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The Harvest
The Harvest

Episode 32 · 1 year ago

Ep.032 - The Production Designer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In conjunction with last week’s episode about the DP and the script, the Production Designer helps translate the words from the script and the ideas from the DP to a tangible product. They are an essential role on the director’s team in creating a unique and consistent stylistic approach to the design of a production - the set, locations, props, lighting, costumes, even camera angles are all details that a production designer needs to consider in order to complete their job at leading the artistic team effectively.

“Good work that people think is the cinematographer’s is often that of the production designer. We light their work, and when their work is beautifully accomplished, by which I mean well matched to the story, the result is vastly superior.” - DP Robert Richardson

Hello! Welcome to The HARVEST; Where we discuss all things, cinema & story and As we learn you learn; as we grow you grow. Please enjoy our BTS movie making discussions and by all means visit our youtube channel with comments, questions, thoughts or just witty banter.

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Well, a lot of practice. Hey, all right. Well, hello everyone, and welcome to the harvest, where we discuss all things cinema and story and as we learn, you learn, as we grow, you grow. My name is Xaber Garcia, Jonathan Garcia, and this week we've got something fun. Yeah, you know, it's been a while. I think it you know, we can spice it up a little bit. Yeah, well, we've been getting kind of like these small little gaps in our episodes, but yeah, you know, I mean it's a good thing we've got worked at that. We're working on there's a lot of things that are happening which we'll talk maybe a little bit about at the end of the episode, but first let's introduced our guests. Yeah, we've got guests. We do, got friends. We do. We've actually got Eric Monzone, who works a lot as our line producer for a lot of our work. He's also just a straight producer, and Hans Padilla, who does a lot of our diit work. But let me just let's turn the camera over to them and have them introduce themselves. All Right, thanks over here, Xavier said, the line producers harvest work, and also the residentative, nay, so that's awesome. Thank you, guys. Pretty Cool, pretty actor. It's pretty spot on. Okay, so this week, yeah, it's going to have to be a little bit more free flow because there's a learning curve here, right. Yeah, we are all in the same studio together, but we try to set it up in a way where, you know, not only always somewhat social distanced, but we're also we're able to hear each other, but like it's kind of like separate parts. And so, yeah, we'll find it out. Yeah, we'll make it work. Today's episode, though, episode thirty two, we're going to be discussing a little bit about production design and and it's going to probably split into multiple episodes. We're probably going to have maybe two or three episodes just just just talking about the vast world of production design, because it's what now we're going to be talking about the art department, we're going to talk about art directors, production designers and just some of our favorite films and television episodes that have award winning production design. Yeah, no, I think that there's so much a production design. It's a big world. I don't think we could probably fill it all up and one episodes. No, definitely not, but we do have our negative nancy, Nancy and we and Eric to kind of chime in a little bit about some of the shows that we've all been studying together for some of the projects that we've got on the down the pipeline. So they'll be great to hear it from, you know, from a line producer's perspective and Adit. And it's not just a DT but he's very creative and art and stuff like that, and so he's well acquainted Hans as well, acquainted with, you know, the concept out world. So it's I'm excited. All right. So to get this conversation started. You so a lot of things. Sometimes, often times, when we watch a show that we love and we're like, I understand that, like why do I love it? There's ultimately so many different components that go into that. First and foremost, we all know we always talk about the writing. Right, writing is always key. The writing is good, chances are the show is going to be a good show, right. But that next step where it becomes confusing, where people are like, is it the cinematography that's beautiful, or is it just the visual right? That's where we're going to talk a little bit about the visual the production design. The last episode, thirty and thirty one, was specifically about the cinematography. So we want to go back check those out because it will be helpful for you to know a little bit about the actual framing of a shot, the lighting of a shot. But now we're going to talk about what's in the shot, and for that we've got a couple of examples that we've highlighted and we've put on our list, and I think what would be great for us to have somewhat of a round table discussion about why we think these examples are great examples of production design, and maybe we can come up with some examples of bad production design. Cool, I think that's great. Yeah, all right, let's start with film right off the Bat. The one film that we all love instant you know here in studio, that we talk a lot about when it comes to design and how it was handled, how design was handled, is the film nineteen seventeen, and the reason why I want to talk about that is because the production design for nineteen seventeen had to be, of there a little different than what up traditionally how a film is made, right, because a film you've got a camera it focuses on a very specific section and then outside of that frame it's chaos. It's right, what beans, it's, you know, light poles and but in one thousand nineteen and seventeen, because of the style of the one take shot right, you needed to have a world that was created in when you're the camera act panned left, it still needed to be that world. Right. A lot of times you're thinking about these sets like that, everything has to be practical and the environment and every angle has to be alive and so, you know, being able to create a set that will encapsulate the whole world is is...

