The Art of Production Design

Quotes about Rick from his long time collaborators:

Steven Spielberg

“Rick is one of the most eclectic production designers working today. My whole film career has so benefited from having Rick as one of my primary partners. Rick has a runaway imagination. He helps me better understand the subtext of the stories I’m telling. When you just look at his work: From Avatar to Lincoln. In A.I. alone, the kind of design work that came from his imagination, based upon no research whatso- ever. Although Rick will probably tell you that he did a lot of research. Research in the future! All of us who know Rick, know that when he says he’s doing research, we have to believe him. Because he’s connected in some way in both directions!”

James Cameron

“Rick always approached us on Avatar almost from the metaphysical or spiritual level first and then when it comes down into the practical of what are we asking him to build, what goes in front of the cameras. And I think that's what allowed him to em- brace the fact that he was a production designer of a movie that would be both made in Wellington, New Zealand on sets with the normal process shooting with a camera, and on virtual sets that were being created by a virtual art department here in Los Angeles and have it all somehow be one thing.”

Robert Zemeckis

“Rick is a filmmaker at heart. He understands the medium that we’re working in. And he knows that it’s all just something that the camera has to see, and the camera has to see it in exactly the right way to create the illusion of reality. The most beautiful set that Rick built was the house in Forrest Gump. His design of that house and where he placed it and where the sun hit it and just the setting, it became a character in the movie. Everyday working with Rick is an adventure in going to the’ trippiest’ part of your brain, as to where you can go...And then when you show up on the day and you’re there, you’re saying, “Ok, this is perfect! This is exactly what we need.”

J.J. Abrams

“Rick Carter is a giddy, excited genius, and he was a muse for me. Not just visually, but also spiritually, and he was just a terrific partner in crime. He came in early on, when I was working, originally, with [screenwriter] Michael Arndt. I brought Rick in to our story meetings, which is atypical in a production designer’s job description, but I wanted him there because he was a dreamer — a complete dreamer.”