Panelists, including IATSE 891 Art Department members Mark Freeborn, Jenny Wilson, and Jerry Wanek, during the “Creating Worlds and Exploring Character in Episodic TV” panel. This panel was moderated by 891 Art Department member Cheryl Marion.

891 Talent Attend and Share Their Expertise at Canadian Production Design Week 2023

iatse891 | Nov 16, 2023 |

Great films are made of many things – captivating scripts, seamless cinematography, and performances that shape our perceptions of the world long after we leave the cinema. But long before audiences are welcomed to step foot into a new cinematic world, Production Designers are hard at work determining how to physically manifest the emotions and themes of a film through textures, decoration, and location.

In celebration of the artistry of Production Design and the work of bringing a story’s details to life on the screen, IATSE 891 was a proud sponsor of the 2023 Canadian Production Design Week. Events brought 891 talent to the forefront with virtual and in-person conversations about the artistry of production design. Many 891 members took to the stage as panelists and moderators, sharing stories of their work and successes with new generations of talent.

“I thought the event was wonderful, and very informative for everyone. I really enjoyed the presentations,” said Dean Goodine, 891 Property Master and author of “They Don’t Pay Me To Say No: My Life in Film and Television Props” who attended as both a panelist and attendee.

891 Property Master Dean Goodine in conversation with 891 Art Department member Mark Freeborn. Photo taken by Emmy nominated 891 Set Dec member Carol Lavallee.

Cheryl Marion, 891 Art department member and moderator of the panel “Creating Worlds and Exploring Character in Episodic TV”, praised the event’s collaborative nature.

“The Production Designer’s Collective is such a unique and wonderful way to collaborate, learn, and reconnect with colleagues,” said Cheryl.

An opportunity like this to bring creative minds together to collaborate and share ideas benefits veteran and new production designers alike.

“Designers actually operate in a vacuum, only one to a show, so we rarely get to exchange points of view with each other,” said panelist Steve Geaghan, 891 Art Department member and member of IATSE 800, and the Director’s Guild of Canada. “The venue was a great opportunity to exchange developmental styles not only with the audience but with each other.”

891 Art Department member Margot Ready agreed, adding it was great to hear from artists and technicians from many different departments.

“It was wonderful to meet other designers and see their work, and also to see Art, Props, Set Dec, and Construction members joining also,” she said. Margot appreciated that the panels covered lots of ground, balancing artistic and technical topics in a measured and informative way.

Discussions also focused on the future of film, encouraging fresh talent to join the ranks alongside industry veterans offering their expertise. 891 Art Department member Chris August shared that he was “honoured to be a participant in an event structured to educate fellow film technicians and future film technicians on film process objectives and new technologies.”

With such a successful week of celebrating production design in Canada, and in-person events in Vancouver sold out, attending members of IATSE 891 had optimism for similar events in the future.

“This was the first year for a Vancouver event, and I think next year will be even better,” said Cheryl.