PRODUCTION DESIGN PORN: Art DepartMENTAL’s Top 10 Best Production Design of 2011

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Art DepartMENTAL'S 2011 Top 10 Best Production Design

After some long and hard deliberations I have pared down what are, in my opinion, the top 10 best production designed/art directed films of 2011. In the end, given the subjectivity of film in general,  all this means is these were my favourite designs. Going through the many films I had on my list I was awestruck at the diversity, styles and overall quality of so many of the films. 2011 was really a banner year for production design the way I see it. Last year, I found it easy to just do a top 5 but this year I found it impossible not to do a top 10 and I easily could have made it a top 20.

So I just want to say to everyone who worked on these films- Bravo! Sincerely, you all deserve a pat on the back and a bottle of booze on me. I have the utmost respect for you all. Those who work in the art department know how hard it is; we know these sets don’t come together like magic. It’s an intense endurance run to the finish line mustering up every skill you’ve ever learned on a whim. It’s a hard gig but thrilling if you can get it.

To all those past, present and future working in art departments all over the world to make visions come to life- I salute you. You truly make movies better and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Cheers & Enjoy!

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10) THE HELP

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Production Designer: Mark Ricker | Art Director: Curt Beech | Set Decorator: Rena DeAngelo | Director: Tate Taylor | DOP: Stephen Goldblatt | Costume Designer: Sharen Davis

The Help Trailer

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9) SHAME

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Production Designer: Judy Becker | Art Director: Charles Kulsziski | Set Decorator: Heather Loeffler | Director: Steve McQueen | DOP: Sean Bobbitt | Costume Designer: David C. Robinson

Shame Trailer

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8) DRIVE

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Production Designer: Beth Mickle | Art Director: Christopher Tandon | Set Decorator: Lisa K. Sessions | Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | DOP: Newton Thomas Sigel | Costume Designer: Erin Benach

Drive Trailer

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7) THE DESCENDANTS

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Production Designer: Jane Ann Stewart | Art Director: T.K. Kirkpatrick | Set Decorator: Matt Callahan | Director: Alexander Payne | DOP: Phedon Papamichael | Costume Designer: Wendy Chuck

The Descendants Trailer

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6) THE ARTIST

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Production Designer: Laurence Bennett | Art Director: Gregory S. Hooper | Set Decorator: Austin Buchinsky & Robert Gould | Director: Michel Hazanavicius | DOP: Guillaume Schiffman | Costume Designer: Mark Bridges

The Artist Trailer

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5) MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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Production Designer: Anne Seibel | Art Director: Jean-Yves Rabier | Set Decorator: Hélène Dubreuil | Director: Woody Allen | DOP: Darius Khondji & Johanne Debas | Costume Designer: Sonia Grande

Midnight in Paris Trailer

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4) THE TREE OF LIFE

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Production Designer: Jack Fisk | Art Director: David Crank | Set Decorator: Jeanette Scott | Director: Terrence Malick | DOP: Emmanuel Lubezki | Costume Designer: Jacqueline West

The Tree of Life Trailer

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3) TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

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Production Designer: Maria Djurkovic | Art Director: Tom Brown & Zsuzsa Kismarty-Lechner | Set Decorator: Tatiana MacDonald | Director: Tomas Alfredson | DOP: Hoyte Van Hoytema | Costume Designer: Jacqueline Durran

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Trailer

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2) HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2

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Production Designer: Stuart Craig | Art Director: Neil Lamont & Gary Tomkins | Set Decorator: Stephenie McMillan | Director: David Yates | DOP: Eduardo Serra | Costume Designer: Jany Temime

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Trailer

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1) HUGO

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Production Designer: Dante Ferretti | Art Director: David Warren | Set Decorator: Francesca Lo Schiavo | Director: Martin Scorsese | DOP: Robert Richardson | Costume Designer: Sandy Powell

Hugo Trailer

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Winning by just a hair Hugo took my top spot due to complexity of 3D, different time periods done to superb perfection as well as the overall romantic and lush look of a film in love with film.

Which were your favourites in production design this year?

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Rose Lagace | @artdepartmental

 

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5 Comments

Filed under ART DEPARTMENT, Art Direction, Awards, Design LOVE, Film HAPPINESS, Production DESIGN, Production Design Porn, Top 10

5 responses to “PRODUCTION DESIGN PORN: Art DepartMENTAL’s Top 10 Best Production Design of 2011

  1. Totally Spot On Rose! Thanks again for being so keen on the true artistic style of our craft. Happy Oscar Weekend! Bisous!

  2. Gill Mills

    Love your blog, but the Set Decorator on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was Tatiana MacDonald. A really talented woman who almost always works with Maria Djurkovic.

    • Thanks. My apologies. Tatiana wasn’t listed on imdb as the set decorator so I listed the one they had listed for the London unit I believe. I have corrected the post. Thanks for letting me know. :)

  3. Sharath Chandra

    I think there should be ‘THE CROW’ movie and its second part in the list.
    and wat about ‘SWEENEY TODD’ movie.

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