2 hr 32 min

Westworld Production Design with Howard Cummings & Jon Carlos Art of the Shot

    • TV & Film

In this episode, we’ll be exploring the production design of Westworld, with an exclusive interview with not one but two of the key figures responsible for crafting the extraordinary design of the show: production designer Howard Cummings and art director Jon Carlos. 

The two of them, along with their close collaborator, set decorator Julie Ochipinti, were all nominated for an Emmy this year for outstanding production design, and I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you. Listen and you will discover:

—How they started their careers and got to be where they are now. (00:04:16)

—A benefit of the job that makes it one of the best in the world. (00:06:09)

—Howard's experience working on Contagion. (00:09:49)

—Designing accurate Biosafety Labs in Contagion. (00:11:38)

—Making futuristic sci-fi worlds as grounded and realistic as period or contemporary worlds. (00:16:32)

—Jon's path and education. (00:19:57)

—How Howard got his first job as a production designer. (00:22:50)

—Why production designers are technically art directors on every project... until they are awarded the title after principle photography. (00:25:45)

—Why costumed theme parties every Friday on the Westworld set became essential. (00:31:19)

—How Westworld's filmic approach helped elevate and dictate the production design. (00:34:48)

—Process of conceiving 2058 Los Angeles. (00:41:00)

—The vital importance of production designers understanding lighting. (00:50:05)

—Importance of the set decorator as a key collaborator. (00:51:11)

—The thinking that leads to the many Easter Eggs in Westworld. (00:54:32)

—How props help tell the story. (00:55:40)

—Why Howard had to hide from the actors all season. (01:00:06)

—Difference and the nature of the collaboration between a production designer, art director, and set decorator. (01:04:51)

—How the art department helps to set and handle the budget. (01:06:52)

—The immense range of skills needed beyond art and design talents in order to succeed as an art director. (01:08:40)

—Tools and tactics used to remain effective and manage all the details required to perform the job. (01:11:50)

—Working with Visual Effects and the dynamics of that collaboration. (01:33:43)

—How they know how much of the set to build ahead of time and how much to leave for visual effects set extensions. (01:48:01)

—A detailed explanation of the design of one of the most impressive sets from Season 3. (01:49:50)

—A tour through the process of designing a sci-fi concept vehicle from script to driving on the streets of LA. (01:59:03)

—How Audi had a role in setting the shooting schedule of Season 3. (02:02:31)

—The use of large LED screens with live visual effects as backdrops with interactive lighting. (2:08:15)

—The guilt of how much waste production design can create and Westworld's use of more eco-friendly materials and efforts to responsibly recycle sets after production ends. (02:14:07)

—Most valuable piece of career advice. (02:20:40)

—Recent shows or films they've been inspired by. (02:23:10)

—The characteristics of an ideal DP/production designer collaboration. (02:24:37)

—Advice for up-and-coming art directors and production designers. (02:26:50)

If you haven't yet, please subscribe to be notified of future episodes, and share this podcast with others to help grow the show and spread the knowledge! And if you're on Apple Podcasts, a review would be very appreciated!

Follow Art of the Shot:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

...I'm out of room to type...


---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/art-of-the-shot/support

In this episode, we’ll be exploring the production design of Westworld, with an exclusive interview with not one but two of the key figures responsible for crafting the extraordinary design of the show: production designer Howard Cummings and art director Jon Carlos. 

The two of them, along with their close collaborator, set decorator Julie Ochipinti, were all nominated for an Emmy this year for outstanding production design, and I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you. Listen and you will discover:

—How they started their careers and got to be where they are now. (00:04:16)

—A benefit of the job that makes it one of the best in the world. (00:06:09)

—Howard's experience working on Contagion. (00:09:49)

—Designing accurate Biosafety Labs in Contagion. (00:11:38)

—Making futuristic sci-fi worlds as grounded and realistic as period or contemporary worlds. (00:16:32)

—Jon's path and education. (00:19:57)

—How Howard got his first job as a production designer. (00:22:50)

—Why production designers are technically art directors on every project... until they are awarded the title after principle photography. (00:25:45)

—Why costumed theme parties every Friday on the Westworld set became essential. (00:31:19)

—How Westworld's filmic approach helped elevate and dictate the production design. (00:34:48)

—Process of conceiving 2058 Los Angeles. (00:41:00)

—The vital importance of production designers understanding lighting. (00:50:05)

—Importance of the set decorator as a key collaborator. (00:51:11)

—The thinking that leads to the many Easter Eggs in Westworld. (00:54:32)

—How props help tell the story. (00:55:40)

—Why Howard had to hide from the actors all season. (01:00:06)

—Difference and the nature of the collaboration between a production designer, art director, and set decorator. (01:04:51)

—How the art department helps to set and handle the budget. (01:06:52)

—The immense range of skills needed beyond art and design talents in order to succeed as an art director. (01:08:40)

—Tools and tactics used to remain effective and manage all the details required to perform the job. (01:11:50)

—Working with Visual Effects and the dynamics of that collaboration. (01:33:43)

—How they know how much of the set to build ahead of time and how much to leave for visual effects set extensions. (01:48:01)

—A detailed explanation of the design of one of the most impressive sets from Season 3. (01:49:50)

—A tour through the process of designing a sci-fi concept vehicle from script to driving on the streets of LA. (01:59:03)

—How Audi had a role in setting the shooting schedule of Season 3. (02:02:31)

—The use of large LED screens with live visual effects as backdrops with interactive lighting. (2:08:15)

—The guilt of how much waste production design can create and Westworld's use of more eco-friendly materials and efforts to responsibly recycle sets after production ends. (02:14:07)

—Most valuable piece of career advice. (02:20:40)

—Recent shows or films they've been inspired by. (02:23:10)

—The characteristics of an ideal DP/production designer collaboration. (02:24:37)

—Advice for up-and-coming art directors and production designers. (02:26:50)

If you haven't yet, please subscribe to be notified of future episodes, and share this podcast with others to help grow the show and spread the knowledge! And if you're on Apple Podcasts, a review would be very appreciated!

Follow Art of the Shot:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

...I'm out of room to type...


---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/art-of-the-shot/support

2 hr 32 min

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