VideoACME presents the second in a series of interviews that have taken place between Tom Walsh, President of the Art Directors Guild and top Production Designers nominated for their film work. Mr. Walsh tells of the wide range of talents and experience needed to be a top designer. It requires an "individual who can combine the talents and life experience of an artist, painter, writer, photographer, sculptor, architect, urban planner, engineer, general contractor, interior designer, draper, furniture mover, fabricator, restorer, logistics manager, and thanks to John last year, teamster, dramaturge, thespian, historian, anthropologist, archeologist, sociologist, alchemist, psychologist, theologist sometimes, zoologist most definitely, wizard, digital artist, gourmet, barkeep, camp counselor, diplomat, but most importantly survivor."
Second up here is an interview with Production Designer John Myhre and his work on the movie musical Dreamgirls. Go to The ACME Resource Network
Five time Oscar® nominated Production and Costume Designer Patricia Norris interviewed by Thomas A. Walsh, President Art Directors Guild on The ACME Resource Network
"Patricia Norris is one of only a handful of designers who have been able to successfully perform in the dual capacities as both the production designer and the costume designer for many of her projects. The body of her work from each of her design roles is impressive and when combined just falls this side of extraordinary. Patricia has been nominated for five Academy picture awards for her costume designs. For films as diverse as Days of Heaven, The Elephant Man, Victor Victoria, 2010, and Sunset.And with all her accomplishments, as she is first and as quick to refer to herself as just a working housewife from Van Nuys. And I might add a single working mother of five at that. And that’s extraordinary accomplishments for one individual.
Patricia began her career in the film industry as a stock girl in the wardrobe department of MGM. There she worked her way up through the department, moving up to the position of costumer and eventually costume designer. It was not until much later into her career that she was able to beat the odds and obstacles and was permitted membership into that what was then called The Society of Motion Picture Art Directors. And is now know as the Art Directors Guild. Patricia is definitely a cat with many lives. During her singular life as a costume designer, she designed works as diverse as The Candidate, The Sunshine Boys, Missouri Breaks, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, California Suite, Frances, Four Friends, Scarface, Mickey + Maude, Just to name a few.
Patricia designed a number of independent productions in her dual capacity of production designer and costume designer. But it wasn’t until Blue Velvet in 1986 that she was able to gain formal recognition and membership into the ADG for her continuing contributions and accomplishments. Her work with director David Lynch spans over two decades collaborating on other Lynch classics such as Wild at Heart, the pilot for Twin Peaks, and Lost Highway. Patricia’s other production and costume design or credits include Amos and Andrew, The Journey of August King, The Hi-Lo Country, Delivering Milo, Return to Lonesome Dove, The Singing Detective, and the upcoming film The Assassination of Jesse James.
Of all the creative collaborators in the production, it is the production designer and the costume designer that understands and appreciates most the importance of detail, nuance, back story, and history of the characters in the story. These designers are the first to explore and visualize the possibilities of those characters and the visual content and potential for that film. For these designers character is a person, a place, and a thing. For they are all the essential elements on our unique periodic design table of necessary elements for telling the story".........more