Lean and tan, Laurence Bennett looks every bit the movie star. But as a production designer, Bennett is actually the wizard behind the lens. We all have a sense of what a cinematographer, an editor and a director does, but the production designer’s role is often cloaked in mystery. Bennett’s job is what he calls “the artistic author, responsible for bringing to life the entire world the characters inhabit on film.” Bennett’s film and TV credits include the just-released The Company You Keep and five-time Academy Award-winning The Artist, as well as Crash, The Valley of Elah, Freedom Writers, The Next Three Days, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “EZ Streets.” We caught up with Bennett at his restored 1904 farmhouse in Estacada. Here, with his wife, Nina, and a menagerie, Bennett is able to recharge.
Pressed up close to Pistol River’s South Bank Road, Les Stansell’s shop appears an unassuming grey corrugated metal building. A dozen broken surfboards and an assortment of wood lean against it. A small hand-painted sign says “Stansell and Co.” That’s as close as Stansell comes to direct advertising—even though he’s renowned for his handcrafted flamenco guitars.
Known as the “Avedon of Asia,” Russel Wong is among celebrity photographer royalty—Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton. Wong’s portfolio includes sixteen covers for Time magazine, landscapes sold by Christies, and lush publicity images for the Oscar-winning films, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers.
I jumped at the offer when 1859 asked me if I was interested in shooting behind the scenes at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Few photographers get the opportunity to go behind the scenes at OSF. I was elated, yet felt the weight of responsibility from such a rare invitation. I also recognized that I was walking into an intimate lair, with dimensions I could hardly guess. The experience far exceeded my expectations as a photographer. There were large contraptions, small sewing machines, a woman creating a miniature head, welders and people covered in paint. This is a world where the future and the past come together in a visceral present. And I was fortunate enough to capture it all. Enjoy.