Week 4:  Production Design

This PowerPoint explains the role of the Production Designer on a film, whose job is to oversee all the visual elements that will be photographed.  Afterwards, enjoy some videos looking at different aspects of production design.  Then click on the button above or below, to do the written assignment (due next week).

After graduating, Champlain Media student Jade Healy became a film production designer, working on films like I, Tonya, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Marriage Story, Pete’s Dragon, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, and more.

The video below is one of those YouTube “Top Ten” lists, which can be a bit tacky.  But this high-energy video from CineFix takes you on a very informative tour through a lot of the cinema’s greatest examples of good production design.

This is a quick summary of how production design plays a part in articulating mood, character, and theme.

There is always something to be learned from watching the films of Stanley Kubrick, who was obsessively concerned with and in control of every aspect, especially the visual design.

Wes Anderson is a director with a highly personal, quirky personal vision and his films always look unique.  His Production Designer Adam Stockhausen is interviewed about his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) which won the Oscar for its stunning visual aesthetic.

A great little documentary about set design, with lots of behind-the-scenes material from many iconic films.

Guy Hendrix Dyas gets interviewed about his position as Production Designer on many successful films.

For James Cameron’s epic film Titanic (1997), the design team constructed studio facilities alongside the beach on the Baja Peninsula, Mexico, then assembled a 9/10 scale model of one side of the famous ship so that it could be photographed with the real ocean behind it.

Costume designers are an important part of the team and play a huge role in helping us understand and feel for the characters.  But their costumes should also be realistic, appropriate, and often must survive difficult shooting conditions!  If you are interested in fashion, you’ll enjoy this detailed examination of the costumes created by Deborah Lynn Scott for Titanic.  Along with its Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Music, and more – the film also won Oscars for Art Direction, Costume Design, and Makeup.