I highly recommend listening to this keynote lecture by Sir Christopher Frayling from 2013, recorded at Lancaster University’s one day symposium exploring approaches to the historical and critical study of production design in cinema and related media.
Frayling brings up excellent points about production design laying at the intersection of design specialties. The art and design worlds tend to be weary because production design has to do with Hollywood, and the film world tends to be weary because production design has to do with the art and design worlds which are often foreign to them. This leaves the study of production design without much attention. The idea that production design is meant to be invisible like wizardry or “magic”, as production designer Rick Carter puts it, only adds to this problem.
The specialty of production design in any one place doesn’t seem to exist nor does a critical look at production design. In order to create a specialty there must also be critical academic thought which remains to be seen in this field. Sir Christopher Frayling is working to change this. I think you should hear what he has to say.
Thoughts? What do you think of his analysis?
Rose Lagacé | @artdepartmental