Outcast’s production designer discusses his approach for crafting the look of Season 2.

Cinemax: What’s your process at the start of production?

Mark White: I start by reading the scripts and getting a feel for the world of this story. What I do is pull lots of references, mostly photographs, like an elaborate moodboard. That gives me a visual to then start having discussions with the showrunner, the director, or the writer. From there it gets more and more developed as you get into who the characters are. Who the actors are matters too: skin tone, wardrobe. My approach has always been to tell the story the way an actor would but with visuals.

Cinemax: Was there any shift to how you approached the look of Outcast for Season 2?

Mark White: The approach has been pretty constant. The look and the palette has stayed dark and moody, and very muted and timeless. We have a hospital this season that we’re in a lot. I tried to do what I could to have it feel a little dated, but still hospital-like with clean, fluorescent lights and bigger spaces.

Cinemax: That is one of many new sets, right?

Mark White: Yeah, the hospital’s the biggest one. It was the trickiest, because there’s not a lot of reference for older, dated, smalltown hospitals. The story I made up in my own mind was that the hospital was built in the ‘60s and then remodeled in the ‘80s. So everything in there is very dated but with little hints of ‘60s architecture.

Cinemax: You also have the new church in the farmhouse.

Mark White: Which is beautiful. It’s an old barn in the middle of nowhere. It’s set back on someone’s property, which gives it that abandoned feeling. We were just hunting and hunting for old barns, and I kept thinking, “We’re going to have to build this,” but then we stumbled across it.

Cinemax: What’s your favorite set?

Mark White: I like the root cellar a lot. The script said root cellar. It said it was small; it said it was low to the ground, so I had those elements to go with. My experience with root cellars is limited. It was sort of just pulling images and finding the right combination of elements. I wanted it to feel packed and in the earth. I wasn’t sure about the walls, whether I wanted stone or soil or what, and in the end, it’s a few different elements. It’s got stonewalls as well as wood basically holding the packed dirt in place. The entrance is really cool and creepy. There’s something about it being in the earth that’s sinister.