THE DIRT

How Green Was My Valley / Screen Shadows Group How Green Was My Valley / Screen Shadows Group

Hollywood studio backlots in southern California have been used to build whole worlds for the big screen for decades. While technologies have changed over time, the principles set designers use to create movie magic seems to be largely the same. Chip Sullivan, ASLA, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, author, and self-professed wanna-be film director, revealed how they do it and what landscape architects can learn from their approach at the ASLA 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago. Why learn from Hollywood? Because they are “creating the landscapes we all want to be in.”

Classic Hollywood set designs have created:

An Illusion of Depth

Movie set designers have long used visual tricks to create an “illusion of depth.” In the beginning of the 20th century, George Melies, one of the first “screen…

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