I love the movies or when I am feeling sophisticated “films”. All of it – the history of film, the costumes, the awards and the magic behind them. I heard a review for Designs on Film on Morning Edition and knew I had to borrow this book. Long before FX and CGI human hands were entirely responsible for special effects. Think of that – all those movies we saw as kids were created without the benefit of computers. Designs on Film take the reader through the movies decade by decade. But first you learn the difference between an art director, a production designer and a set decorator. The photographs in this volume are glorious, just as you would expect. And the designer credits at the end are wonderful. Watching each of the films cited would be as if you were taking a survey course on American cinema. This is a must read for everyone who wants to know more about how movies are made.
As a side note, you may want to be careful if you decide to recreate the magic at home. After reading about how the horse of many colors got its color in the Wizard of Oz I decided to see if I could turn my nearly white Labrador retriever pink. It worked, Nellie was the talk of the neighborhood for quite some time.