Alumni Darcy Prevost, M.F.A. ’09, creates things larger than life

(Left-right) Raymon Carr, Donna Kimball, Morgana Ignis, Greg Ballora and Darcy Prevost, enjoy a moment inside the set she designed for "Earth to Ned," an original series on Disney+. (Photo: Courtesy of Darcy Prevost)

If you’ve seen Disney+’s original TV series, Earth to Ned, you’ve seen the work of Darcy Prevost, a UCI alumnus who worked as the production designer on the show.

Prevost, who has worked for several major television companies including HBO, ABC Studios and Warner Bros., completed her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh in 2005. She then began her Master’s program at UC Irvine, graduating with an M.F.A. in Set Design in 2009.

While working on Earth to Ned, Prevost worked with executive producer Brian Henson to create a 16-foot, hand-sculpted alien spaceship set that served as a focal point of the production’s stunning visuals. During her presentation at UCI’s digital “Stay @ HOMEcoming” event in February, Prevost shared her designs through a series of slides detailing her creative process.

“Because of the organic shapes, I didn’t feel comfortable computer-drafting everything, so I started just by sculpting a quarter-inch clay model,” said Prevost.

From there, she created a series of renderings, technical drawings, and models to help map out the spacing and lighting of the set itself. She explained her work on both the design and set-construction progress, showing how a quarter-inch set model became a 16-foot, elaborate spaceship interior.

“These artists hand-sculpted all of these sets out of Styrofoam with hot-wire tools; it was really incredible to watch,” said Prevost. “The first time I showed up and saw the scale of these [set pieces], I was blown away.”

With her behind-the-scenes photos as well as her chronological walk-through of the design and build stages, Prevost’s presentation for UCI students showed just how much detail goes into TV and film sets.

“I am grateful every day that this is where my career has landed,” said Prevost. “It was really hard the first years out of grad school with the recession and just not knowing if I had made the right choice going into a career like this. But since 2014, I have had no regrets, no doubts, and I have been having the time of my life.”

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CONNECT - Summer 2021

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