Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction
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With hundreds of rare photographs, set sketches, and original renderings showcasing films of every era and genre—many shown here for the very first time—author Cathy Whitlock offers movie fans a backstage pass to 100 years of Hollywood’s most memorable film sets. In the vein of Deborah Landis’s Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design, Whitlock’s Designs on Film delivers a fascinating tour through Hollywood’s back lots, including the stories of how numerous movies came to their final on-screen looks—whether by collaboration, conflict, or divine chance. Movie enthusiasts, set designers, and fans of classic and modern Hollywood will thrill for this look behind the scenes of Tinsel Town’s greatest triumphs.
process, ensuring a cohesive shoot that rivaled the intensity and detail of a Cecil B. DeMille production. Along with art director Lyle Wheeler, Menzies oversaw the authentically accurate interiors of prewar Tara and Twelve Oaks (stately, antique-filled rooms) and postwar Tara (over-the-top designs of gauche new money). With the guidance of historian Wilbur Kurtz and author Margaret Mitchell—who did not often agree with the design interpretations—Menzies turned Stages 11 and 12 on the Selznick
form. The landmark film is known for its use of unconventional backlighting (adopted by future film noirs), chiaroscuro (low-key lighting), and wide-angle shots that make the sets appear more intriguing and grander than they are. The classic film depicts the life of an American financier, a rags-to-riches story of a man who grows up from humble roots to become a wealthy, arrogant, and lonely owner of a newspaper, rumored to be influenced by media magnate William Randolph Hearst. Citizen Kane’s
Schulz for Billy Bathgate, and, at the other end of the spectrum, her contemporary Park Avenue settings for the film Six Degrees of Separation. For her historical work on Amadeus, von Brandenstein’s artistic background came into play as she chose a “natural but lively palette. The colors consistently seemed vivid and bright, and they appeared wonderfully rich,” she explains. “I have never used primary color in film in my life. I tend to use a tertiary, dark color palette, because the actors look
Proulx, Lori Rowbotham, and Christina Ann Wilson Set Design by: William J. Law III, Frédéric Amblard, Vincent Gingras-Liberali, Julia K. Levine, Steven Schwartz, and Alex Touikan Matte Painting by: Dylan Cole, Patrick Paul Mullane, and Tim Sassoon Scenic Painting by: Jimmy Garcia, Alain Giguère, Jean-François Merlot, Michel Robichaud, Chris Klein, Mélanie Truchon, and Louis Trudeau Graphic Design by: Isabelle Côté, Jean-Daniel Frenette, Karen Teneyck, and Trong-Kim Nguyen Pride & Prejudice
244–45, 244, 245 Dangerous Liaisons, 219, 229–30, 229 Danjag/Eon/United Artists, 172, 174 Darling, William S., 61 Davy, Etta, 275 Day, Doris, 150, 151, 281 Day, Richard, 26, 28, 70, 102, 103 Day-Lewis, Daniel, 250, 250 Day the Earth Stood Still, The, 37 Day-Time Wife, 70 Dean, James, 137 Dean, Lisa, 245, 263 DeCuir, John, 37, 149–50, 159, 160–61, 222 de Havilland, Olivia, 117, 119 Del Rio, Delores, 20, 21, 23 DeMille, Cecil B., 9–10, 17, 19, 65, 87, 88, 90 De Niro, Robert, 230 De