Recent winners of the Academy Award for Best Production Design

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

In today’s age of lavish big budget movies, production design is an essential part of the filmmaking process. Even moderate budget films are very particular about art direction. Earlier production design used mostly dealt with the procurement / placement of furniture but today things are a lot more complicated.  A production designer is responsible for the overall visual look of the production. Today the role has become more creative than ever. Following the footsteps of Hollywood, Bollywood too has become very particular about production design as a key discipline. The Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences has a separate category to acknowledge the brilliance in this field every year at the Oscars. Until 2012, the category was called Best Art Direction but it is currently called Best Production Design. This change resulted from the Art Director's branch of the Academy being renamed as the Designer's branch.

So, let’s have a look at the winners of Academy Award for Best Production Design in the recent years:

85th Academy Awards

Steven Spielberg-directed Lincoln took home the coveted Oscar for Best Production Design and deservedly so. The award went to Rick Carter (Art director) and Jim Erickson (Set decorator).  The other nominees were Anna Karenina, The Hobbit, Les Miserables, and Life of Pi.

86th Academy Awards

The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann, won the Oscar for Best Production Design at the 86th Academy Awards with Catherine Martin (Art director) and Beverley Dunn (Set decorator) sharing it. The other contenders were American Hustle, Gravity, Her, and 12 Years a Slave.  

87th Academy Awards

At the 87th Academy Awards, it was Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel that took home the prestigious Oscar for Best Production Design. The award went to Adam Stockhausen (Art director) and Anna Pinnock (Set decorator). The other nominees were The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Into the Woods, and Mr. Turner.

88th Academy Awards

George Miller’s action extravaganza Mad Max: Fury Road deservedly won the Oscar for Best Production Design at the 88th Academy Awards, with the award being shared by Colin Gibson (Art director) and Lisa Thompson (Set decorator). The other contenders were Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, The Martian, and The Revenant.

89th Academy Awards

At the 89th Academy Awards it was Damien Chazelle’s ode to the classic Hollywood musicals, La La Land that righly won the Best Production Design Oscar for David Wasco (Art director) and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco (Set decorator). The other nominees were Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,  Hail, Cesar!, and Passengers. 

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