Congratulations to the 85th Academy Awards winners for the Academy Award for Outstanding Production Design: Jim Erickson and Production Designer Rick Carter for LINCOLN ! 

And kudos to Katie Spencer and Production Designer Sarah Greenwood for their nomination for ANNA KARENINA.

See below for a glimpse of each film!

For full list of Production Design Oscar® nominees click here.




Set Decorator Katie Spencer SDSA
Production Designer Sarah Greenwood

Director Joe Wright, Production Designer Sarah Greenwood and Set Decorator Katie Spencer SDSA have again dazzlingly collaborated on a unique cinematic approach to a classic novel. Staging the film ANNA KARENINA within a decaying, sprawling theater offers a metaphor for Russian society at the close of the 19th century, a time of complete artifice where the aristocracy determinedly tried to emulate the décor and manners of Paris rather than embrace their ethnic roots. Each part of society is interpreted through a component of the theater, which we see transformed even as the story takes place.

At once painterly and realistic, often anchored by a key piece or pieces, whether a single street lamp at the train station or crystal chandeliers of every size at a soiree, gilded mirrors or a reflection in a curtained window, a sleigh bed in a nook or a damask-draped four-poster fronting a Russian Imperial mural, every set instantly and deeply reveals another aspect of the characters and their personal journeys.

Keira Knightly, who plays the title role and who has worked with this team on three films, points out, “The film is both modern and classic at the same time…The rules of a period film have been broken…this is taking style to a whole new level.”

Photo: Princess Betty’s soiree [Ruth Wilson, Keira Knightly]...
Photo © 2012 Focus Features. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Anna Karenina [Keira Knightly] at the fateful railroad station...
Photo by Laurie Sparham © 2012 Focus Features. All Rights Reserved

[For SETDECOR Directors Chair article on ANNA KARENINA, click here!]

Set Decorator Jim Erickson SDSA
Production Designer Rick Carter


“We wanted to show Lincoln accomplishing something great, something monumental…and that was abolishing slavery and ending the Civil War,” says Director Steven Spielberg. “However, we also wanted to show that he was a man, not a monument.”

Spielberg also notes, “I wanted everybody to feel that there was a real sense of authenticity on the set.” Thus, he brought in Production Designer Rick Carter and Set Decorator Jim Erickson SDSA and their teams to create an intimate, realistic and in-depth representation…a leap back in time, to 1865.

Erickson found a small company specializing in re-creating vintage wallpapers, silk-screening layer upon layer to achieve the right look and patina. He also discovered a cache of actual gas-fueled chandeliers from the period, which determined the lighting Spielberg and Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski incorporated throughout the film.

Actress Sally Field, who plays Mary Todd Lincoln, notes the authenticity of every facet of the design and decoration, “I’ve never done a film with such amazing production detail. It made total sense to stay within that world, and it was the most divine way to work.”

Photo: White House 1865 - President Lincoln [Daniel Day-Lewis] meets with his cabinet...
Photo by David James © 2012 Dreamworks & Twentieth Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: President Lincoln [Daniel Day-Lewis] with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln [Sally Field]...
Photo by David James © 2012 Dreamworks & Twentieth Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.

[For SETDECOR article on LINCOLN, click here!]