Robert Elswit gave Production Design 80% of his Oscar?

Director of Photography, Robert Elswit shared his Oscar for ‘There Will Be Blood’ with Production Designer, Jack Fisk, in 2008

Today we celebrate the beauty and power of film through the live global telecast of The Academy Awards. The Oscars may not be perfect but they remain a celebration of storytelling and craft, so for that I am thankful. I want to take the time right now to congratulate all the nominees up for Best Production Design at The 87th Academy Awards tonight and wish them all the best. They are all talented beyond measure and an inspiration to so many.

To those not nominated- you know you still rock.

I will leave you with an Oscar speech I was reminded of recently that I found quite moving. In 2008, production designer Jack Fisk was nominated for There Will Be Blood but lost to Dante Ferretti for Sweeney Todd. Not a terrible person to lose to if you have to lose in a rather stacked category of amazing designers and decorators, though. When There Will Be Blood’s cinematographer Robert Elswit did win for the films stunningly stark and minimal visuals, he had this to say:

“John Toll who won this a number of years ago said that the production designer of his movie- that 50% of it belonged to him. Well… 80% goes to Jack Fisk and his production crew. And David Crank. And Dylan Tichenor. But we all know it really really belongs to Paul. That this is his imagination, and his energy, and his extraordinary vision and it sort of enabled us to create the world of There Will Be Blood. Thank you Paul. But we’re really all standing on the shoulders of Daniel Day Lewis who isn’t here right now but thank you all so much. And Helen. Thank you so much.”

Robert Elswit


I hope you all enjoy the Oscars this year. I’ll be live tweeting, nerd style, at @artdepartmental. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter or here in the comments after the show.

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. Love watching the Oscars! It’s the moment of truth for all directors and actors. For those out there, you can also checkout this link http://goo.gl/Fvu8OL where you can find awesome music for your films. Cheers!

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