In By Design, twenty prominent feature film production designers talk about their careers, their relationships with Hollywood directors, and how they formulated and executed the technical and aesthetic designs of their film projects. The interviews explore production design techniques and the total process of establishing the visual look of a feature film, including the design and creation of sets, finding locations, establishing the color scheme or palette of a film, and supervising the costumes, hairstyles, and makeup. The designers discuss in detail their work on many highly acclaimed and seminal works in the field, including North by Northwest, Chinatown, Barry Lyndon, RedS≪/i>, AmadeuS≪/i>, Brazil, Blade Runner, and The Last Emperor. The interviewees talk about their relationships with the producer, director of photography, art director, construction crew, set decorator, property master, and costume designer, and how the team helps bring the director's vision to the screen.
The interviews are presented in an order that gives the reader a historical perspective on the development of production design, from the studio era to contemporary productions. LoBrutto includes biographical background and a complete filmography of each subject, plus a glossary of terms that concern the design process. By Design investigates the visual style of films in a pragmatic and detailed manner usually overlooked by conventional film analysis, and will prove especially useful to film students and scholars and all aspiring and experienced producers and directors.