On January 30, 2018, five of Hollywood’s most renowned production designers will come together at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles to discuss how the built environments they constructed were shaped by cinematic processes. The talk, dubbed “Building Worlds,” will include designers Jim Bissell, John Myhre, Jeanine Oppewall, and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco and David Wasco. Collectively, these film industry mainstays have earned 13 Academy Award nominations and four Oscars, and are responsible for the backdrops of films such as “E.T. the Extra-terrestrial,” “Dreamgirls,” “Catch Me If You Can,” and “La La Land,” respectively.
The event, which will be moderated by architect and author James Sanders, is part of a two-day shareholders conference sponsored by Woods Bagot and supported by cultural partners AIA Los Angeles and the Southern California Institute of Architecture and media partner Metropolis magazine.
Using examples from the panelists’ work, the conversation will review the critical aspects of designing spaces for the film industry. The first and foremost is how the arc of films shape the design process and the subsequent products—and the differences between the two practices. Cinematic terms and techniques, like narrative and framing, will be considered, as well as what happens between the initial script to the final onscreen images. Panelists will also provide examples of various approaches they employ, like purpose-built stage sets, adapted locations, and computer-generated imagery. To provide a more personal aspect of their professions, they will also expand on collaborations forged with art directors, construction departments, and directors to achieve these award-winning feats.
The final focus of the conversation will be about the location it is set in: Los Angeles. Panelists will be asked about the benefits and setbacks of the place they both work and live in.
All of this will be complemented by designer and academic John Muto’s specially produced video presentation. Muto is known for his production work on “Home Alone” and “Night of The Comet” and founded the Art Directors Film Society in 2001.
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