News for Mar. 05, 2006

Art Director Oscar Panel: 2006

3/05/06, 12:00 pm EST - Xoanon

Art Director Oscar Panel: 2006
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Garfeimao writes: The panel discussion with this year's Academy Award-nominated Production Designers and Set Decorators was held at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, just two blocks from where the Oscars will be handed out. The panel was moderated by Art Directors Guild President Thomas A. Walsh. With Jim Bissell (art) & Jan Pascale (set) (Good Night, and Good Luck); Stuart Craig (art) & Stephenie McMillan (set) (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire); Grant Major (art) & Dan Hennah & Simon Bright (set) (King Kong); John Myhre (art) & Gretchen Rau (set) (Memoirs of a Geisha)[Gretchen had to bow out at the last moment]; and Sarah Greenwood (art) & Katie Spencer (set) (Pride & Prejudice).

In these pictures, the three gentlemen representing King Kong were, from left to right, Simon Bright, Dan Hennah and Grant Major.

Each panelist was asked how they got into this line of business, since the art director and set design positions require a very broad base of knowledge and experience across many disciplines. It was interesting that no two persons had the same story.

One of the most interesting stories of the 5 films was that of Good Night and Good Luck. First off, it's a historical film, so they needed to design sets and furniture and props that were historically accurate. But then it was also in black and white, so they had to pay attention to the grey scale, which is how things of different color look together when the color is taken out. The banned anyone from taking a color picture of the sets because they had some really wild colored props.

Grant and Dan told a story about the Venture, and how they had to add a second front end hull to it to get it bigger and older looking. They also mentioned that the existing ship is nearing it's end and they've been salvaging bits and pieces of it. It was quite interesting listening to how they arrived at the Skull island architecture for the tribe there or how they used trees on wheels to make different patterns in the jungle as they moved the people through it.

After the panel, I spoke briefly with each of the Kong panelists. I made sure to pass along good luck wishes from everyone at Dan and Grant have been here before, but for Simon, this is his first trip to Hollywood. He said Universal flew them up, which he thought was really nice. He also mentioned that he thought Hollywood would be 'newer' looking. I imagine the somewhat grungie look of the real Hollywood was a bit of a shock to him, as it must be to most tourists.

Now, this is probably still in the rumor category, so treat it as such. Dan intimated that there may well soon be a permanent LOTR display of props and costumes. I did not pursue details, sorry, but this was too good a little tidbit not to pass along. But I remind you, this is not to be taken as an official announcement.

After the event was over, my sister and I walked over to the Red Carpet, the final two pictures are from there. Carynn in front of a few Oscars, and the view from behind the golden curtain on the Red Carpet. So, when you are watching the ceremony, you will have a little something for reference.