Interview with Ana Teresa Castelo - Decorator of TIMELESS LOVE
With decades of experience in set design, costumes, and props, Ana Teresa Castelo tells us how she got to this profession, what it is like to be a decorator for the project TIMELESS LOVE, and the challenges that her job requires.
Tell us about your professional career
I did my studies at the Escola Superior de Teatro, which, at the time, was located in the building of the Conservatório Nacional, in Bairro Alto. While still at the Conservatory, I started working as a prop designer for the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos and for the Politeama, when it reopened as a theater, with Filipe La Féria. When I finished my degree, my career continued in the theater, as a set and costume designer. Shortly afterwards I started working in the audiovisual area - at the beginning on decoration for several telenovelas, and later on cinema, some advertising, and series.
In this way, I consider that I have had a very diversified professional path. For about 6 years now, my working year usually involves decoration for a telenovela and art direction of one to two films and between two to three series. In 2021, I also returned to set design for theater, with Maria João Luís and Teatro da Terra, and in 2022 in addition to set design, I also worked with costumes. This recent experience was seen, in my eyes, as a very enriching and pleasant return to the world of theater. Currently I am part of the art direction team of a series of eight episodes, of which I cannot reveal many details yet.
How much preparation time does your work for a telenovela require and how do you develop it?
Usually between two to three months of preparation, which includes all the research, character analysis, and designing the set design. It is definitely a team effort, which involves coordination with set design, production, and directing.
What challenges has the soap opera TIMELESS LOVE brought you?
In the case of TIMELESS LOVE, the biggest challenge was to recreate in studio an outdoor setting, in this case, a street where several stores are located and a house where some of the characters of the telenovela work and live. All the traces and evidence of outdoor marks should be present - among them, the natural degradation of time on the facades, the sidewalk, the small grass and flowers growing in the interstices of the paving stones, the rust dripping from the iron covers of the water supply and the earth and leaves falling to the ground. It was a very pleasant job to do, in coordination with the scenography and construction teams.