...challenging, especially for a crew, you know, extremely challenging, extremely challenging, and they taught you know. And what's beautiful is for those of you here's a here's an early tip of a week, and I brought this up before many times, but for those of you that don't know, you know, Roger Deacons has a phenomenal podcast, the team deacons podcast that he does with his wife, and they talk a lot about some of the challenges and some of the successes that they had. Nineteen seventeen was a film that he dpte. So if you want to get a little bit more insight into some of the films that we talked about. Definitely check that out. Having said that, for those of you that don't know, in nineteen seventeen was a film directed by Sam and does and DP by Roger Deacons, and the production designer was Dennis Guessner. Dennis Gasner, that's right, and I think they actually interview him in that podcast. Yeah, but we're going to talk a little bit about it now. I'm going to I'm going to throw this over to our our friends in studio and Eric and Hans, because I want to know first from you guys. What did you guys like about the film from a visual perspective? And it could be very generic, very broad in general, but what attracted to you visually? Cause, Oh, I mean other than Roger Deacons Beautiful Cinematography, especially as I'm a big I'm a big fan of war films, and so I think we were discussing before stuff like not only saving private Ryan but classics, like all quiet on the western front. But I called down thin red line and you know, one of the things apocalypse now I can't, you know, can't forget that, but it is the the the maneuvering of the camera, because it's not enough just to set up of Dolly for that movie, right, but to be able to tell a store. It's basically imagine having to navigate between hundreds of actors. You have to navigate explosions and then navigate the lighting and then navigate the camera and all somehow. It is basically like a dance number and everyone's following the rhythm, and so one of the the the aspects of production design is to be able to tell that story, to have that that rhythm, that that that show happened in and tell a story. And so that is one of the the really one of the more the upper x long of what what production design is, even though to it's a little bit more subtle. It's not like star wars or you have like the old these fancy gizmos. You have over overarching like buildings and all that. It's a film that that takes place, you know, during the Great War in one thousand nine hundred and seventeen. It looks real, it feels real, sounds real and when the camera moves, you're in the movie, you're in on that set, you're in the trenches. That's what good production design, especially that point. What to me draws me into the movie is that I feel like in no man's life. Yeah, it feels like it feels like what they produced. There was a three hundred and sixty degree movie where you hear, you, smell, you, you are there, you're in that moment. I think I must have been probably about seventeen minutes or so into that movie and I didn't read anything about it beforehand. I didn't know that. You know, they're trying to go for, you know, one long or would look like one long shot, but I was about seventeen minutes in out and I was I turned my friend who was watching the movie with and said, Hey, this looks like this is like the longest scene ever. They're probably going to keep going the rest of the movie with this. There is no turning back on this right now. And that was something that I think that, you know, this film accomplished really well was, when you get to the end of it, you realize, wow, we went through this whole journey and is Jonathan was saying earlier. I mean they had to be perfect with that. They had to be perfect with every angle, every light, every explosion, you know, making their way all the way through. That was that not you know, it takes an expert to be able to do something with us. And Yeah, and and you know, everything that they're describing is everything that they've felt from the production design. You know, it's the esthetic of the story, it's the time, the character's actions, it's the feeling. All that is precreated. And you know, and you know, you'll know a successful movie if their production design was amazing. You know, and and that that's really what production design is in a sense. Yeah, it's what's seem right, it's the art within the frame. It's everything that's seemed but you know, I was actually I was having this conversation earlier, I think actually was with our show producer, with Chelsea, talking about just like what production the...

...the the senses, talking about how the senses are applied to production design. So here's what I mean by that. Things as simple as like fabrics, right, the fabrics of a person's costume, right, you know, the choice of fabric, that the choice of texture. You know, texture obviously a different like a tweet jacket is going to reflect light differently and uniquely than you know, like poly Ester, plastic, anything like that. And all of that is connected to the art that is being displayed on camera, like what's being seen. And Yeah, and I do. I'M A hue. I'm a firm believer that if you can surround your actors, and this is probably the theater in me, if you can surround your actors with as much reality of the story is possible, not just the visually right because, and I'm not talking just green screen versus actual practical set, but I'm talking like if you can insert some smells in there, if you can insert, you know, some some audible influences of like what would actually be happening in that world, you know. So like if you're in the S, if you can get some horse, horse sounds in there and, you know, just like the sounds of wagon and things like that, to get to the actors also responding in a way where it translates visually for the audience, it. E. It does add to the production design and I'm you know, and the from the simplest things like hand props to, you know, the more obvious things like set pieces and actual, you know, the choice of a very specific type of wagon, the covering on a wagon. Is it is it is it the right period you know, timeframe for that covering and things like that, all that paint brushes, a paint colors being used on a wall. Yeah, bathroom is usually like this, you know, wide or gray, but then, you know, the les throw up a big red to show like this is a bloody seen. This is the way that we're going to design this room. And so yeah, I mean it's all about that esthetic can feel about the world and the environment of the story and all of it is, you know, and it's not. It's not as simple as okay, it's one thousand nine hundred and seventeen. So what gun, right, would so and so hold? It's not. It's like it's not just being period accurate, right, that adds to the design. It's also like, well, why would it be that gun? Let's talk about, from a story perspective, the choices that you are making visually, how they affect story. Right, because it could be the gun. But now let's talk about the gun itself. Is The gun worn down, you know, like are we going to make this gun really and this is something that oftentimes really bothers me. When you watch independent film, right, and you watch like Roman films and you watch the Roman soldiers know well, wrinkle clothing. Even worse, Roman soldiers with perfectly pristine helmets like it like they just came out of the package. Like wait, were you not thinking about the design? Like, like why is it? Why is does this entire? Yeah, why is this entire, like you know, Armata of soldiers, or, sorry, like the spananx of soldiers? Why are they all like brand new out of the package? R and and the funny thing is, is that exactly when you were talking about the gun. It's that type of authenticity is important. One of the things. And to talk man talking about eight hundred and seventeen saving Van Ryan. I reference before. One of the key aspects of that film was Steven Spielberg wanted accurate sounds from the m one grand and there's a specific sound when the cartridge is ejected. That team that that that's particular to that rifle only. And and he literally they I think they also scavenged real guns, but they recorded hundreds of thousands of audios of that, of them really reloading the weapon, of the gun jamming, of, you know, the of them uploading that ammun ammunition, because that the way it operates in the mechanism it was particular to that weapon bills in particular to the sound of war. So you know, it's something subtle, but I think everyone remembers in the movie. Every time someone will show you, you hear that thing and and it adds to the atmosphere of the movie. And you know, and people don't think about that, especially now, all the guns sound the same. It's all blocks. Is like how it why does this like every guy? Everyone sounds like a Desert Eagle's one thing I hate. I hate silencers. Everything sounds like someone's farting through a barrel of a gun. That's not how CIDERS are sound. There's a team. You know it's a if you listen to a silencer, it does not sound nothing like...

