Guy Hendrix Dyas

Guy Hendrix Dyas

AS: Do you have any books or other resources that stand out as useful for a production designer?
GHD: I’m a collector at heart and I like surrounding myself with things that spark my imagination but I also think that inspiration can come from just about anywhere, books, music, museums, travel, nature. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that it’s important to step away from the drawing board once in a while too because we’re more productive and imaginative when we’ve had the chance to resource ourselves.

AS: Say someone was just starting out and wanted to avoid any pitfalls…
GHD: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. As everyone knows there are no rules or guidelines in our business, it’s what makes it so exciting but also daunting at times. So much is based on luck and being in the right place at the right time but for those who persevere there are some great rewards.

AS: I heard that next year some 140 films are slated to shoot in Louisiana. By contrast, films being shot entirely in Los Angeles may be in the single digits next year. Do you see Los Angeles ever returning to its days of film production glory or do you see art department crews all taking up residence in places like New Orleans?
GHD: It’s an interesting question but I haven’t had the opportunity to work in Louisiana yet. I’m guessing film production will always be attracted by out of state and foreign tax incentives but whether this means a permanent relocation of our film industry I don’t know. I still recall when everyone was talking about relocating to Canada when so much film and TV production was going there, things are always changing in our business and all you can do is remain as flexible as possible.

AS: How do you see the future of production design? Is it shifting towards less sets and more greenscreens?
GHD: Our industry is changing rapidly and it’s normal for production designers to wonder what the future holds. I tend to be optimistic and not only because I have a background in vfx but because films will always need the contribution of artists and to me a green screen is a tool, it’s not a craft, and tools can never replace crafts, someone still has to envision the environments for these stories to take place in.

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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: