Peter J. Barnett
Producer, "Whiskey Cavalier"
“As the Production Designer, Matt and I worked together on the Pilot of "Whiskey Cavalier" in 2018. A big action International Spy Comedy shot in Prague and Paris. We had an extremely short prep (3.6 weeks) to scout and build for a 20 day shoot. 10 Days of concurrent 2nd Unit (Major Stunts, Train, car chases and difficult locations) 2 days shooting in Paris on a Easter weekend during principal. Matt and I were the first two on deck in Prague and started scouting prior to the director starting. We had two major sets to build and 3 swing sets. All done ahead of time and looked amazing. Matt was not only extremely helpful in working with our Director and Producers, but was flexible and helped the production team in planning a schedule that worked for everyone. During our shoot it never got above 35 degrees and our first day of shooting was on a moving train while it snowed. Matt's team, Set Decoration, Props and Picture cars all did a wonderful job. The show was picked up and turned out to be ABC new season tent pole. Matt is a can-do PD, and a pleasure to work with. I would love to have him on my team again.”
Producer, "The Halcyon"
"Matt and I worked together on Season 1 of The Halcyon, an ambitious WW2 Drama for ITV & Sony/Left Bank Pictures.
He needed to meticulously research and create a five star London hotel as our main set build. The end result is the most magnificent set I have ever seen for a TV Drama. It was a massive build that he and his team managed well and the devil really was in all the detail of his work.
Matt has a great eye and an abundance of talent. Every room of the hotel is stunning and completely period correct. He worked wonderfully with our lead DOP to create a set that is just a dream to shoot in. Every angle looks great and he has produced a world that has become the main character of the show!
Also, working well alongside our location manager, he was then able to build our palette even further creating a realistic world outside the doors of our hotel. Every location/set we walk on is just as wonderful. I can’t wait to work with Matt again and would highly recommend him."
Director of Production, Fox 21 Television Studios
Matt worked for us on Season 2 of Legends. Though we filmed in London and Prague, the show creatively took place on 3 different continents and spanned nearly 50 years of storyline from the 1960’s through the present day. Even more daunting were the number of locations and company moves we had to endure each and every day. Thankfully for us, we had Matt who was always 5 steps ahead of the shooting crew and ready for everything we threw at him. His calmness and keen eye was second to none and I’m quite confident our show would have suffered greatly without his involvement.
Director, "The Autopsy of Jane Doe"
"I was fortunate enough to work with Matt on The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Matt's eye and ability to create beautiful rooms perfect for achieving original visual solutions, and general understanding of cinema and drama is nothing less than fantastic. His sense of detail and realism, as can be easily witnessed in The Autopsy of Jane Doe, is amazing. His work ethics, abilities as a team leader and high standards for his own work pulls everyone else around him up. He is also able to do great things on an extremely limited budget, which is all the more impressive. He comes highly recommended by yours truly!"
Series Producer, "Strike Back"
"I worked with Matt on StrikeBack Season 5, which was an ambitious and logistically complicated project filmed across several countries. Matt’s contribution was immense. We started the shoot in Slovenia where conditions were difficult with stunts and large action set pieces. Matt took all of those complications in his stride and delivered excellent, clever and thoughtful design solutions. When the shoot then moved to Hungary Matt was called upon to recreate Vienna and North Korea respectively. Both looked distinctive and were brilliantly researched and thought through. Matt ran a really happy ship - his team clearly thought the world of him. I really look forward to working with Matt again soon and can’t recommend him highly enough."
Producer, "The Quiet Ones"
"Matt brought to our feature film THE QUIET ONES a fantastic work ethic, a great team and – ultimately – a high-class finish. The picture had to be period but feel original and not obviously 1970s; made on a budget but with proper sheen. Moreover, the production company behind it, Hammer, has a famous tradition of production design all of its own. The brand itself conjures various textures, moods, and palates, in terms of “look”. Our writer-director, John Pogue, also of course had very strong conceptual ideas about how the film should look. It was crucial that we created a terrifying QUIET ONES world-unto-itself. It was an ambitious brief on a tight budget, basically. Matt and his team harnessed these approaches and influences, achieved all of this (and then some) – and with very limited resources. It comes down to his attention to detail, collaborative style, originality, and ability to roll with the punches of a tight schedule. I have no hesitation in recommending Matt as a Designer and certainly hope to work with him again."
Director, “Life on Mars” & “Spooks”
"I first worked with Matt on ‘Life on Mars’ where his outstanding work as Art Director was integral to the shows success. It was beautifully judged and painstakingly researched. It was no surprise to me that Matt was then made Production Designer on series two. I was then lucky enough to work with Matt again on the final series of ‘Spooks’, this time as a Designer. His work was as ever immaculate. What could have been a very straight forward job for someone else (after all the show had been going for 10 seasons) was again approached with a fresh enthusiastic eye. Matt is always keen to get into the Directors head and translate those thoughts into practical sets and locations, that elevate the drama visually. His work on the final episode was outstanding, the building of a cold war bunker in the bowels of a disused railway station was inspired. On a limited budget he had to deliver a set that could have almost two thirds of the script shot in it, without it getting small or over used. Not only did he do this, but he created an iconic ending for the long running series. His understanding of what I need as a Director is second to none, and I look forward to working with him again soon."
"Hacks was the first time I worked with Matt Gant, but I very much hope to work with him again. He used a small budget with imagination and flair and was brilliant, both with the detail, and giving the piece an overall look. He was full of good ideas, several of which I happily stole. He brought a very good team with him, and managed them very well. At all times he was a pleasant and positive presence. My only hesitation in giving him an excellent reference is that I don't want too many people hiring him because I'd like him to be available next time I'm looking for a designer!”
