It’s not easy taking ancient mythological beings and converting them into modern, relatable TV figures.
On the contrary, it takes teams of people, months of pre-planning, sketching and trialling before eventually reaching a realistic representation.
That’s exactly the effort that went into creating the Hairies in Australian and Kiwi drama, Cleverman.
According to the guys responsible for recreating the ‘Hairies’ or ‘Hairpeople’ from ancient indigenous Australian stories, it took “months and months of work” to develop the “right look” for the show.
In a behind the scenes featurette, designers said they took a lot of research and a fair bit of imagination to develop these beings that were only ever described through verbal stories and in a few ancient drawings.
“We really research and try and figure things out because we don’t want to rely on our imagination,” Leri Greer, WETA Workshop Concept Designer said.
“We find the best stuff comes when people can relate to it, even on a subconscious level so they have some familiarity with it.”
Once the team settled on a concept for the Hairies, Producer Rosemary Blight said the next move was to cast the actors that would play them because “it takes so long to create all that hair”.
“They literally hand sewed the hair,” she explained.
Find out what else went into bringing the mythological creatures to life below:
Cleverman follows a species from ancient mythology that must live amongst humans and battle for survival in a world that wants to silence, exploit and destroy them.
At the heart of the story are two estranged brothers, Koen and Waruu West, who are forced together to fight against terrifying enemies – both human and not of this world.
Cleverman Season 1 is available now on Digital, Blu-Ray and DVD.
Check out the trailer below: