Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration)
Production designers immerse not only the audience but the actors and their characters in the sets that they design. Every object in a frame of a major motion picture is thought out. So when a production designer takes on the task of creating a future world as seen in “Interstellar,” the meaning behind their job becomes so much more. From making the homes and the spaceships that these characters walk around in, to producing captivating buildings and space stations, there is an abundance of creativity going on in every frame of “Interstellar”. The art direction I will most remember is the book shelf in Murph’s room. Filling up the entire wall, the book shelf eventually takes on a life of its own as the story progresses and were it not for the appealing design, it could easily have been overlooked.
Also, the look and feel of the spaceship, Endurance, along with the practical robots, TARS and CASE, that assist the humans, are all very unique to the film. The seats of the Endurance move with every shake of the ship. The controls look impressively complicated. And the robots move and respond as if they were actual, functioning robots outside of the film. These are all the aspects that make “Interstellar” stand apart from its space odyssey predecessors and helps push the envelope for science fiction films to come. Production Designer Nathan Crowley and Art Director Gary Fettis are both two time Oscar nominees, Crowley for his work on Christopher Nolan’s previous films “The Prestige” (2006) and “The Dark Knight” (2008) while Fettis’ nominations are from Coppola’s “The Godfather – Part III” (1990) and Eastwood’s “Changeling” (2008). Nolan’s film “Inception” (2010) was also nominated for its Production Design.
What’s its competition? Best Production Design feels like a tough category to call, with the possible winner hinging greatly on what the Academy views as the more competent films. On the one hand, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” screams to win, with such meticulous Production Design, every frame feels like a painting. With nine other nominations, the support for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is palpable, meaning it will likely take home a few awards, which could also mean this one. “The Imitation Game” is a fellow Best Picture nominee and for that, it too could pull off a victory in this category. “Into The Woods” and “Mr. Turner” are also easy picks, with both delving into their subject matter and doing so with their art direction. The fantasy element of “Into The Woods” could work in its favor, but at this point, it is hard to tell. Gut reaction, I feel like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” takes it, leaving the rest, including “Interstellar,” in the dust.
// Produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan, and Lynda Obst // Directed by Christopher Nolan //
// Dated Viewed: Saturday, January 24th, 2015 // AMC Citywalk // 36 films – 30 days //