...that. But there's but it goes to show like that it's you know, certain things need to be accounted for when you're really and that's us, you know, not. I mean, I'm not gonna say that that's bad production design. I'd say that's more of an esthetic choice. Right. You know, no country for old men. You know you're not going to probably find a silencer for a shotgun that that you're going to be able to shoot through a pillow and not make sound, but it's that was done as esthetically for a reason, and so I think one of the aspects of being a good production design for a film is knowing what you're aiming for, and that's kind of what Sam Mendez did. I mean he wanted to do something completely different. Yeah, he wanted to go like what hasn't been done and yeah, and there's movies that have tried to do the one takes, trying to remember exactly off the top of my head, but it was more so of like actually, no, it wasn't a one take. It was a more of a headcam view, but it was a long, long takes. But they always like, you know, we have the problem with story and we have to cut, we have to jump here and jump there and there's, you know, different places we have to go within our story. But the fact that he was able to successfully do this one take in his world and do exactly what Eric says, put you inside of it. Yeah, is exactly what the the makes it so successful. It wasn't a gimmick, is right. Wasn't a gimmick. It wasn't the one take for the sake of one take. It was it was a story choice right and according to area, you know, like what he has. It was to immerse the viewer in the environment, in the moment and give them a world that they have perhaps never experienced right before. Right. You know, it's funny that you say that. You know, as far as the production design, just a little fun fact, and again this also came off the the deacons podcast, but you know, when Gasner was asked by Sam Mendez to do it, he was all he was actually on board to doing the new the new bond that I mean right now. It's it's end of December and it's in the process, I think, of being filmed as we speak. But he was going to do that and Samons was, you know, texted them, do not do the bond film. I have a film, very ambitious, sending script and literally, you know, which is like it's actually kind of cool because you're again a production designer in the importance of a great visionary they sometimes think. Sometimes People Think, oh it's all the director. It's like it's not that person. That production designer is such a key person to the the the actualization of the of that visual desire that a director may have. That's why I director has a DP you know, like because the like the TP has s and technical knowledge in order to bring the bring that that vision to life a visual style as well. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and and it's you use it like Sam Mendez wanted to do something outside the box. It's actually I got a quote. You literally said, let's do something interesting, and that's what it was. An interesting look into a world that is enormously horrific, but with grace and stuff. And Yeah, and you think about the shots and a lot of times you're thinking, you know, you have multiple people in the scene and one camera and you're figuring out, how am I able to capture every essence of that scenery? You know they have you know they have two shots, have three shots, you know they have all but it's so well done where you know you don't Miss Anything, you're able to get enough of each actor. It's not like, you know, you point at one and then you point at the other. It was it was so well done to just be able to be you're the your the fourth person in there. You know what I mean, listening in like what do we do? How do we how do we get around this? And and the camera move so smoothly throughout the scenes that you even forgot there was a camera there and and it was like it was constant, you know, the the movement was going and the mood and the feeling was just constantly beating and it was just it was I think it was success. You know, we've been talking a lot to eric about, you know, just the project that we're currently working on right and like all of the research, just the random things that I've had to research in order to explore FIF s new Bedford. Right, we were just talking about pencils, pencils, and talk about pencils, right. Did they have a racers on? Yeah, did they have a racisted in? I have a racis. I mean that's a that's a design, that's a design situation. And you know, like, for example, Gassner had to study mud in order to you know, in order to like correctly depict and design mud into the space. And like talking about pencils like such a someone may think, Oh, you know, like just get a pencil in his hand, but no, like the type of Pencil is it? How is the Pencil? How does a pencil end? Is it like a sharp point on one end and then flat on the other? Like no,...

...it's actually pointy on both ends. Well, why does that matter? What, it matters huge. It really does, because when you watch it and you see that it may be subconscious, it may be subconscious to the viewer, but it does do something to you when you you're thinking pencils. Well, and I think you hit on it as well too, for the actors. I mean it really does impact the actors and how and improve the actors performance when they actually are able to step into that world. And it is not just the actors is but everybody else in the crew. Understanding, you know, wardrobe and understanding, you know these other elements to the film. One thing that I find interesting is that some some production designers, they may be going off of some existing, existing world. So I think a really good film or series of films, where the Harry Potter films for instance, where they've built this world and he has something to be able to go off, versus, you know, a production designer or or director who is looking in creating a world, you know, completely from scratch. And you know, it's always interesting whatever is, especially things like, you know, s New England, where are we have some concept of what this may look like, but then that you know, you watch these period films and you step into it and you're like, Oh wow, this is so impressive. You know, whether it be, you know, the you know, McDonald's was the one out of the McDonald's one with Raycroc, and then in the s versus Green Book, you know, similar era. Then the founder. Yeah, that's right, the founder versus Green Book, which is, you know, we're looking at, you know, relatively similar era, but they they bring their own sort of piece to it, because it's you know, what does McDonald's look like back then versus what is a you know, a banquet hall look like that? Then? Well, I'm glad that actually that you brought that up, like bringing up Harry Potter transitions as perfectly, because now we're going to talk about production design, from the world that you create versus the world that are already exist, right, and like the the level of research and, you know, purposeful application of art. So like, for example, you know there's this one rule about sci fi, right, where sometimes people think Oh, sci Fi, like you, anything goes, you can create. It's like actually, SCI FI is the most strict, the most strict in eat as far as rules are concerned from filmmaking of any John Right, because, though your rules for this sci fi world, you cannot break them. You cannot, because the moment that you do, you break, you break the the I don't know, the fourth wall. You break the magic of the moment, you know, when people are like, oh, that's that's that world is is flawed. Right, right, right. You have to you're forcing yourself to create rules that aren't that don't exist, and if you break them, the movie falls instantly. So it's like, whereas you're in a world that's already has rules and everyone knows them and you can, you know, break some sansis, beliefs and things, and so you're just like, oh, yeah, because I know that rule, right, but in a sci fi it's a lot harder because no one knows it and they're like, Oh, this, the director broke his own rule, and then they're like all right, right, I'm good with this. So I'm glad we're able to transition. Let's talk a little bit about avengers. Avengers ending the highest grossing film ever to hit theater. Yes, and and that's it's kind of unfair because it's built on Ip that you know, that we grew up with, and so it's like we're already going into the film at you know, with like expectations as an event. Has Been Waiting for this. The avengers films are events and so it's, you know, it's like those are the films that are actually going to be the blockbusters in theaters. I mean it's like almost almost three billion dollars. Can you believe that, beating avatars record? I like, that's that's that's silliness, which is actually ptty impressive for Avatar, you know. I mean that's all really Cameron's. You know, I'd gone with the wind and in blue character that. I'll let Hans talk a little of those dances with the will. That's dances with okay, so the Russo brothers, yes, Russo brothers in the production designer was Charles Wood, who also worked on infinity war age of ultron. He worked on doctor strange, and so it's interesting that once they actually moved and used would for you know, for both infinity wars and endgame, there was cotton nuity in in this universe. Huge, Ye, so big, the COMT nudity in the universe that he brings to like, and not just the two films back to back, but to like the marvel field, the marvel world, because if you watch some of the other earlier avengers they feel different, but by the time you get to like infinity wars and endgame, it's almost like it's like that they step it up. No, they change production designer, right, and that's interesting, right, is it not? Are they that one man could cause the world's gotta be seen together. You know, that's the whole thing about a production designer. There they create...

