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Latest Production Design News

International

Michael Howells Dies: Production Designer & Fashion Show Veteran Was 61

Michael Howells, a production designer for TV, film and theater who also worked on fashion shows for the likes of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, died Thursday. He was 61. Born in 1957 in Staffordshire, England, Howells began his showbiz career as an assistant art director on The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) and soon became a busy production designer. He served in that capacity on more than two dozen films and TV shows including Princess Caraboo… Read

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‘Stranger Things’ Creators, Cast & Crew On Building Out Singular Visual Universe With Season 2 — Exclusive Video

One of the biggest television phenomena of our time, what would the Duffer brothers’ Stranger Things be without The Upside Down, or its perfectly calibrated retro aesthetic? As expected last season, the series' production design found its place among 18 total Emmy nominations, though production designer Chris Trujillo and his team were not among those leaving the night with a statuette. With the stellar expansion of the singularly imaginative series' world this season… Read

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Re-Creating New York’s Gilded Age, ‘The Alienist’ Production Designer Bought Out All The Cobblestone In Eastern Europe

An Emmy nominee for the first season of True Detective, production designer Mara LePere-Schloop reteamed with executive producer Cary Fukunaga on TNT drama The Alienist, where she set out after the extremes of worldbuilding, recreating 19th century New York on an expansive Budapest backlot. Crafting eight city blocks in total, the production designer raised six-story tenement buildings in the middle of Hungary's brutal winter, striving to do justice to the "rich… Read

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‘Electric Dreams’ Production Designer Julie Berghoff Explains Anthology Series Challenges & Her Visions Of The Future

Coming off of the critically acclaimed first season of The Handmaid's Tale—for which she won her first Emmy—production designer Julie Berghoff challenged herself with another singular dystopian sci-fi series, in the form of Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams. An avid fan of the seminal sci-fi author's short stories, Berghoff appreciated Dick's ability to capture the world as it was in his time, as well as his unusual ability to forecast future societal developments with his… Read

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‘Genius’ Production Designer Arv Greywal On The Photograph That Inspired The Look Of ‘Picasso’

Surprisingly, when production designer Arv Greywal joined Genius in Season 2 to take on Picasso, sourcing art was the least of his concerns. Perhaps the greatest painter of the 20th century, Picasso led a long and fascinating life, spanning 91 years, three wars, and endless artistic creations. For Greywal—who also has Waco and Alias Grace up for Emmys consideration—the incredible path Picasso's life took resulted in endless design opportunities. "He lived for so long, and… Read

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How ‘Altered Carbon’ Production Designer Carey Meyer Built Bay City’s Sprawling Main Street For Sci-Fi Series

With singular Netflix cyberpunk series Altered Carbon, production designer Carey Meyer spent over two years in contemplation of an incredibly complex sci-fi world, figuring out how he would bring scope, texture, and authenticity to the project. Based on an acclaimed novel by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon is set in the three-tiered megalopolis Bay City in the year 2384. As it happens, this awe-inspiring city epitomizes the depth and intelligence of Laeta Kalogridis'… Read

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Production Designer Elisabeth Williams Expands Series’ World, Introducing The Colonies

Following 10 episodes of Noah Hawley's FX drama Fargo, Emmy-nominated production designer Elisabeth Williams set out to make her mark on the dark, dystopian world of The Handmaid's Tale—a transition made all the harder, given that Williams came onto the show in Season 2. Working with design templates established in Season 1 by Julie Berghoff, Williams challenged herself to remain as faithful as possible to Season 1's environments, while embracing the notion of expanding… Read

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‘9-1-1’ Production Designer Tackles Fiery Plane Crash, Ballroom Collapse & Tiger Attack With Season 1

Collaborating with Ryan Murphy on series including Scream Queens, American Horror Story and American Crime Story, production designer Jeffrey Mossa found a new level of spectacle and logistical difficulty with the producer's first responder procedural series 9-1-1, in which each episode presented an array of disasters to produce for the screen. Finding out about 9-1-1 halfway through American Horror Story: Cult with the belief that he'd be working on American Crime Story… Read

Video

How ‘The Orville’s Production Designer Created The Two-Story Spaceship For “Aspirational” Series – Production Value Video Series

This week, Deadline’s Production Value video series continues its space exploration with Seth MacFarlane sci-fi series The Orville, as Emmy-nominated production designer Stephen Lineweaver takes us behind the scenes and into the Fox show’s titular space vessel. Beginning his career in the art department in 1984—with credits over the years including Tommy BoyJerry Maguire and Role Models—Lineweaver has over the past seven years found a strong collaborative relationship… Read

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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

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‘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

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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.” Initially… Read