K.K. Barrett

K.K. Barrett

Don’t have preconceived notions when you go into a film. Be able to change. Be able to go with it. Be able to discover every day. The last week of the film you should still be able to discover new things.

Make yourself invaluable. Take a job, I’ll do it for free. Hang around until you have to leave. And then hopefully they’ll go, No, no, no, we need you. We’re so used to you solving problems with us we need you now. Will you stay for five dollars?

And then you have to leave again. Will you stay for ten dollars? Just make yourself invaluable. Find somebody else that you can help.

AS: How do you see the future of production design? Do you see it becoming more and more greenscreens, less real environments?
KK: No. Will we be thinking about 3D in four years? It went away before. What I’m surprised at is that there are not more people making films for nothing. Because the technology is there. To be competitive you just have to have good stories. Engaging stories. But you could really make films for the price of the access to a camera. And characters. And you need good sound. But all of those things are very obtainable for five-thousand dollars. And a lot of free time. But I think it’s because there aren’t enough good stories.

So I don’t think it’s about CG or not CG, or greenscreen or not. Those are just tools. They’re not ideas -they’re just tools. A hammer can lay sitting on a table but it’s not going to help you unless you have something you decided to do with it. Tools are just tools. You have to have the idea and make something out of it.

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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: tom@artstars.us