Production Design

Jennifer Lawrence in 'American Hustle'

When pundits begin to go on about the look of a film, most often the person they name drop is the director, or maybe the cinematographer. But one should never overlook the importance of the production designer. They’re probably the most hands-on when it comes to dealing with the collaboration of all the costumes, hair, and makeup, dressing locations and building sets, finding or fabricating props, and basically ensuring that everything you see on the screen fits into a unified vision of how the movie is supposed to look. One might even say that these are the people who create the worlds that movies exist in. Because of that, the further away a film can get, visually, from our everyday reality, the more likely it is to be recognized for its production design come awards season. It’s much easier to notice the work that went into creating a fantasy world or bringing back a lost era than it is to notice the work that went into making Vancouver look like New York, after all. In keeping with that trend, this year the Academy has chosen for the category’s nominees a movie that takes place in the swinging 70s, a movie that takes place in the vacuum of space, a movie that takes place in the roaring 20s, a movie that takes place in a future version of LA, and one that takes place in the plantation-era of the southern United States. Nothing from either the here or the now. Here’s […]


Savages Movie Marijuana

It turns out that if you want something that looks exactly like marijuana for your movie, Tomas Voth is a great resource to have. In this behind-the-scenes look at Savages, director Oliver Stone praises Voth – the production designer – for getting his hands dirty the synthetic way. Making fake marijuana is crucial because using real weed in movies is a federal no-no, but making it look real is a tough job. Watch as Stone explains how they grew fake pot for the flick:

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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