Once you've seen Room, you're unlikely to forget "Room". To Jack (Jacob Tremblay) "Room" is the entire world. He names everything in it and says hello each morning to the only (inanimate) friends he has ever known. The space had to be tight, visually memorable, and emotionally specific and you had to have cameras function inside it. A tall order. To design Room, and the world outside of it in Room, a Globe nominee for Best Picture, Lenny Abrahamson entrusted the ingeniously creative production designer Ethan Tobman who had previously worked in low profile independent film but attracted much more attention for recent high profile work for music superstars like Beyonce, Eminem and Madonna.
We had the pleasure of talking to Tobman about his process, his time in music video, and how he got emotionally inside and outside of that tiny space to design it.
NATHANIEL R: Room has such a memorably specific central set, how do you even know where to begin on a project like this?
ETHAN TOBMAN: The way I approach any project, but specifically Room, is to read the script and put it away for a week and think about the things that inspired me about it. The research begins immediately, but I need to allow myself to think pretty abstractly about some of the emotional and thematic concepts. [More...]