"Matt's ability to underpin story visually, his attention to detail and resourcefulness are exceptional. Throughout the process on Injustice, he was looking for ways to bring our overall vision into every element of the story. He understands character, dramatic tone and narrative. He is a fine collaborator and I look forward to working with him again.”
Director, “DCI Banks (Aftermath)” & “Pulse”
"Matt is that very rare thing – a designer who can swiftly assimilate a director’s vision and complement and enhance it with a vision of his own. Both Pulse and DCI Banks needed to look ‘different’, to have an immediate visual identity that took them outside familiar programmes in their genres. Matt took hold of my first ideas, developed them to deliver coherent designs that made the finished shows look rich and stylish and classy. He can see through a mess of iffy locations and suggest ways to stitch them together; he Is very script-aware – able to design and dress a set to support narrative and character. I believed the spaces he created.
Matt manages his own team with a quiet authority and inspires confidence across the production. He is utterly dedicated, working way beyond what might be asked of a designer and immersing himself in any project.
Quite simply, I could not recommend him highly enough.”
Line Producer, “DCI Banks (Aftermath)” & “Pulse”
"I have now worked with Matt twice - on PULSE (World Productions for BBC3) and DCI BANKS - AFTERMATH (Left Bank Pictures for ITV) and I am hoping that another opportunity will arise so that we can do so again.
It goes without saying that Matt is a creative and brilliant designer who instantly 'gets' what is required and can put his plans to work with minimum fuss and maximum ingenuity. He is very hands-on, a great team leader and he makes the money work cleverly and effectively which is not an easy thing to do these days. Thank you Matt!”
CE, Clerkenwell Films. Executive Producer “Paradox”
“Matt worked with us as Production Designer on our series PARADOX, which was produced by Clerkenwell Films for BBC1.
A particularly ambitious show in design terms, Matt worked to tight deadlines both tirelessly and with good humour and succeeded in producing an inspired set for the central location of a space science laboratory whilst simultaneously covering the relentless demands of a busy and very mobile location shoot. He also brought with him a design team of an extremely high standard. It was a pleasure working with him and I look forward to the next opportunity to do so.”
Producer “Ashes to Ashes”
“Matt Gant did a phenomenal job for us as Designer of 'Ashes to Ashes' Series Two. His painstaking attention to period detail, enthusiastic and innovative approach gave us vast numbers of '80's worlds'.
From 1982 Soho to Romany Gypsy Camps to entire 80's building sites - complete with equipment, concrete foundations and no visible sky dishes - the results were always breathtaking. They were all built from scratch, period correct and visually exciting.
His management of his team and budget was also extremely impressive. Despite a very tight budget and schedule (both of which was kept to) it never felt like there was ever any detail missing on any set, or any corners cut - Matt made the money go a long way. I cannot recommend him enough.”
Director “Harley Street”
“Matt and I worked together on a new six part medical drama for ITV entitled Harley Street.
The design demands of the show required the creation of a complete Harley Street GP’s practice, hospital sets (wards and operating theatres) and a wide range of other sets and location work. Matt's exhaustive research of the world we needed to create resulted in a highly distinctive and authentic design that gives the series a very strong stylish and contemporary visual identity. As well as flair Matt also has an acute eye for the very fine detail, a vital quality in any designer but particularly when working in the medical genre with so much important and sometimes complex action taking place in hospital environments.
Matt was also required to maximise location space as creatively as possible, for example building the Harley Street practice under the same roof as the interiors of a private hospital ward and lead character’s flat. Other sets were later worked into the same spaces and even when working with more limited resources the quality of design never dropped below the very high standard Matt works to.
Matt employs an enthusiastic and very talented team and led an Art Department that did an outstanding job and were a great pleasure to work with from start to finish.”
Co-Producer "Life on Mars"
"Having been impressed with Matt's work on the first series of "Life on Mars", the entire production team felt that he was a natural choice to take over as Production Designer on series 2. Life on Mars is an incredible challenge to an Art Department, taking our characters through a host of different worlds ranging from a variety of period locations to fantasy sequences and very stylised modern sets. Matt did an excellent job of creating a new environments for the action whilst remaining true to the palette he had helped create on series one.
Matt assembled a great team whom he managed efficiently, working to a tight budget and punishing schedule. He co-ordinated well with other departments working hand-in-hand with locations, costumes, effects, stunts and CGI. Matt sets himself and his team a high standard, which he works hard to achieve, and does so with good humour, though the demands of the scripts and schedule tested that to it's limit! I would recommend him to any production."
Producer "The Last Enemy"
"I have worked with Matthew on a major TV drama serial for the BBC entitled The Last Enemy.
This was an ambitious £6 million production set in the very near future and requiring complex and sophisticated design effort at every level. The project was also shot in two countries (UK and Romania) and necessitated a great deal of matching of locations and sets.
I was delighted with the way Matthew worked. He showed great skill in augmenting the designers vision for the show and embellishing that with a distinctive style and flair of his own.
He also managed the efforts of the art department in both London and Romania with great effectiveness and inspired enthusiasm and commitment from everyone he was working with across the board. The director, in particular, was deeply appreciative of his efforts in responding to last minute changes and the challenges of the shoot as whole.
I would have no reservations in working with Matthew again as a result and have every confidence that he will rise the top of his profession and make a great production designer in his own right very shortly."