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HomeCraftsUK Production Designers: Guy Hendrix Dyas

UK Production Designers: Guy Hendrix Dyas

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Growing up in South Devon, England, Guy Hendrix Dyas rarely went to movies and never thought that his interest in art would lead him to a career in film. “I didn’t even think of it as an option, because it seemed like a pipe dream,” says Dyas. “I didn’t know anything about the industry, and I certainly didn’t know anyone working as a filmmaker.”Dyas developed a passion for film while attending London’s Royal College of Art, where he studied industrial design. It was during a stint designing electronics in Tokyo that he came into contact with and was hired by Industrial Light & Magic as a visual effects art director.”What I remember most about working there is that I got to do a little bit of everything,” Dyas says. “In a way, it was like being back in school and being able to learn and interact with all of the various departments.” Dyas left ILM for Los Angeles and the freelance life of a conceptual illustrator, learning more about the craft on films such as Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and The Matrix Reloaded.He landed his first production designer job on X2, Bryan Singer’s sequel to X-Men. “Getting the opportunity to design a film like X2 as a first film isn’t something that happens everyday, but I felt confident I could do a good job,” Dyas says. “As an illustrator, I had learned from some of the best production designers in the industry and thanks to my industrial design background I had managed a large design team in Tokyo for years, I felt well equipped.” He stuck with Singer on Superman Returns. “The more you’re dealing with far-fetched concepts, the more you should have a scientific approach, grounding your work in reality and infusing it with as much seriousness and realism as possible,” he says. “Many directors have followed this approach before, and it’s their sci-fi films that seem to have had the most staying power stylistically.”Dyas also has worked on Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm and the recently completed The Golden Age, director Shekhar Kapur’s sequel to his 1998 film, Elizabeth I. He now is working for Steven Spielberg on the long-awaited fourth film in the Indiana Jones series—a topic about which he says he is sworn to secrecy on.It’s a long way from designing Walkmans, but Dyas says the challenges and creativity of production design make his work a pleasure. “It’s true that there are also some tricky times here and there, where having a bit more time and money to complete a set would make the job easier, but in my case I’ve always loved a good challenge and production design has definitely filled that need for me. It’s when things are too easy that I start to worry.”

Written by Tom McLean

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