...that esthetic the world, the feel and the look of the world, and you know they work obviously along with the director, DP and others, but that's the idea, is that if they don't work together, people already had that feeling of like Oh, this is right, this is a different movie. Yeah, exactly, this is all I'll say. This is a different director, and then they'll start throwing words like Oh, you know, this is not as good as that one or as good as this one. It could just face as simple as they're just two different worlds. Yeah, well, Eric brought up Harry Potter right, like Harry Potter suffered from that where it had multiple directors each, you know, each one to the to the next one, in multiple DP's and there and although hey, it did really well, obviously, but the the continuity they're from film to film to film wasn't like what the avengers films was able to accomplish, especially over the last couple of films, are rather marvel films. Rightly that now that you've got, you know, the the same production designer taking the helm to bring what he you know, the success that he had an age of ultron into the final two of it. And you know, I see it this way. I this is how it kind of works in my brain. You know how we always do this. You think of like when you have that ability to build on top of that. That's why every every film was better, like it became better. Everyone would say that. You know some, I mean you'd be surprised. Some people be like, Oh, I like this one, avengers one or two, but I think as a whole most people were like avengers. And then the second one was, you know, it build up. It got better and better until the last one was like the best. And you rarely hear that. You rarely hear the last movie was the best one. And it's a kind of unfair, though, because they did film those together at the same time. Sure, kind of like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I mean like they went through this epic filming and that's why the Lord of the ring stands out like it. And there isn't. People till this day will say there isn't a flaw to any of those films like so that's hot. NUITY is really important, right. That's the idea, is that it they that never separated. You have someone who understood the story and was able to build off it because, remember, even though they did it all together, they were different worlds in this thing and they all have to be connected from the previoure movies, and so you know, that's that's you know, that's what made the film so successful, going from the first one all the way to the last one. So I feel like that can divided into two, two elements happening here. At the same time. You've got the continuity of this production design from film to film to film, but you've also got the relationships, the relationships between director and DP and production designer. And I feel like when you get into a groove with a group, right, and let's say you know you're filming like Lord of the Rings, you know it's the same team for all three films. And so not only is there a continuity, but there's also you know, and not only where they know they were filmed together all, you know, back to backto back to back. You've got now continuity in the visuals, but then continuity in the relationships, where you then begin to to develop a shorthand you know, I no longer are you having to explain so much in order to achieve just like a small creative choice. You can just be like, with a look, I can communicate. This is what we need right and you think about, for instance, spider man was changed, and how do you introduce a new spider man into this world and you know and even introduced new costumes and and the new feel and just make it to support perfectly and seamless. And it's because you have a production designer that created a world that you know, made it easy for other characters to enter into it and make it work. And and it's interesting too, because then you watch the spider man films and you watch the interest films and there's a difference, there's a production design difference, but the ability of having an amazing production designer is to be able to create a world that you can you know, like you said, these characters were able to seamlessly enter into and and that, and you know, there was so much anticipation built for this film that it didn't matter like they could. I look, the success that they did have was because of the choices that they did make from a design in a personal perspective, but I feel like if they had chosen anyone else, it's still would have done well. Whether or not it would have done as well, I don't know. There's no way of knowing. But to throw into to Hans and Eric just a question, even with some of the work that we've done, you know as Mount Harvest and having because I want to talk touch a little bit about like the relationship. So there's the continuity, obviously, of the visuals, but then the continuity of relationship and how that leads to better visuals.

Can you talk a little to that? Can you talk a little bit about your personal experiences going from project to project, but in the fact that like we kind of keep a core of individuals that are always together and just kind of like how that does lend to the visual choices, because there is the short hand. I don't know if you can speak a little bit to that either one where wants to jump in. I would say that it's it's it's I think it's central to being able to have a set, basically a production, where there is that being comfortable, having that creative freedom and in order to be able to go to the director and establish that not only that shorthand, but being able to say hey, like, we might need to change this, you might need to change this, change that, you might need to change the clothes on this character. You know, there you'd be surprised how many things that become like comic and movies, like a jacket. It was just something that was tossed on by the set designer and that was like, I love that, and then that character has that jacket for the rest of the movies and a lot and sometimes you've got film students. They're talking for hours about like the choice. It's like, why was it the color yellow? Well, it's yellow because it talks about them. This an end. I like the direct productions. I was like no, we you know, he was cold. We did do that jacket. See Hans Solos Black Jacket and this white. Sure, that's really mean. So he's always balancing the light and dark. And then he's really a more great character than not, neither good or evil, he just morning ambiguous. He has Harrison Ford is like it's the only thing they had. That happens. But you know what, but when you've got a team that has that understands the vision, they can make those kind of on the spot choices and know when the choice is wrong. Right. So it's like they wouldn't have grabbed just any jacket and just throwing it out like a feather, you know, like jacket, and thrown it on Hans because like that wouldn't made sense. They were so well communicated. They understood the vision. They were the team was on the same page. They you know, we talked a lot about how we create. You know, it's might be overkilled, but we do create look books and and and story bibles for all of our films because we love to be able to share everything that we've gone through in the research process with everyone. Yeah, so that word could all be on the same page and I think that that is huge because it gives not just our crew, but are actors, the confidence to be creative on set and there also gives us the piece to know that they will be able to bring something fresh and not come out of, you know, from random area, but because we created a world, right. That was that they get it, they understand it, they see it, they feel it, they can bring creative ideas and would be like, Yep, that's that's within our world. It's not outside of our words exactly, and it's almost as if they've been a part of the research process all along. So they're speaking to the same thoughts that we I mean, I'm going to throw this to Eric, you know, like coming in, because I you know, Eric was instrumental in the building phases of a blood throne, right, but he wasn't necessarily there throughout all the research that you and I had to go through in order to create a blood throne. But he came in and it was almost as if, boom, why he had all of this, all this research that we had done. And the actors talked about that too. They felt like they came in so prepared, right, because they were able to look at this document, and that helps the relationships absolutely, absolutely that and that hones in again, you know, like the ability to be expressive, like Han was saying, even and the movie. I was thinking about the dark night with Christopher Nolan. You think some of these directors are very stiff, and this is the book and you read it, you do it. That's it. It's Michael Jian white talked about how you know. First of all, you know actor, what's his name, Heath Ledger, comes up to him and, you know, ask some questions like how do it Knowlan's like, what do you think in Michael Jols like you asking me, you know, like you're Christopher Nolan, your deeplizard and you can, you can ask questions like that. I may not know and I may ask, Hey, Hans, what do you think about this, because I'm comfortable enough to know that the foundation of the world has been created for him to express himself within it. Yeah, correctly, right, and not just bringing the feather jacket and we're talking ruin. It's supposed to be some sure earth, earth tone typewriting, and he's like, well, this one because of this, and that's what Christopher Nolan does and that's...

