Disney, Pixar Designers to Participate in Motion Picture Academy Series

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a four-evening seminar series titled ‘Evolution or Revolution? Production Design in the 21st Century’ to take place on Monday evenings beginning on April 25.

‘Production Design in the 21st Century’ will examine the different aspects of production design and set decoration from the perspective of the designers and decorators themselves. Each evening will feature film clips and open discussion between the evening’s special guests and members of the audience.

The series schedule is as follows:

The Convergence of Production Design in Live Action and Animation (April 25)
Designers from animation and live action compare their responsibilities, as well as the creative and executive pipelines through which they navigate their work.

  • Kathy Altieri, production designer (How to Train Your Dragon, Over the Hedge)
  • Scott Chambliss, production designer (Salt, Star Trek)
  • Harley Jessup, production designer (Ratatouille, Monsters, Inc.)
  • Lilly Kilvert, production designer (Valkyrie, The Last Samurai)
  • Karen O’Hara, set decorator (Alice in Wonderland, Disney’s A Christmas Carol)

Memorable Images: Production Designers and Set Decorators Choose Their Favorites (May 2)
Production designers can create powerful images that embed themselves into the collective cultural consciousness. The panel will give examples of those unforgettable instances when dramatic design surges from a support role to the forefront of the storytelling process.

  • William Creber, production designer (The Poseidon Adventure, 1972; Planet of the Apes, 1968)
  • Jack Fisk, production designer (There Will Be Blood, The New World)
  • Alex McDowell, production designer (Watchmen, Fight Club)
  • Beth Rubino, set decorator (It’s Complicated, American Gangster)

Set Decoration and the Design Collaboration (May 9)
Production designers and set decorators discuss their collaborative process.

  • Jim Bissell, production designer, and Jan Pascale, set decorator (Leatherheads, Good Night and Good Luck)
  • Jim Erickson, set decorator (Watchmen, There Will Be Blood)
  • Alex McDowell, production designer, and Anne Kuljian, set decorator (The Terminal, Minority Report)
  • Jeannine Oppewall, production designer, and Jay Hart, set decorator (Pleasantville, L.A. Confidential)

The Criteria for Good Production Design (May 16)
Production designers and set decorators discuss what they look for in their peers’ work as hallmarks of great creative design.

  • Nathan Crowley, production designer (Public Enemies, The Dark Knight)
  • Jack Fisk, production designer (There Will Be Blood, The New World)
  • Alex McDowell, production designer (Watchmen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
  • Jeannine Oppewall, production designer (Pleasantville, L.A. Confidential)
  • Leslie Pope, set decorator (Get Him to the Greek, Donnie Brasco)
  • Victor J. Zolfo, set decorator (The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)


Panels will be moderated by two of the Academy’s Art Directors Branch governors, production designer Jim Bissell (300, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) and set decorator Rosemary Brandenburg (Public Enemies, Transformers). Each session will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. PST at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

Registration for the entire series is $40 for the general public and $30 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Admission for individual evenings, if available, is $10 at the door. Tickets may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, by mail, or in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the session when the doors open at 6 p.m. The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

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