it together?

“For this show we had to construct four large interior sets inside a massive warehouse, which took us six weeks to finish. I had to work with a team of art directors, craftsmen, sculptors, and set dressers from Vitruvian Visual Design Moguls, a production fabrication studio that knows the ins and outs of local film and TV production.”

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IMAGE Courtesy of Leeroy New

 

4. What's the best part about doing this project?

“Aside from the fact that the production pretty much gave me the freedom to design this underground world, the idea that whatever you put out there in this most powerful of media platforms is a daunting task and such a great responsibility. It can either determine the visual sensibility of an entire generation for the better or for the worse.”

5. Did you encounter any challenges along the way? If yes, what were they?

“Challenges will always be present in this line of work. You can never completely anticipate every little detail and so one just has to be present and be able to calculate some semblance of a solution if the need arises.”

IMAGE Courtesy of Leeroy New

 

6. You're an artist. You've dabbled in the art scene, in fashion, and in set design. Could you differentiate/describe the discipline and creative process for each?

“I've been designing sets and costumes for my fellow art students since art high school. It was inevitable studying art with theater, music, and dance majors. I never really considered it as separate from what I did in the arts scenes. In fact, it informed and determined the creative trajectory of my practice until today. 'Installation art' projects are not unlike designing sets for performances or human interaction. I consider working in many creative industries as training for the bigger challenges to come.”

7. You're known to create pieces and installations that are mind-blowing. Are there any superstitious beliefs or rituals or rules that you follow before working on a project?

“Nothing in particular. I like to believe I'm able to work on command.”

IMAGE Courtesy of Leeroy New

 

8. Is there anything you're currently fascinated by? How is it feeding into your work?

“Ah! The things that fascinate me are endless, where do I even begin.”

9. Which side are you on: vampires or werewolves?

“I usually side with the underdog.”

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