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HomeCraftsArt DirectionSETDECOR's Look at the Oscar-Nominated Set Decoration of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

SETDECOR’s Look at the Oscar-Nominated Set Decoration of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Ma Rainey
Picture by David Lee

For a second day in a row, SETDECOR, the magazine of the Set Decorators Society of America (SDSA), has a great profile of two more Oscar-nominated Set Decorators, Karen O’Hara SDSA and Diana Stoughton, who worked with Production Designer Mark Ricker on the look of the environments for George C. Wolfe‘s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The article includes a full interview with O’Hara and Stoughton talking about their work on decorating some of the sets, both the indoor recording room and band room (seen below) as well as the outdoors depicting Chicago of the 1920s.

From the interview, O’Hara talks about her role on the film:

“I try to help tell the story. That’s our job as Set Decorators, to help the actors and director feel the time period. This director has an amazing career in theater and has also done film. He wanted to be true to August Wilson’s words but tell the story in a slightly different way. The biggest challenge was to not feel too theatrical. Some of the scenes that were added provided width and breadth, showing theaters, factories and cityscapes as a way to bring it bigger and more open.”

You can read the interview and check out all the other great pictures over at SETDECOR. All photos courtesy Netflix except where noted.

MaRaineyRecordingRoom MaRaineyBandRoom



Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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