Production Designers Draw the Lines between Live Action and Animation
April 21, 2011

Production Designers Draw the Lines between Live Action and Animation

Beverly Hills, Calif. - The differences between production design for animation and live action will be explored in detail during the first instalment of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' series "Evolution or Revolution? Production Design in the 21st Century," on Monday, April 25, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Academy's Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. 

"Production Design in the 21st Century" will be hosted 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 ("Unstoppable," "Public Enemies").  Special guests for the first evening will be production designers Kathy Altieri ("How to Train Your Dragon," "Over the Hedge"), Scott Chambliss ("Salt," "Star Trek"), Harley Jessup ("Ratatouille," "Monsters, Inc.") and Lilly Kilvert ("Valkyrie," "The Last Samurai"), as well as set decorator Karen O'Hara ("Alice in Wonderland," "Disney's A Christmas Carol"). The session will feature film clips and open discussion between the evening's special guests and members of the audience. The schedule for subsequent sessions is as follows, with all participants subject to availability: 

May 2 - Memorable Images: Production Designers and Set Decorators Choose Their Favorites. 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") May 9 - Set Decoration and the Design Collaboration. Production designers and set decorators discuss their collaborative process.
  • Jim Bissell, production designer, and Jan Pascale, set decorator ("Leatherheads," "Good Night, and Good Luck.")
  • Lauri Gaffin, set decorator ("Iron Man," "The Pursuit of Happyness")
  • 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") 
  • Victor J. Zolfo, set decorator ("The Social Network," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button")    


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

  • Jim Erickson, set decorator ("Watchmen," "There Will Be Blood")
  • Alex McDowell, production designer ("Watchmen," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
  • Jeannine Oppewall, production designer ("The Good Shepherd," "Seabiscuit") 

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, 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