QUOTE OF THE DAY: Harry Potter Production Designer, Stuart Craig on Holding Your Ground

Stuart Craig, Oscar-winning Production Designer of Gandhi and Harry Potter discusses what it takes to make it in production design

“You have to be pretty stubborn in this job. You’re forced into compromising situations all the time. You have to be really tough and resilient, hold your position against the real world, against circumstantial things, locations you can’t get, things you can’t afford, conflicting ideas and the doubts of others, whatever it might be. You have to hold on to your idea and hold your ground.”

Stuart Craig

Do you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Halligan, Fionnuala. FilmCraft: Production Design. United Kingdom: Focal Press, 2013. Print.

Posted by Rose Lagacé

Rose Lagacé is a production designer for film & television by day and an emerging filmmaker by night. Rose is also the creator and editor of Art Departmental where she celebrates the art and craft of production design.

  1. That’s the fastest way to get yourself fired as a young designer. Producers aren’t hiring you for high art, they are hiring you to bring a project in on time and on budget. Do those two things while meeting the basic requirements of the script with a minimum of whining for a number of years, and then perhaps you’ll have gained enough respect to start making demands on the process itself. It’s difficult enough to make a film that points in one unified direction without having to deal with a snooty young know-it-all who thinks they know how to make films better than people who have been doing it for decades. In the beginning, focus on the things that are important to the people paying your salary. That’s what will keep you in the game. Learning how to compromise and being a positive reinforcing presence is a far more important skill to master in the beginning than sticking to your guns and demanding that they make YOUR version of the film.


    1. You are absolutely correct Kerry Sanders. I call it gentle nudging and making out it was the director’s idea in the first place. It then stands a better chance of making it in front of the camera. But yes, design for the narrative, not pretty pictures. (The amazing) Stuart Craig can call the shots and most producers will jump. His pedigree is impeccable.


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