Set Visit: Netflix's 1940s Spanish Mystery Series 'High Seas'

Fans of the mix of melodrama and period style of certain Spanish series popularized by Netflix would instantly recognize the telephone switchboard of Cable Girls, the Art Deco entry of the fashion showroom on Velvet or the elegant interiors of Grand Hotel.


Ramon Campos, executive producer at Bambu Producciones, the Madrid-based outfit behind all of these series, says a single image or artistic style can serve as the reference point for the look of an entire series. For Grand Hotel, it was the paintings of Joaquin Sorolla. On Velvet, the main hall of the Chrysler Building in New York. Cable Girls was Modernism.

For High Seas, the new eight-episode 1940s-era murder mystery set aboard a transatlantic ship traveling from Europe to South America, which Bambu is producing for a spring release on Netflix, it was the “Streamline” style of the Art Deco era, heavy on curved lines and rounded edges. High Seas is the most expensive set design of any Bambu production to date and the biggest and most complex Netflix has undertaken in Spain.


“It’s very important that when the viewer start a series, even if it's the same or similar genre as other series, they feel there’s something completely different in the aesthetic that is never going to take them back to the same world,” says Campos, the co-creator of the series with Gema R. Neira.


Campos is sitting on the bench of a long table in the fictional ship’s third class dining hall, surrounded by plates of chorizo and crusty bread perfectly arranged to look like the remnants of a modest yet festive meal, giving The Hollywood Reporter a behind-the scenes look

at the multifaceted set.


Months of research and documentation went into the creation of the High Seas aesthetic and design — the most for any Bambu series to date, Campos says. Set decorator Regina Acuña worked hand in hand with production designer Carlos Bodelon to recreate the look and feel of ships from the era. They were especially inspired by two Art Deco luxury liners from the 1930s, the SS Normandie and the Queen Mary, Acuña says.



Read the full story in The Hollywood Reporter.