...what Scorsese he does. That's why he's always like having conversations with this crew. What do you think? Oh, yeah, bring what that, do what you want to do and we'll see if it works. And that comes with a lot of confidence, right, you know, like a lot of confidence, first and foremost in the screenplay, a lot of confidence in you know, and I don't know, I don't know necessarily what Christopher and Jonathan Nolan do when it comes to like the research and how they present that to their crew, but they he certainly has a team that is intimate. They talked there. They're in the same vernacular, they're talking the same language, which is again, you know what I you know, the original question as far as like what I wanted to you know when I threw it to you guys, as far as like having that relationship and having that that familiarity with one another, you can achieve that through a document like a look book. Yeah, yeah, and one of the things I always say is, you know, don't ever hold back on the screenwriting. Write your script, tell your story, write your story and we will find a way, you know, from a line producer standpoint, to make this happen, to make this look and feel the way that it was intended in the in the ideas, in the mind of the writer. You know, when we look at we look at a blood throne, for instance. You know, there were scenes in there where we did have to adapt a little bit. You know, there is the CRUCA scene where, you know, the way it's written in the you know, in the script, is that you know, you have horses, you have, you know, the carriage and you know and we we adjust and we adjust so we make it look as real and as authentic as possible to the scene, and I think that's something that over time, you know, we've just continue to get better and better at. Fast forward up to underground and there's that one iconic scene where where the hunters are walking in there, entering into the city, and it's very clear, you know, we're looking down rose alley and new Bedford Massachusetts. This is an area that you know today, there are elements of it that still look like they did back in the S, but then at the same time too, there are elements of it that look like two thousand and twenty. You know these, you know, these are modern, modern times. So, you know, throwing up a blue screen in front of their creating this world, but then also translating that through the costumes, translating that through, you know, the other set pieces, the extras that are walking through, walking through the alleys, and when you piece that together. It really does create this. It's a world within a world you know really absolutely. And you think of one of the shots is just the cobblestone and the feet and which you know. You don't. It's just pointing straight at that, showing you know that that's that's that's from the time. You know you, if I pan up, you'll probably see like a modern day doorbell, you know. And so it's like we wrote a scope. Those out there. Yeah, but you know what I mean, like it was just so it was. I mean we would like this is the The Times, the cobblestone here, boom and then. But it also helped the shot because it's like the feet creating tension, movement. You know what's about to happen. You know, I don't see their faces. What's going on. All you see US feats, feet creeping in. So, and to Eric's point, some of the reason why we could make those shits in, I mean essentially production design right, like the scene for the CRUCA scene required horses, carriages. There were supposed to be movement. But the reason why other people could speak into how to make this seem possible with all the limitations, I mean we had. So I'm talking. Yeah, Murphy's law was literally just vomited US right and how, how then, could we how? We at that point had to step back and be like, what do you guys think? How can we make this work? You know, and everybody that had went gone through the look book, we were all speaking the same vernacular and we were able to figure this out on the on because there was that camaraderie that was that, you know, same mindset, seem sensibility. Everyone was on the same page and therefore everyone could speak to it and come up with an immediate, on the spot solution to make the scene work. When we have you know, time is wasting there, for money's wasting. We only had that one night to shoot it. You know, you had limited equipment, things were like breaking. I mean it was like it was chaosome, but we figured it out. Yeah, I think that's the the I'm so sorry, but I think that's the strength of what what a good production designer is capable of because, you know, one of the things in film on a set, it's it Murphy's law is almost like a lower deity on set, like everything that could go wrong will grow wrong. You you talk about a cop apocalypse, nowls. I was re watching the movie and they were talking about how they couldn't film for months on it becomes I think Martin Sheen got injured. There was flooding constantly and then they had to literally move the sets somewhere else completely in rebuild it so they it wouldn't flood but still keep the look that they were in Vietnam even though they were not in Vietnam, you know. And the same...

