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‘The Voice’ Production Designer Takes Inspiration From Unique Sources

Production designer James Connelly gets inspiration from all kinds of sources. Prior to working on the set of this year’s “The Voice,” an idea hit him as he walked through the Universal lot, passing productions in progress.

“You might see an astronaut, grips carrying giant flags, a feature being shot,” says Connelly, “and I wondered, ‘What would this walk feel like for a contestant on their first visit?’”

Using a GoPro camera, he captured such a journey and translated the images into his design for the show, which features open spaces, equipment on display and rows of klieg lights. Also visible: stylish seating areas with soft fabrics in soothing, earthy colors.

For “Celebrity Apprentice,” he drew from California’s technology and business cultures, creating a chic aesthetic that incorporates white surfaces, smoky glass, shiny wood and tablet tech. Conforming to the taste of host Arnold Schwarzenegger, Connelly designed a bright, open floor plan that speaks to corporate ambition.

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