Kim Sinclair

Kim Sinclair

AS: You’re forced to change the design to accommodate the previs…
KS: Yeah, absolutely. The role of the art department in the digital production of films is still being fleshed out. It’s the same for director of photography. The lighting, how digital films are lit, is still being thrashed out. As is the role of camera-people in digital production. You know they’ll have big challenges too.

But nothing beats the adrenalin rush of a film. You design for twelve weeks and then it’s shot for twelve weeks and everyone’s around and working on the same movie at the same time. The DP and the designer see each other every day, they discuss things over lunch. You know that’s the proven way of getting a good result.

When the process takes three years and the departments don’t overlap, the processes don’t overlap, how do you get the same result? I definitely know you lack that energy, you lack that rush of everybody working on a common goal. In those visual effects houses you’ve got people working on different projects at the same time. The guy doing the work might not even know what project he’s working on. He’s just given something to model or to texture or to extend the set of. And it’s like everything has equal weight. He doesn’t have that drive that you’ve got when you’re working on a film production. It’s challenging.

AS: The guy at the visual effects company often works nine to five every day, every week…
KS: The guy could be working on one project one day another project the next day. The delight for me working on films is really the energy that comes from working on a team, all working toward a common goal. And as much as everyone complains and bitches all the time you actually are loving it. And you’ve got the satisfaction of making a movie -that’s why it’s called making a movie! It’s not a nine to five job. It’s about that energy and we have to find a way of putting it back into the process.

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About the Interviewer

Tom Lisowski is a production designer who has designed swamp mazes shot in China, crumbling cliffs in Utah, future arenas in South Central, dilapidated tenements and twisted laboratories under luxurious mansions... William Anthony is a Los Angeles-based commercial and editorial photographer specializing in portraiture, lifestyle and documentary imagery... Guest photographer Nelson Cragg is an award-winning cinematographer who shoots and directs television, feature films, and commercial projects. Contact ArtStars: