Episode 109: A Philosophy of Production Design with Rick Carter

We’re thrilled to be joined by Academy-Award winning Production Designer Rick Carter, who has four decades of experience working on Hollywood productions, including with his own personal “Mt. Rushmore” of blockbuster directors: Stephen Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, James Cameron and J.J. Abrams. Carter walks us through how he tackled his latest Oscar-nominated project, The Fablemans, and recounts numerous other experiences on some of the most memorable movies over the past 40 years, as he elaborates on his approach to the role of the Production Designer, and how his understanding of cinema as an art form has evolved over the years.

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

Rick Carter’s exhibit at El Segundo’s ESMoA

Some of the projects Rick has worked on:
The Fabelmans (2022)
Amazing Stories (TV Series 1985–1987)
Back to the Future (1985), Part II (1989), Part III (1990)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Avatar (2009)
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
complete IMDB credits

Other movies and moviemakers mentioned:
Steven Spielberg
Robert Zemeckis
James Cameron
J.J. Abrams
Leni Riefenstahl
John Ford 

Blow-Up (1966)
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Mogambo (1953)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Gunga Din (1939)
The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Rio Bravo (1959)
Minority Report (2002)
Charlie Chaplin’s “The Tramp” character

The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, 1964

For more on world-building check out these episodes:
Episode 11: Alex McDowell on world-building, production design, and Ready Player One
Episode 12: Ann Pendleton-Jullian on world-building, architecture, and wicked problems

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry, Colin and the How Do You Like It So Far? account! You can also email us at [email protected].


John Williams – The Fabelmans (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The Wizard of Oz: Complete Soundtrack by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
John Williams ~ Amazing Stories

“In Time” by Dylan Emmett and “Spaceship” by Lesion X.
In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet  https://soundcloud.com/dylanemmet
Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/in-time-instrumental
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/lesion-x-spaceship
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/AzYoVrMLa1Q

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