Pulling Back the Drapes: Set Decoration Revealed

Pulling Back the Drapes: Set Decoration Revealed

Grace Shu
May 30, 2008

Looking for something to do this weekend? Head over to the Academy's fourth floor gallery and check out this great (and free!) exhibit put together by the Set Decorator's Society of America. We get so much inspiration from films and shows, and here's an opportunity to see how it really comes together. The exhibition runs until August 24th. Highlights and link after the jump...

[ Photo from AMPAS ]

From the AMPAS:
As part of the production design team, the set decorator is primarily responsible for giving a level of physical reality to the environments chosen by a film's director and production designer.

Whether it's a character's bedroom, office or secret hideaway, the space has to convey something about that character's personality, past experience or present emotional state in just a few seconds of screen time. The set decorator makes those decisions, large and small, about furniture, fabrics, color, personal items and the plethora of objects that give the audience a window into the character's mind or heart.

"Pulling Back the Drapes" highlights the creative work of the following artists:

Larry Dias, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – For Indiana Jones to agree to one last caper, the adventure had to be fantastic. His home library and desk on view say a lot about Indy's past and his interests.

K.C. Fox, Forgetting Sarah Marshall – Among the many settings in this contemporary romantic comedy is an elaborate Hawaiian hotel suite, which is re-created in the Academy Gallery.

Lauri Gaffin, Iron Man – The Marvel comic book character comes to life in some stunning environments, including a re-created cave set.

Anne Kuljian, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – This installation features oversized pieces inspired by local Chinese art techniques and artifacts - all to "great" effect.

Jan Pascale, The Spiderwick Chronicles – Based on a successful series of novels for young readers, this production required unusual, and some might say haunted, environments, including a mysterious attic, re-created in a gallery alcove.

Leslie Rollins, Get Smart – A reproduction of the Chief's office contains references to the original television series from a generation ago.

Susan Bode Tyson, Baby Mama – The main character's bedroom is a focal point in this modern-day domestic comedy, in which a successful but childless executive hires a woman to give birth for her.

For more information, check out the event at the AMPAS, and see more details at Set Decorator's Society of America.

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