HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – Oscar-winning production designer Rick Carter said tonight that director Steven Spielberg tapped him to work on “Lincoln” more than a decade ago.
It was a “journey .. to try and honor (President Abraham Lincoln’s) legacy, Carter said. The team began with a broad canvas that was “narrowed over time” to focus on the end of Lincoln’s life and the politics behind ending slavery. ”Obviously Jim Erickson should be here,” Carter said of the 62-year- old Canadian set decorator with whom he shares the award.
Erickson, who recently told the Canadian press that he is retiring from the film business, was reportedly unable to attend the Academy Awards ceremony due to illness.
Carter said backstage tonight at the Dolby Theatre that Erickson is like a brother to him.
“So much of what creates the intimacy … is Jim’s work,” Carter said.
He said working in Richmond, Virginia and using the legislative building helped build the period feel of the film.
“So much of Lincoln’s legacy is still alive there,” Carter said, adding the crew was “shooting on essentially hallowed ground,” given the number of Civil War deaths there.
Carter said he started working in “what we would call the analog world of production design,” but has also found success in the digital world of high- tech films like “Avatar.”
Because he has “no special skill in architecture or set decoration or even drawing,” Carter said he instead works creatively to try to “uncover the most basic truth” of every story.
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