Category Archives: Art Department

INTERVIEW: Production Designer Ethan Tobman discusses his work on the Oscar buzzworthy film ‘Room’

Room adm graphic

This year at the Toronto International Film Festival I fell in love with a film that absolutely broke my heart. I found myself weeping during and after the screening which I haven’t done in a very long time.

That film was Room.

Room follows a mother and her five year old son, Jack, who was born into captivity after Ma was kidnapped and sexually assaulted for years by her captor, leaving the two of them to live their lives in one small room- a shed in his backyard. While all of this is very grim, the film takes the refreshing point of view of the curious and imaginative child who is still amazed by his small but wondrous world. Upon Jack’s 5th birthday he is told about the outside world and they make a plan to escape. Jack is Ma’s only hope. However, once free will anything ever be the same again?

Recently I interviewed Room’s production designer, Ethan Tobman, who had the unique task of designing a room, with director Lenny Abrahamson, so important to the telling of the story yet so small it would be nearly impossible to shoot. Rarely is production design this integral to the plot and characters of a story that I am so enthralled by its process. Here’s what he had to say…

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HAPPY OSCAR SUNDAY: Remember that time DOP Robert Elswit gave Production Design 80% of his Oscar?

Production Design Oscar Nominees

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 inspire me to learn more and to work harder and smarter.

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The 2015 Art Directors Guild Award Winners

19th Annual Art Directors Guild Excellence In Production Design Awards - InsideGeorge Clooney presented a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ADG Awards to his friend and long time collaborator, production designer Jim Bissell.

EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR A FEATURE FILM

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Grand Budapest Hotel

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In Production Design The Details DO Matter

Congressional Medal of Honor Society .

Last night, I was sorting through some old emails I had filed away when I stumbled upon this one my former boss, production designer, and mentor had sent a while back. He sent it to all the creative departments involved with one of the biggest sets we had just finished in our studio parking lot of all places and I was quite moved. See email below, published with permission:

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Filed under Art Department, Production Design, Spotlight, TV Sets

The Ten Commandments of Production Design

Ten Commandments Of Production Design

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1)    All the camera sees is the last coat of paint.

2)    Don’t cheat (unless you have to).

3)    Signs of protest are best done by amateurs.

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My Life in the Art Department in Los Angeles

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As a new contributor to Art DepartMENTAL, I will be covering the Art department scene in Los Angeles in greater detail as the months go on. Rose and I thought it would be a good idea to start off with a little bit about myself and my work in the art department through a Q&A. So without further delay, Rose asked and I answered…

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Filed under Advice, Art Department, Behind the Scenes, Film Industry, Question & Answer

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.

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Filed under Art Department, Art Direction, Awards Season, Design Love, Production Design, Production Design Porn, Top 10

What’s in a Meme?

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A meme is “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices in this case being the “What People Think I Do” meme. I found it particularly interesting when I started seeing the art department taking part as I do believe people really don’t know what we do. Even major producers don’t know what we do. So I compiled 5 of the memes I felt most related to the art department below:

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LINKS & STUFF: Art=Drugs, Midnight in Paris & Brad Bird Gets Reamed

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It’s been a busy January but here is the best of what I’ve found for you the last couple weeks in the social media universe. This is the best time of year to find great information on art direction so please take a look and I think you’ll absolutely be inspired. Feel free to peruse our TwitterFacebookTumblr or our Google + Fan Page for more art department and film related goodies! Circle us on Google + and we’ll be sure to circle you back.

I think my parents made this.

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How to Feel Miserable as an Artist

Source: Canadian Illustrator, Keri Smith

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Don’t do this to yourself. This may have been written for fine artists but I believe it translates to anyone in a creative field. A list like this will help keep you in check.

Thoughts? Which one of these do you find yourself doing the most?

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Rose XO.

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