Production designers, as they craft the world where directors lay their scenes, often start a project by hitting the books. It’s a job that requires solid research skills (especially for the period lms that garner the most awards attention in the category) as well as massive amounts of imagination.
“You have to do your research and know your history, but at one point you also need to know when to close the books and be creative,” says production designer Patrice Vermette, recalling the extensive research required for The Young Victoria, which earned him an Oscar nomination in 2010.
Vermette is back in contention this year, for sci-fi drama Arrival. He and two other production designers—Rules Don’t Apply’s Jeannine Oppewall and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s Stuart Craig—shared with Deadline how both research and creativity were key to their films.