There is so much work that goes into making a TV show. It starts with the writers creating the story, actors bringing the characters to life, down to the directors and crew who turn words into a visual story being told on screen. Every episode of TV truly is a team effort, and it’s an even bigger effort that’s required when you’re talking about a show like Wynonna Earp. What Wynonna lacks in budget, it makes up for in attention to detail, free-flowing creativity, and imagination.
One of the biggest obstacles for Season 4 on screen would be figuring out what the Garden, where Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Doc (Tim Rozon) were trapped, would look like. Showrunner Emily Andras worked closely with director Paolo Barzman and production designer Trevor Smith to construct a brutally cold version of the Garden that was filmed on a frozen Alberta lake in the dead of winter. With Wynonna since Season 1, Smith was named production designer for Season 4 and has worked on shows such as Heartland and Fargo. He spoke to The TV Junkies in depth about the decision to portray the Garden in this manner.
In his role as production designer, Smith is responsible for selecting locations to film and then building out these locations to match what’s needed for visually telling the story. In addition to detailing the decisions behind the Garden, Smith also shared what it was like to work with Melanie Scrofano on other sets such as The Glory Hole, and what set piece he’s most proud of during his time on the show.
The TV Junkies: You seem to have worked in a lot of different areas of production. Can you first share a little of your background with us? Did you always want to work in TV?
Trevor Smith: I’ve been a cinephile for the bulk of my adult life. I found an interest in peculiar and challenging movies in my late teens and went straight into the film studies program at the University of Alberta. I wound up getting a part-time job at a video store that specialized in alternative titles and ended up eventually buying the store with a friend of mine. I had this 30,000 title video collection through the 90s and early 2000s that stuck in my brain and fueled my desire to work in film and TV.