Ruth De Jong
After art directing films such as There Will Be Blood with production designer extraordinaire Jack Fisk, Ruth De Jong blazed her own path, going on to design hugely successful projects for writer/director auteurs Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone), David Lynch (Twin Peaks), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea), and Jordan Peele (Us and Nope). Most recently she brought her force of optimism and unique vision to a collaboration with Christopher Nolan on his historic epic Oppenheimer.
AS: How involved was Christopher Nolan with the visual design of Oppenheimer?
RDJ: Chris was incredibly involved. In fact, we spent seven to eight weeks together prepping, just the two of us. As soon as I started, we spent every single day together in a close collaboration, figuring out the direction of the design. At this point the script was written and he was very happy with it. So it was all about exploring the design and look of this film. I brought on a researcher the very first thing, Lauren Sandoval, who was incredible. She and I covered our offices floor to ceiling with archival photographs on every single topic, for every single scene, through all the periods. The Truman office, the Trinity site, the actual Los Alamos location and on and on and on. All the real characters, their faces, as much imagery as we could find, some never before seen. We studied these and almost by osmosis soaked it all in over the weeks. It was also great because those coming through to read the script could walk the halls and take it all in, it was immersive.