Production Designer Dennis Gassner Gets His “All-In,” ‘Lawrence Of Arabia’ Moment With ‘Blade Runner 2049’
An Oscar nominee for Blade Runner 2049—a sequel to Ridley Scott's '80s sci-fi classic—production designer Dennis Gassner saw challenges everywhere when he first signed on to the project.
"It was going to be particularly demanding in lots of ways. You think about trying to remake a film 35 years later. What is that going to be like?" the designer reflects. "We shot it in Budapest, Hungary, and that was a challenge in itself."
A steward of design for the last several Bond… Read
‘Darkest Hour’ & ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Production Designer Unlocks Familiar & Foreign Worlds
Receiving two Oscar nominations this year, for Beauty and the Beast and Joe Wright's Darkest Hour—and sharing this accomplishment with costume designer Jacqueline Durran—production designer Sarah Greenwood is being recognized once again for two projects that couldn't have been more challenging or more different in budget, scale and their respective creative elements.
With Beauty, the six-time Oscar nominee took on her first musical, a big-budget, live-action adaptation of… Read
Production Designer Jade Healy Brought Her Own Figure Skating Experience To Bear On ‘I, Tonya’
With Craig Gillespie’s rebellious and unconventional Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya, production designer Jade Healy faced a number of hurdles, recreating Harding’s life at home and out on the ice in a film shot primarily on location, by an independent film director who worked with incredible speed and dexterity. “I think if someone were going to try to bet with me if we’d make our days, I would have bet against,” Healy says. “But Craig was adding stuff.”
‘The Shape Of Water’ Production Designer On Crafting Satisfying Visual Experience For Ultimate Visual Storyteller
Starting out with Guillermo del Toro on the upcoming Pacific Rim sequel, production designer Paul D. Austerberry followed the director as he redirected his attention to his longtime passion project, The Shape of Water. Working with a visionary director with a true passion for the cinematic experience, Austerberry viewed his primary task as "making sure [del Toro] was satiated."
"Guillermo loves the art form—he’s such a visual person," Austerberry says. "He’s a very… Read
‘The Post’ Production Designer Rick Carter On Designing A Working Newsroom For Timely Drama
While production designer Rick Carter was in Rome prepping Steven Spielberg’s The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, the production hit a roadblock, with the director unable to find a young actor to hang the film around. Subsequently, at the end of March of this year, Carter received the script for Spielberg's next project, which would become The Post, and be released in theaters within the year.
Time was of the essence with this timely tale of Kay Graham, The Washington Post… Read
Production Designer Chris Jones On Finding Layers Of History Within ‘Lady Bird’s Scouted Environments
With Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, production designer Chris Jones was tasked with finding all the little details that would hone a portrait of ’90s Sacramento, designing a home and Catholic school to suggest the spirit of a young woman, her family and her small-town community.
Meeting Greta Gerwig on Mike Mills’ 2016 coming-of-age film 20th Century Women, Jones came into the actress’s directorial debut with a shorthand, such that he was able to benefit on the film from her… Read
‘The Florida Project’ Production Designer On Tracking Down Dreamy Pastel-Colored Locations For Dark Fairy Tale
While The Florida Project director Sean Baker tends to keep many of his collaborators close, there is one artist in particular who knows him better than anybody—his sister, production designer Stephonik Youth.
Growing up making films with Baker, Youth has risen through the ranks alongside her brother, finding her greatest test to date in his A24 social drama, which provided new opportunities and stressors at a new budget level. “It was a lot of letting go and a lot of… Read
How Production Designer Dennis Gassner Went Back To The Future With ‘Blade Runner 2049’ – Crew Call Podcast
Thirty-five years later the Oscar-nominated production design by Lawrence G. Paull, David L. Snyder and Linda DeScenna in 1982’s Blade Runner is still considered marvelous, so how do you top that in the film’s sequel? Oscar-winning cinematic architect Dennis Gassner was entrusted with that responsibility of jumping the Los Angeles skyline in that movie (set in 2019) 30 years forward to Blade Runner 2049. In our latest Crew Call podcast, Gassner describes the “brutality”… Read
‘Wonder Wheel’ Production Designer On The Artist Who Has Breathed New Life Into Woody Allen’s Films
Having worked with the prolific Woody Allen on over 30 films since 1980’s Stardust Memories, three-time Oscar-nominated production designer Santo Loquasto is well-acquainted with the writer/director’s likes and dislikes, his aesthetic preferences, and his general approach to storytelling—which has made the introduction of a new collaborator in recent years all the more exciting.
With Café Society, released last year, Allen brought three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer V… Read
‘Wonderstruck’ Production Designer Mark Friedberg On Crafting Film’s Memorable Miniatures Sequence
A “born and bred New York person,” production designer Mark Friedberg was a natural fit to design Todd Hayne’s latest, Wonderstruck. Having worked with Haynes on Far from Heaven and Mildred Pierce, Friedberg considers it his mission to tell New York stories. “I love the city. It’s in my blood,” the production designer says. “I am of it.”
Wonderstruck gave Friedberg the opportunity to explore New York in two periods—the ’20s and the ’70s—while pursuing other artistic… Read
‘Dunkirk’ Production Designer Nathan Crowley On “Rawness, Simplicity & Brutalism” Of World War II Epic
Speaking with Christopher Nolan’s below-the-line collaborators on the epic Dunkirk, several themes emerge. All are students of history—and World War II, in particular—and all are attracted to the “large-scale” filmmaking that Nolan champions, as he fights to keep the theatrical cinematic experience alive. Such is certainly the case with production designer Nathan Crowley, who has received each of his three Oscar nominations for Nolan films, from The Prestige to The Dark Kn… Read
‘Suburbicon’ Production Designer On Cobbling Together Idyllic ’50s Suburb Out Of Disparate SoCal Locations
Tackling a period project that feels true to life, rather than an imitation of the past, is no easy feat for any production designer—but it doesn’t hurt to have lived through the period being depicted. Such was the case for Oscar-nominated production designer Jim Bissell, who has spent much of his career depicting different epochs of the American experience. Breaking out with Steven Spielberg’s E.T., Bissell sees an irony in the fact that at 66 years of age, he’s found… Read