home gnomes

Written by Laurence McManus                              Directed by Ekaterina Saiapina                                Produced by Jessica Benson

Home Gnomes is a surreal drama influenced by the English tradition of fables and folk tales. Homeowner Belinda has neglected her lifelong garden gnomes in favour of the shiny new gnome, Tony. Betrayal percolates in the old souls and after the death of the one of their own, they are propelled to take drastic, and violent action against the decided order and structure of the garden, and against Belinda herself.


I was the art director on Home Gnomes and I was intrigued by the challenge of crafting a believable world in which there would be violent gnomes and politics between the owners of gnomes. I was eager to explore what this would look like onscreen, I pictured a hybrid between a classic fairytale, and modern suburban monotony. I was also the on-set production designer due to the production designer falling ill, so I set dressed and led the art department on set. This world is such an intricate one, and I believe that working in the art department has made me a better director. We had to think so deeply about character and how their external world represented their innermost thoughts and feelings, and it is so rewarding when a specific prop or a recurring colour really brings the world to life onscreen.  A prop we spent the longest on was a Home Gnomes catalogue, which the protagonist uses to order a new gnome. The art department (myself, Rowan Wolowacz and Suzie Sherbert) wrote, edited, designed and produced every article and photoshoot in the catalogue, and I believe it really opens up the world. This project gave me a good foundation and understanding of the art department, and I would love pursue art directing or set decorating in the future.