...thing was star wars. That scene, yeah, and and some and some of the scenes. You know that scene and when Hans Rescues Luke, he cuts the Tom Tom. You know, it looks like they're in a mountain right there in a snowy, snowy just basically hell. It will shot in the back of a hotel. They literally run they literally ran out of money at some point and they only had enough time and to be able to grab a few actors, grab a few lights and go to the in the middle of a snow start and go to the back of the hotel and shoot in the backyard. They didn't. They didn't go to like month Fiji. They didn't go yeah, but that is what a production design is supposed to do. It's not only is it's not only to bring the division of the director and the film, but find ways to work out that vision with with with the circumstances that you're given, because not sometimes you won't get the location you need, sometimes the weather is not going to be in your favor and there's going to be certain things that might happen. Like, I mean everyone, we all remember jaws. The Shark didn't work for most of the film and they had to work to to make the film thrilling. So it's like, so what we do? Don't show the shark the shoulder sharks, shoot it in a way where you still feel that tension and danger. One of the one of the Great TV shows that I love, I've been, you know, absolutely addicted to recently, was peaky blinders and the amount that they talk about the war, and especially in the first season, they talk about, you know, the Great War and the worst of they never once show or see over there now and they're able to convey that with, you know, this kind of back from war, you know, Shell Shock Generation, and they're in you know, half half half the show takes place in this in this bar. Yeah, in the bar and the house, in the street and they're able to just convey so much about like what happened obviously to them and in the war and you know just the mindset of of these folks of the peak blinders, but you never actually see them do that. You know, have have that flashback back to the world. They're able to convey that like someone to jaws were. They're able to tell that story without showing necessarily that story, at least visually. That's that's a great point. Yeah, and it's amazing, you know, when when you jump over right, I'm glad you jumped into television, because we want to talk about, we said, story bibles, you know, and create story bibles for films. Well, obviously television needs a story level. It's the only way that you can maintain continuity between not just episodes but subsequent seasons, right, and therefore it gets everyone on the same page, it gets everyone talking the same language, it gets everyone understanding okay, not only is this the goal in the arc of the story, but this is like how all this is going to be pulled off visually. What I love about Peki is, yeah, certainly that, but also the fact that, like there's they went because they were they're smaller, right, they're more they they call themselves, you know, like low budget. I think Manda Bach, what's her name, the executive producer. I think that's what am about and about. You know, she always says we're broke, would broke, would broke, the seasons broke, would broke. And you know, and I'm sure you know, it being a BBC production, like they didn't have, you know, Hollywood money. Yep, Netflix bought them, but that was after the fact, right, they had to because they I don't know, there's always, you know, necessity being the mother of invention. I think like that. As a result, they started to look at their world and saying, what are the little things that we can do to be convincing, and how they're looking at like, okay, we're not going to necessarily show the war, we don't have war money, but some of the production designed choices, the little things like the bar. How do we create this and recreate this environment in this space to show some shell shocked individuals coming into this bar to give the feeling of like they just came out of this war and look at the effects of it. Therefore, you're now, in the back of your mind feeling the war as they're talking about these events, and I don't know, a good designer will always create a world bigger than what it is. Say More than just what's there or what the scene is about. You know, they expand on the possibilities of what the what the world will be after or what it was before. You know, you don't need you know, like I've seen movies where they're just walking in the production design is they're walking within a four walled space...

...and there, you know, it's just lines on the floor and you know, and they have to basically, you know, experience that their their clothing and their actions in the behavior is basically telling you everything about what's in the world and what's in the environment. And so that that, that's really the key is, you know, you having just exactly what you need to say. A lot interesting that you say that so like we're talking about war right, all right, you have brought that up and I think it's phenomenal because if you watch the early seasons of peeking, in season one, in almost every episode and just about every other film, there's fire. Have you noticed that? There's flames and there's fire, and the further the seasons get away from World War One, the less you have the fire being a constant theme, like the fire representing war, battle fighting. Right. You've got these smiths that are hammering and you've got this these war visuals that are message subtle, buttle, and you get a season five and six when they're now closer to World War II than they are to World War One. They are now they're in London, things are it's a different it's different. Your backed away from World War One and those influences of World War One where they're dealing with it in season one and season two. You know, you've got like the Arthur character that's like, you know he's having PTSD and he's anguished by it, but he's in the midst of this production. The sign that there's fire and there's hammering and there is explosions of you know, of flames, and I mean it's all built in to the esthetics, it's all built into the story, it's all built into what you're trying to communicate, even to the audience, where it's causing even for some subconscious understanding that you don't even know you're understanding. You don't know that you're receiving this information, but it's coming in and I mean these things are talked about. They are talked about, absolutely, absolutely, so talking. Let's talk a little bit about you know, now that we're on it, talking about little lighting design and call a composition and how all of that is also integrated into the production design, which is huge, and I don't know that necessarily, especially in our world, in the independent film world. Yes, conversations about color are had, but I don't know how indepth people are talking about tones, called composition, you know, coming up with a Palette for a scene and why that Palette is important, what that power is saying about the scene, what the power is saying about the story of what's happening in that scene. That's funny you say that, because I always think about the famous and the Hilarious, like, you know what this color grade? Where you're at with this C color grade? Oh, you're Mexico with this color girl, yeah, I s orangs real. You see blue, New York, right, exactly, and so it's you know it, but it's true. We've been, you know, so accustition to into condition, to colors to fit that. Think heat, to think warmth, think, you know, so a sweating and hot or slow and and it does a lot to the story and what it's saying. If you want to think Massachusetts, what color? Blue? Some, some, well, a blue, I don't know, it lightweight, something blue and muted. That represents winter. Yeah, I think of like the fighter. Yeah, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, the fighter. Yeah, something like that. Man's a party man. Yeah, you did a lot of Blues Bypass Slee Shit. Yeah, yeah, New England. It's just everyone thinks it's a depressive was covered under foot of snow. Yeah, but then, like anything, that's like depicting, you know, San Diego, California. It's got that word. Yeah, vibrant colors. Yeah, yeah, but that's the thing. It's, you know, going to start having a switch descript there are are directors who that's their style. Like do you think of? You think of, you know, horses. Yeah, it's all really, really, really blue, and that's just the style behind it, and it's not necessarily because they're talking about a location, but they're trying to convey any MO shit. Right, right, yeah, absolutely. So let's talk about talking about style. Glad that you brought up style. West Anderson. Yeah, very stylized director. So his his composition, his production designed is very stylized, very specific. Everything is very symmetrical, everything is like locked off. You know, I'm going to throw this to Hans because I know Hans is has a lot to say about this style. I don't have a problem with the West siderstion. I actually liked him. I like life of quatit. You know, Bill Murray, throat, Bill Murray and anything. He's probably good. And Moon Rice Kingdom. I think it is my favorite movie by West Anderson. Grand Budapesto tell one, best one. An Oscar for production design. Did the seen it? Yes, not necessarily my...

