above: "hugo" -- go for the film -- stay for the film-within-the-film. this one took home the little golden man last night. production design by dante ferretti.}



{above: "the artist" -- glamour at it's finest. production design by laurence bennett.}



{above: "tree of life" -- i know these interiors are visually tame compared with the rest of the film, but look at those floor-to-celing windows! production design by jack fisk.}



{above: "beginners" -- shot at LACMA and neutra's lovell health house in los angeles. amazing acting. amazing script. production designer: shane valentino.}

kittens, i usually blog about my favorite award show fashions the day after; however, this year, i thought i'd give a little nod to some of my favorite production designers. the films featured above were not all nominated in the "best art direction" category, but here at WHORANGE, they would get my vote.

what made me love these films? perhaps it is the use of iconic interiors like neutra's lovell health house as production designer shane valentino did in "beginners." or maybe it's the transportive achievement of recreating old hollywood to perfection as in "hugo" or "the artist."

as for "tree of life," the entire film is a visual binge-fest. i can't vouch that you'll fall in love with it, but i can guarantee you'll go on a cinematic acid trip and you'll come down in a lovely mid-century home occupied by a less that warm-and-fuzzy brad pitt.

i truly love looking at film from a production design point-of-view, because i have worked in the art department on feature films before and understand the focus and dedication that goes into each and every set, prop, costume, and carefully placed piece of decor.

also, i want to give a special hug to my production designer hero/boss, howard cummings, whom i worked for on "contagion." i chose not to include the film in this post because the stills are very, uh...disturbing and not super purty, but it's an amazing looking film and he's brilliant.

so remember, production designers create the cinematic world we live in, darlings. bow down! (and sit through the credits!)