Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction

Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction

by Cathy Whitlock
     
 

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Who can forget the over-the-top, white-on-white, high-gloss interiors through which Fred Astaire danced in Top Hat? The modernist high-rise architecture, inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, in the adaptation of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead? The lavish, opulent drawing rooms of Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence? Through

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Overview

Who can forget the over-the-top, white-on-white, high-gloss interiors through which Fred Astaire danced in Top Hat? The modernist high-rise architecture, inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, in the adaptation of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead? The lavish, opulent drawing rooms of Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence? Through the use of film design—called both art direction and production design in the film industry—movies can transport us to new worlds of luxury, highlight the ornament of the everyday, offer a vision of the future, or evoke the realities of a distant era. In Designs on Film, journalist and interior designer Cathy Whitlock illuminates the often undercelebrated role of the production designer in the creation of the most memorable moments in film history. Through a lush collection of rare archival photographs, Whitlock narrates the evolving story of art direction over the course of a century—from the massive Roman architecture of Ben-Hur to the infamous Dakota apartment in Rosemary's Baby to the digital CGI wonders of Avatar's Pandora.

Drawing on insights from the most prominent Hollywood production designers and the historical knowledge of the venerable Art Directors Guild, Whitlock delves into the detailed process of how sets are imagined, drawn, built, and decorated. Designs on Film is the must-have look book for film lovers, movie buffs, and anyone looking to draw interior design inspiration from the constructions and confections of Hollywood. Whitlock lifts the curtain on movie magic and celebrates the many ways in which art direction and set design allow us to lose ourselves in the diverse worlds showcased on the big screen.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
“Whitlock makes a major contribution to movie literature by saluting undersung production designers, set decorators and art directors.”
The New Yorker
“An amazing glimpse into art direction.”
Entertainment Weekly
“This lush book of pictures and drawings showcases big-screen glamour over the decades, from the opulence of Cleopatra to the more modern majesty of Batman.
Dwell
“A compendium of images celebrating iconic interiors and architecture….[Whitlock] sifted through decades of archival photographs to assemble this rare glimpse into the world of Hollywood art direction and set design. ”
Wall Street Journal
“[Designs on Film] traces the art of building pretend worlds. Starting back in the pre-talkie years, and moving through Hollywood’s golden age and the epic-crazy ‘60s, right up to contemporary Hollywood, the book is packed with insider tidbits about the wildly inventive—and improvisational—business of movie-making.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062241603
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/05/2013
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
File size:
40 MB
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