...film. That that that I like. I prefer his other work, but you know, that's just a matter of taste. But that's that's actually a thing where West Anderson is a good example of someone who am I'm I'm not too sure. I haven't really researched much of the background scenes of who does his movies, but it almost seems like the the the the person who does the design for all his movies is the same. HMM, because all his movies, you look at one film or one or one scene from a West Anderson movie and you know that's wes Anderson right and that's a West Anderson. Look, that is even how the characters talk is Wes Anderson and, you know, especially with the composition that you were talking about, and I think that's, in particular, something important, because if someone has a style, wish they shoot like West Anderson, who's so unique. Yeah, the production designer has to be able to, yeah, they're putting side that box right ever, communicate his style and envision right through the scene with how they shoot. Yeah, well, something that that I mean I want to just briefly touch upon is the the depth of design, you know, and how design extends beyond just, you know, the level of the character, but it carries through the depth of the shot. I mean the symmetry he uses. It speaks so much. You know, everything that he does as a design is saying something. It's almost as if the production design is the main character. It's a part of a character. Exactly. Absolutely so, shouldn't it? Should it was? Should it not be in every film, or does it depend on the film? Well, I mean that's almost as if like like constants. That's his style, and so it's definitely prevalent in a lot of his films. You know. You know, I can't right now I think off the top my head, one that it doesn't have that, but but it's it's unique and that's what makes him. That's why people love his movies, is because it's different. It's not the same thing, you know, having just a medium shot on an actor and then just getting everything from the actor. But the fact that I can get something from the background and experience the background before I experience the foreground in the actor is great. It's great, you know, storytelling, little tour. He's on tour in the style of Stanley Cooper. All Right, will you mentioned Xavier? Basically, in regards to the background being its own character, that's exactly the philosophy that cooper carried like the the it's not just the actors on the screen that's the cactus that are communicating something, but the foreground, with the the scene and which surround midground, background, all of it. Hat is important, you see. You see examples of that in like the shining and seems, where you see like that clutter in the background world books, where there's a light shining directly on certain characters, representing whether they're part of the the hotel. That the mystique. I don't know. I mean if you everyone see the shining suck and spoiled right, you know whether or not he's actually spoiler it, whether or not he was part of like the the the the the spirit, part of the hotel, like every shot, everything was designed with a message in mind. And you know, a Kubrick his idea was like every frame had to tell a story. Every frame was important, whereas a lot of filmmakers, and not necessarily for a bad reason, you know, it's more utilitarian, where it's more like this shot is serves a purpose, to bridge this shot between shot ape two, shop be right, or like hey, I'm going to film someone picking up a cup, or I'm all filled in someone's feet for some reason. The tarty, you know, the feat shots now, but I love Tarante, you know. But but it's that every shot in the shining, every shot in two thousand and one to Space Odyssey, it a lot of it's in all of Kubrick's film and even on Sanderson, is that the the environment they're in is a character of their own and it's important and it's also itself a mechanism which the stories being told. Well. It gives really that that range of possibilities. You know if you're you know, if you're at home and in the kitchen and someone is you know it's a film where someone's you know, breaks into your house. You know, it's a big difference where this film is going to go, what's...

...going to happen and what the character going to do. If there is a phone hanging on the wall, you know you're going to go run to that phone and go call n one. If there's no phone there or you pick up the phone you realize, oh it's broken, you know you're building a range of that range of possibilities for the films and that's one thing that I've I've really enjoyed watching in the design of of these scenes in many films, where you know there are things that are revealed over time or revealed with the sequence of shots that they tell you, oh, this is what they're going to go for, this is going to give me something behind, you know, behind what this, what this character may end up doing, how they may get themselves, you know, out of out of the situation. Absolutely I think that is that's when you get into films like like drawing up blank. But it's a it's a very famous film with the sled you know, it's citizen came sit it's a cave where like the sled is in. You don't know what the the the the the the significance of the sled is, and then you only find out spoiler, other that the sled represents his innocence. But it's throughout the movie key scenes, and I think that that goes into the example they savior set. That in communication is such an important aspects of being a production designer because as a designer you have to have that sled in the shots so people know that at the final one you show it, that's what it represents. That's what the movie was about, you know. So it's it. It can actually make or break a film in an aspect of that like you lose, like what is that? That film, I mean still a great film without that sled. You know what is you know, westanders saying, without his his the way he moves the camera, the production design that West Sanderson uses is completely different from the Cohen Brothers. Oh, the Colin rothers. Yeah, and so the completely they're they're completely different. But you know a Cohen Brothers movie when you see it, and it just goes to show the the that level of detail requires, you know, in regards to you know, how the environment, you know, plays a role. Yeah, now, know, just just kind of like wrap up, because we could be talking about production design and films forever. Yeah, but you know, there is, you know, some of our examples that we had that we were still we brought up the grand boot and pestle hotel, but I mean Black Panther and I think that the the production design and Black Panther was the one thing that actually made it stand down. As a matter of fact, I think it was because of the production and design that people were willing to forgive the CGI. MMM, because the Black Panther CGI was rough, yeah, it was rough, but because the production design, the costume, the you know, this world that was created was just so rich. People were like, okay, unique, it was different, but that but the rules, remember, earlier we had talked about SCI FI. The rules of Scifi, the rules of this world were established and they were set and they abided by it from beginning to end. And they they say, you know, they stuck to their guns with it, no matter how crazy it was, you know, vibramium like like. They stuck to it and and they created a world and they create in the world demanded for a very specific esthetic and as a result, people were willing to forgive the the Oh, they didn't have the budget, they didn't have, you know, they didn't have avengers money, but they certainly had, you know, more than Fruitfille station money, and so like they were, you know, Kugler was able to create something that got people interested, and that was all production design, literally the I want. Yes, the acting was was great. I'm going to give credit what credit was due. I think Chadwick, Chadwick, you know, did a phenomenal job. I think Michael Jordan did a phenomenal job, but I think the world that they created was the main success behind Black Panther because it it wasn't necessarily, you know, on level as far as visually how out they pulled off the CGI as as the avengers film. So No, yeah, absolutely, and great gatsby. I mean that is another, you know, world winning film. World. Yeah, but then you know, it's different because this world does exist. You know, there's this is the US in the s during the flabber era, you know, where you've got decadence and beauty and not, you know, versus. But what out of that era is shown in this movie. Is What made this movie so successful, you know, because out of that era is,...

