Going Inside the Production Design of Walter Mitty

Designing the The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was a new experience for Jeff Mann, known for working on such “blunt instruments” as Tropic Thunder with Ben Stiller and Transformers with Michael Bay. But Stiller definitely had a different mind set for the daydreaming Everyman, full of whimsy and wistfulness, and Mann visualized that world in a graphic and poetic way that’s certainly worthy of Oscar consideration.

From Mitty’s orderly New York apartment to the iconic Time-Life Building to the exotic landscapes of Iceland and Afghanistan, Mann had plenty of opportunity to juxtapose Mitty’s inner and outer worlds. The trick was tying them together and so the production designer found ways of providing signals or clues in Mitty’s daydreams or yearnings while also planting visual cues that define his linear personality.

“It was quite the variety of environments where we got to build and contradict and have similarities to his fancies and reality,” Mann explains. “We wanted a commonality that carried through, but all the imagery had to be resonant and have graphic and compositional beauty, even if it was something mundane or routine.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Movies, Oscar, Production Design, Tech, Trailers, Virtual Production

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