Jack Fisk

Jack Fisk

AS: How is it with both you and your wife being in the industry? Does that make it hard or is it easier?
JF: Much easier because she understands the commitment and the passion that you have for a project. And when you get home at two o’clock in the morning or you’re gone on Sunday she understands why. That you’re making the film better. We met on a film and have worked a lot on the same films. We have an unusual life. All of us that work on films are like circus performers or the military. You pack up and ship off.

AS: Any advice for someone who is starting out in the business and wants to avoid any pitfalls?
JF: It’s impossible. I would use all your mistakes and pitfalls to become better. You’re going to make mistakes. And it’s all in how you react to it. A lot of it is slight of hand. Don’t let other people know you made a mistake if you can avoid it! Just go forward.

I would say anyone starting out in the business ought to find young directors that are strong and imaginative and work with them for very little money. Grow with them. If you want to be a designer you’re going to need to work with a director who’s going to get scripts made. I started working with Terry Malick just as he finished film school and he’s made me a better designer.

I’m just starting to see people realize how powerful the contribution of production design is to film. Reviewers more often consider the design of a film in their reviews.

Such an exciting job that we have. It’s so unpredictable and I just love 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