2016 Oscars Challenge: [31] “Bridge Of Spies” – Best Production Design

BRIDGE OF SPIES
Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich (Set Decoration)


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Listening to “Bridge Of Spies” production designer Adam Stockhausen talk about his process, the thing he mentions a few times is how much Berlin has changed since the days of the Cold War and the Berlin Wall, which make it almost impossible to film a historically accurate period piece there now. So many of the scenes, especially in the streets of Berlin are actually shot in Poland, where they reconstructed parts of the Berlin Wall. What I found most interesting in that construction is prolific director Steven Spielberg actually helping in put it together. Stockhausen does make note of the final bridge sequence being shot on the actual bridge, however, with barbed wire and sniper towers rebuilt to bring the scene back to the period.

What’s its competition? Stockhausen won Best Production Design last year for his work on “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which does put him on the Academy’s radar. There is no denying that period pieces are difficult to produce, seeing as you need to transform and transport every location and every scene to time that no longer exists and a time that older generations remember. But in that regard, period pieces have become so overabundant that more often than not, this aesthetic is achieved. It’s the wholly original films with the original conceptual ideas that end up being the most impressive when it comes to Production Design. With that, “Mad Max: Fury Road” is high on that list of nominees that are completely unique in almost every way. And the sheer volume of creativity brought to that film puts a period piece on notice. It’s the difference between creating something completely from scratch as opposed to having reference video and images of the era in which you’re trying to reproduce. For that, I do not feel like “Bridge Of Spies” or even “The Danish Girl” hold a candle to films like “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “The Martian.”

Previous nominations? These are the first Academy Award nominations for Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich. This is the third Academy Award nomination for Adam Stockhausen. He was previously nominated for:

  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014)
    Winner, Production Design
  • 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013)
    Nominee, Production Design

danishgirl-productiondesign madmaxfuryroad-productiondesign martian-productiondesign revenant-productiondesign


// Produced by Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt, and Kristie Macosko Krieger // Directed by Steven Spielberg //
// Dated Viewed: Sunday, February 14th, 2016 // DVD //  11 films – 15 days //

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