Moonrise Kingdom, the latest film from the master of corduroy twee and emotionally affectless children Wes Anderson, looks like a catalogue for a Wes Anderson film. Much of that is due to the work of production designer Adam Stockhausen. We asked the young Mr. Stockhausen what goes into making the New England universe in which the two young heroes, Khaki scout Sam and his tween love interest Suzy, inhabit.
The house in which the Bishops live was actually modeled after a few different houses. There was one called Clingstone in Narragansett Bay and another converted lighthouse on Jamestown Island in Virginia. It was built in the late 1800s and is just a bit whimsical which Wes, of course, liked.
Sam, the main character, is a member of Khaki Scouts of North America’s Troop 55. We used a New Hampshire company called Tentsmiths, which specializes in historical reenactment tents, to make their tents in the movie. Plaid became very important.
There was a carpenter named Dudley in our workshop who was key on the canoes. The designs were based on designs from a 1950s Popular Science how-to. Then we had local artists handpaint every one.
Khaki Scouts can be a violent bunch. In the scene in which they bear arms, we had to design all the weapons. The inspiration was, “If I were a boy and I had a stick, how would I make the stick more menacing?" The answer, is One has a morning star.
Moonrise Kingdom comes out Friday, May 25.