...you know, there's other you know, there's the worst parts of that time. That isn't necessary for this film. They wanted to show the beauty, the rich, the splendor, the fun, and that's what kind of made us excited about the times, about that ere. You know, it's like Oh wow, this, this, I feel it, I see it, I could if they're believable in this world because of the fact that everything was pristine and nail all the spots. But there's so many movies that have the great production design. I know I have one of my favorites. Well, it's really a director who's consistently you know, this is a style. He's an architect, John. I'm watching his name and I'm terrible out of Kronnski, I believe it is, and he did tron. He also did oblivion and he is a like he's okay, wait, this is gonna be design. We are type of the week, I think. For So, while you're going, I'm gonna let you talk a little bit about yes, but while Jonathan's talking about his if everyone can come up with one film that they suggest the audience to view for production design. All, all right, so Jonathan Guy talked about yours. Well, I have two movies, but I'll do one because I like one better than the other. I like them both. I'll say them both, but I will say watch tron because there's so much designed and it's a world that's unique and it's I loved it. I love the graphic design in it. I'm a graphic designer by a heart. That's what I went to school for, and so I love seeing the art just come to life as a world you know, as world building, and so I would say Tron, tron legacy. I believe it is the newest one. Yeah, yeah, okay, mine my mind would be Lincoln. Cool. I've been as of late. I've been doing a lot of research to the era because of the series that we're working on right now. But the more that I study Lincoln, the more I'm seeing the depth of choices within those scenes and it's awesome. It's what's interesting to me is that like Daniel Day Lewis steals the show right like in any scene that he's in, when he you're watching him and he's doing his Lincoln thing. Clap you back to the men. I'll and I feel like people know it's like nobody's gonna be looking at anything else right exactly looking at daily look, but they go through the trouble of making sure that, like the depth of design in that movie. It like it encircles him and it brings you to it. It's almost like a painting. You know when like a great when you watch a great painting and you watch the strokes, the strokes are moving your eyes in a very specific, manipulated direction. A great painter will get you to look at a painting in the direction that the painter wanted you to look, right at the paint what your eyes have been satisfied with, the main action or the main spot of the painting. Then it traveled. It'll gravel right. It's the same thing with Lincoln and it'll always land on Daniel Day. It'll always bring you to it and I feel like that is like how they did. That is phenomenal. It's been normal. So My choice for those of you out there that want to look at an example of great production design, Watch Lincoln. It's awesome. A ninety. I'm a s kid and I'm just I'm a sucker I'm a sucker. Very much good stuff happened in the night. Well, sorry, born in eighty nine, September eighty nine, but but the nostalogy of the S I love it. And one film I saw recently that I think captured it really well. It was was called Richard Jewel and it was about the one thousand nine hundred and ninety six Atlantic City bombing in right in the I was with for at the actors am but but do you direct it? WAS IT CLINT COMING? Yeah, yeah, but they they captured that world so well. You know everything. You know the ninety four Olympics in Atlanta, you know. So you got the Cocacola, you got the the CNN, you know, and every little, tiny little detail in that film really sucked you into that in that moment, you know, moments before you know you have people up there, you know, doing the Macarena. You know, then it's like these people in the you know, spice girls. Yeah, it had that look and feel the excitement. You know, you could really feel they really pull that, they pull that out of that film and and to watch, you know, something so horrific go down in the midst of this exciting moment. I mean they really they captured kind of the inertia of the environment and then the destruction, obviously, of what happened and then obviously the you know, the the sad tragedy of that man that was that was framed, you know, in that moment. But in terms of capturing that world, I mean that that that's one film. I think it's done. It underrated, very underrated for that purpose. Hans, what you got? All Right, what was the Jonathan's pick? Tron legacy, living but drawn legacy. With my tron legacy. All Right, I'm going to do another, since you guys basically kind of did two period pieces. That the opposite end of the spectrum. I'm gonna do another sci fi movie, and I think you guys know it's blade runner. All R two thousand and forty nine. No, Oh, nos, two and...

...forty nine. How about? Yeah, there's blade runner, not story seven. Okay, it's your choice. All right, the original Gridley Scott, though, don't I'm a huge fan of at least Scott. Really that's production design in his movies. Just black called down alien gladiator, I mean even as, which is you can knock the story and some of the the the plot holes, Prometheus, but the I think the best work he's I think he's still ever done is blade runner. Have those, the the the the shots of La in the future. Phenomenal. It still holds up even today, absolutely and it's unique. It's unique so much that they pay attention even stuff like Atari, even though it's oar has not been that relevant since the it's a very sting. But but they NIS villain wealth. He kept that. Yeah, yeah, let's say that. Yeah, Hart, you know, production design, the environment, it's a consistency, and so the only thing that was different in two thousand and forty nine was the movement of light. I think that was the new idea that you know, Deacon wanted to bring in with the production designer. Is the way like danced, you know, especially through the water. So that I agree with the hundred percent the fact. I mean you have to pay homage to the original because that's where the source comes from. That's the idea. But two thousand and forty nine, you know, I don't think did a disservice to the original. It didn't. It just didn't reach the heights, because the thing is as a complement coming from yes, it's run like nothing I think it's just their design choice is the reason why it's it's not on the same level production wise, because you look at the original blade runner, it has a it's a film noire or the two thousand and forty nine is basically a basic movie and you know. But Blade runner is like scifiing noire and it's still plays with the lights and shadows between the characters in the environment, the cars, you know how they how they move. Not only that, the the the the the culture, the the Mesh of Asian culture and and European culture is it's never explicit explicitly told in the movie, but in the environment it goes to show you, like the fact that he's eating Raman at a boof outside. You know they're speaking English. It shows that there's a Mesh of cultures that have been prior and it is just to me. It's just the the environment has is so unique and you watch it and in everything is so dense. It gives you a sense of density and character. And when you you throw in a film noir and it still gives that sense of wonder and mystery throughout, throughout the environment at which is something that twenty forty nine chose not to, because he chose to held different story. And so it is not, as I don't say it is not as rich. It's still great, though, but different reasons. But for different reasons, but but for but for a movie that was made in the s to still keep up and still be watchable just goes to show it. That's what puts it up for me. All right, well, everyone, thank you so very much for watching us here just kind of Yabber and get yeah, Hey, and if you have a movie that you like a production design, put it on the comments below. Yeah, why not? Right away? I hear what you guys have to say. I would love to hear it, and then maybe we can even talk a little bit about some of those choices in the next episode where we are going to dig in a little bit deeper into, you know, the stages of production and how production design plays out through those stages, from preproduction all the way even into distribution. Sometimes People Think, Oh, you're done designing, but you know what, no, there's posters, there's all that stuff. It's still play. So we're going to talk a little bit about that next week. Thank you for watching episode thirty two. Hope you enjoyed it? Yeah, awesome. Yeah, just share, like subscribe. Punch that. Now I can't stands. We've done punched us. Yeah, we've done put it maybe like yeah, I just tapped with your tell.

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