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Production Designer Diana Trujillo on Taking the Set Home

By Michael M. Clements | February 8, 2019 | People

If the chaise longue in production designer Diana Trujillo's Dupont home looks like it came from the set of Narcos, that's becaues it did.


What exactly does a film production designer and art director do?
DIANA TRUJILLO: I create universes for characters. Occasionally, that means designing custom-made furniture, lamps or specific props. I’ve even designed period wallpapers, rugs, posters and art pieces.

What happens to it all after the production wraps?
DT: Sometimes the directors, producers or actors want them.


Does anything end up in your house?
DT: Yes, I have a little bit of each one of my films in my home. It’s not like it looks like a set but there’s something cinematic about it.

Which pieces specifically?
DT: Well, the mirror in my dining room was made for Live Forever—the suicide scene; the twin lounge chairs from designer Adolf Loos were made for Elizabeth Harvest; I collect tea sets, mirrors, puzzles and miniature animals that were all created for different characters; and my Mies van der Rohe chaise longue was used in Narcos. My dinning table is from my grandmother’s house and it was used in Narcos as well.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?
DT: Eclectic, colorful, timeless, global and forever inspired by modern architecture style.


How do you do research for a film?
DT: The approach for each project is quite different. If I’m working on a period piece, then the concept has to be accurate so I start by researching visual content from, and on, the specific period. I collect images that inspire me and that I want to re-create. Then I generate a color scheme and start presenting my ideas to the director. For contemporary or futuristic films I have freedom to create from scratch. I like to pull inspiration from varying sources like nature or classic literature—basically anything that gives me a beautiful feeling or a sublime sense.