Nov 21, 2013

Interview with Production Designer Dante Ferretti

Dante Ferretti, Francesa LoSchivo and Maria Garcia at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Behind us are lion sculptures Signore Ferretti designed for the 65th annual Venice Film Festival.
 My interview with the iconic Italian production designer Signore Dante Ferretti, and his wife, set decorator Signora LoSchiavo, will appear in print in the Winter issue of Cineaste Magazine, which will be on newsstands this week.

Signore Ferretti recently won his third Oscar for Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (2012), on which Signora Lo Schiavo “dressed” the sets.

Production designers are members of a movie’s principal crew, which includes the director, costume designer, cinematographer and film editor. They are responsible for all aspects of a motion picture’s design, and supervise the construction of sets and alterations to the film’s locations. The task of the set decorator is to choose and place furniture, draperies, and other objects on the set or location under the supervision of the production designer. In Hugo, for instance, Signora Lo Schiavo’s work may be seen in the delightful arrangement of books in the train station’s library, or in the choice of flowers for the flower seller’s carts, as well as in their positioning inside that built set.

Signore Ferretti speaks with the press at MoMA. Behind him are some of his paintings and sketches rendered in preparation for the building of various film sets. They can be seen in the exhibition, "Designing for the Screen."
In my Cineaste interview, Signore Ferretti and Signora Lo Schiavo discuss their preference for built sets and real objects, as well as the challenges of their creative partnership. Signore Ferretti, the subject of a current MoMA exhibition, recalls his 40-year career in film and theater, which includes some wonderful memories of his collaborations with Federico Fellini.

More information on the MoMA tribute to Signore Ferretti may be found here: