ADG Awards 2012: Designers on Design

John Sabato on Patti Podesta, production designer, “Cinema Verite

Set in the early 1970s, “Cinema Verite,” the story of the making of “An American Family,” the original reality TV show, is an exquisite display of the use of color, pattern and texture to capture not only the look, but the essence of a period.

Patti Podesta masterfully uses the unique palette of the era to effectively transport us to Santa Barbara, and into the home and the lives of the Loud family. Subtle details, like the texture of the sofa, the pattern of the wallpaper, even the color of the cars in the parking lot, contribute to the re-creation of their world for us to share.

A few times in the film the actual archival footage from “An American Family” is put on the screen, side by side with the film’s reenactment of the same moment, making us aware of the attention paid to the historical details, while at the same time allowing for artistic interpretation of the scene, subtly applied, to capture the essence of the experience. At times it even manages to suggest that unique visual quality of the printed photographs of that era.

Podesta has created a time caspsule of elegant simplicity and subtle artistry.

John Sabato’s credits include “MADtv” and “In Living Color.”

ADG AWARDS 2012
Tightening the definition
Designers on design
Production designers and art directors comment on the ADG-nominated work of their peers
John Muto on Dante Ferretti | Greg Grande on Jefferson Sage | Norm Newberry on Stuart Craig | John Sabato on Patti Podesta | Ken Averill on Christopher Glass | John Shaffner on Steve Bass | Dave Blass on Mark Worthington | John Iacovelli on James Yarnell

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