MLaPorte RT's Production Designer
3 years agoMLaPorte RT's Production Designer
Greetings from Art Department!
Most of you have probably never heard of me, but I'm Marcus LaPorte, Rooster Teeth's Production Designer. I've been with the company as a full time employee since February, but started freelancing with the company last year while shooting pilot footage for "Day 5" in mid 2014. I got my start in the film industry in the Prop Dept for Robert Rodriguez's "Spy Kids" series in 2001, and have since completed 30+ multi-million dollar films in various Art Dept. roles. I've probably made some things you may have seen in other movies, feel free to check out my imdb page for my full credits: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1329129/
Many people ask me, "What exactly is a Production Designer", and there's not always an easy answer to this, especially when it pertains to Rooster Teeth. The short poetic answer is that I forsee and create mini-verses, I'm a maker of things, master of props, a professional problem solver, & keeper of most things Rooster Teeth. But the long answer is incredibly involved, and one sentence typically doesn't do the position justice.
TL:DR - Art Dept is dirty, stinky, "ouch my everything hurts" cray cray
But for the people who ARE interested in what I actually do, prepare yourself for a gloriously non-glamorized wall of text...
Production designers are primarily responsible for establishing a visual look and overall concept for a film, television or theatre production. They identify a design style for all broadcast & live action sets, locations, graphics, props, costumes, special effects, & lighting, while working closely with the director, producers, & creative directors. Once these creative concepts are decided, the production designer's job switches into management mode to oversee quality control within the Art Dept. and all the individual creative teams. This management mode often includes:
- -reading scripts to identify factors indicating a particular visual style;
- -meeting with producers and director to discuss concepts and production requirements;
- -researching art history, background politics, historical informations
- -planning and monitoring the design budget;
- -providing scale drawings or models for studio or theatre sets;
- -producing design ideas for costumes, props, special effects, make-up and graphics;
- -identifying and assessing potential studios and locations;
- -sourcing appropriate materials and researching special effects;
- -researching, estimating and preparing a props list;
- -hiring and managing an art department team or teams (depending on the size of the production);
- -instructing the set construction team, scenic artists and special effects specialists and monitoring their work;
- -liaising with the costume designer and the director of photography, as well as the props, lighting and sound directors;
- -attending progress meetings, rehearsals and filming to advise on visual presentation;
- -checking sets and locations during filming to make sure requirements are met and to deal with any queries.
I know what youre thinking..."well that management stuff sounds hard, sorta boring, and not like the arts & crafts time I was hoping for at all", and guess what, you're right! Running an Art Dept is a lot more than just drawing cool designs, it's also about having a creatively tuned eye for quality aesthetic judgements, and being able to manage large groups of other artists. Most people think that Art Dept is just an adult justified "Arts & Crafts" time, and while I will admit we have a ton of fun, it's also an incredible amount of hard work, usually involving manual labor. And Art Dept is pretty much just that. If youre not fond of being stinky, dirty, smeared in paint, wearing ruined clothes, reeking of acetone, then Art Dept is not for you. Don't ask to shadow me if you balk at the scent of spray paint, because we will ruin your fancy jeans, and you'll probably rip your new chucks. My people aren't afraid of handling power tools, and are the rare souls who want to conquer impossible challenges and feats of engineering that most people would cry over, just for fun. We're the rockstars of the cosplay world, the unknown art soldiers, the creative based minute-men & women who "save the show" on a weekly basis. You may not realize it, but people put months if not years of their lives working in a backroom studio hangar, sanding on the same plastic part for 8-10 hours, so that it can go on a prop that gets a few seconds of air time in a movie. There is almost no glamour in Art Dept (unless youre using glitter that day), so don't even think of getting involved with a film industry Art Dept without understanding this detail. <<End Rant>>
That being said though, Art Dept couldn't be more perfect for me. I have some pretty serious ADHD, and for years, I struggled with figuring out how to channel my excessive energy. Consistently bored with most cirriculums, I found that the art world was where I could really open up the hyperdrive to warp speed, and satify my urge to create.
I'm incredibly excited to be working at Rooster Teeth, & Matt & Burnie couldn't be more gracious and accepting of my quirks. They know how to use me in the right ways, and are constantly working with me to find the right balance of "funny" Art Dept within our productions. They listen to my ideas, and I cannot thank them enough for trusting in some of my wacky solutions.
To answer the questions about BTS, we ARE currently trying to develop some more sponsor content based on Art Dept's unique role within the company, but are still mulling the idea around to see what sticks. I'm certainly open to the idea, and already have some things I've been considering, but we need expanded effort on development of this before its a real thing.
Looking towards the future, we have some exciting things to reveal in the next few months, and the community that frequents the RT website as a sponsor will really see the benefits. We know we have some things to fix, we really do care about maintaining Rooster Teeth's home-grown "indie" style integrity. Please know i'll also be paying special attention to details that may typically go unchecked, and pushing people to perform at a higher level than they may be used to. I hope you all will return the favor by being patient with us as we grow into to our now much bigger shoes.
2019 years agoMLaPorte RT's Production Designer
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