And the winner is: The 2018 Academy Award for Production Design

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And the winner for the 2018 Academy Award for Production Design is: The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water Paul D. Austerberry, Production Designer and Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin, Set Decorators

Congratulations to Paul D. Austerberry, Production Designer and Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin, Set Decorators, for winning the 2018 Academy Award!  You may be wondering what the Production Designer does versus Set Decorator? The Production Designer is responsible for the overall visual look of the production and the award is shared with the Set Decorator who is responsible for the set decoration (obviously) but not props (the items actually handled by the actors). The job of Set Designer is usually more of an technical or engineering role where they take the Production Designers vision and build the framework for the sets, upon which the Set Decorator applies the finishes. Paul Austerberry has previously worked on The Twighlight Saga: Eclipse (not a great movie, but visually compelling). Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin both previously worked on Spotlight and Crimson Peak.

Have you seen this movie? It does look visually arresting when you really focus on the details, but I can’t say it appealed to me enough to head to the theater, so I haven’t yet seen it.

And also, congratulations to the other nominees this year:

Beauty and the Beast

Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Beauty and the Beast Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

I did see Beauty and the Beast and the sets and custom design are amazing.

Blade Runner 2049

Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola

Blade Runner 2049 set design Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola

I tend to not care for post-apocolyptic type movies, so this is another I haven’t seen. But it’s important to remember that exception set design isn’t always about being pretty – it’s about creating the visual world that the story takes place in and helps to advance that story.

 

Darkest Hour

Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Darkest Hour Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Double congratulations to the team of Production Designer Sarah Greenwood and Set Decorator Katie Spencer who received TWO nominations this year – for Darkest Hour and Beauty and the Beast. Previously, they worked together on Anna Karenina, Sherlock Holmes, Atonement and Pride & Prejudice. They certainly know how to bring the pretty!

I haven’t seen this yet either, but it’s on my list!

 

Dunkirk

Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis

Dunkirk Set Design Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis

 

Nathan Crowley also worked on The Greatest Showman this year – which has an amazing look, and previously worked on The Lake House. And Gary Fettis was the set decorator on The Parent Trap – one of Nancy Myers’ decor-riffic sets.

Another movie that’s on my list!

What movies did you think deserved to get nominated and do you agree with the win for The Shape of Things?

xoxo Linda Would you like my Favorite Tips for a Well-Decorated Home? Click here!

3 thoughts on “And the winner is: The 2018 Academy Award for Production Design

  1. Thanks for taking the time to explain these differences, Linda. Is there a parallel between film and real life? Are production designers the interior designers of the film world, set decorators the interior decorators, and the set designer the architect/contrator, or no?

    I’m always amazed at the creative talent and imagination of production designers and set decorators – how they can just nail it. How they can create worlds from one film to the next that are so diverse. They must have incredibly vivid visual imaginations, along with an attention to historical accuracy and details, and an instinctive sensitivity for the story and characters. If I could have a second life, I think I would be a production designer. Sometimes I will see a movie just to see the visual richness.

    • Hi Lisa – Sort of a parallel. I think that the Production Designer is more of the architect, Set Decorator is like an Interior Designer/Decorator and the Set Designer is closer to the builder or an architectural designer. But the hierarchy is definitely Production Designer, followed by Set Decorator (and they share the Production Design awards); and then Set Designer who doesn’t share in the awards. Also, here’s a great website on set decor: http://www.setdecorators.org

  2. ok. I hated that movie so much!!!!!!! i mean, it was OK. but not BEST. ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    The sets were good. But I just hated that movie! I thought at first it was quirky and good and then it just was so stupid. I mean sooooo stupid! I’m sure I’m missing the point behind it. But ughhhhhhhhhh!

    LOL.

    Now – The Darkest Hour – I want to talk about that one, but the movie was really boring.

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