The Design World: Exploring the Intersection of Production Design and Interior Design with James Bartol

Interior Design Podcast, Interior Design Career, Interior Design School, Interior Design Business, Interior Design Mentor, Interior Designer, Production Design, production designer

Are you curious about what production design is?

Are you wondering if an interior designer can be a production designer?

Well, in this episode, I interview James Bartol, a New York City-based production designer working primarily in the film and television industry. He shares his journey of becoming a production designer and how his craft crossover with the principles of interior design. He also tells about the responsibilities, challenges, and creative decisions that go into shaping the visual identity of a film or TV show.

Join us on this episode as we explore the captivating world of production design and delve into its intriguing connection with interior design. Whether you are a film enthusiast, an interior designer, or simply curious about the magic behind the scenes, this episode will provide a unique perspective on the artistry that shapes our visual world.

And if you are wondering if production design is worth pursuing, this episode is for you. 

Why you’ve got to check out today’s episode
  • Examine the similarities and differences between a production design and an interior design
  • Identify the biggest challenge of a production designer and its solution
  • Assess whether production design is the right career for you
About the Guest:

James Bartol is a New York City-based production designer working primarily in the film and television industry. He received his BFA in Film & TV production at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

James’ production design credits include a variety of Feature and Short films that have screened at festivals worldwide. His client base ranges from film to print and includes Levi’s, Nordstrom, Estée Lauder, TruTV, Investigation Discovery, and MTV.

Most recently, James has been sharing his experience with the next generation of filmmakers as an adjunct professor teaching production design classes at Montclair State University.

Connect with James Bartol:
IG: @jamesbartol


Check out these episode highlights

04:43 – How James got into production design

06:08 – The roles of a production designer

  • The production designer is concerned with the overall aesthetic look of the film.
  • It is the holy trinity of film production – the director, cinematographer, and production designer.
  • The head of the art department – involves set decorators & props masters, painters, and scenic artists.

07:42 – The degree & education James took to become a production designer

09:22 – Working with interior designers and the crossover between the production design and interior design

11:22 – Other areas of design that have also worked into James’ creative flow

  • graphic design
  • lighting design

15:03 – The universal skills that can cross over from interior design, production designer, and design in general

  • a narrative or a good story
  • drafting
  • floor plans
  • mood boards

18:35 – Production Design as a collaborative job  

21:33 – The biggest challenge of a production designer is TIME over budget

  • If you have time, you can get creative to make things budget-friendly. But if there is no time, you have to spend more money to get the job done.

22:52 – James’ latest project – a feature film entitled Late Bloomers directed by Lisa Steen

25:47 – A document James and Rebecca have in common to keep track of opportunities for growth in the future

26:43 – James’ journey into teaching Next Generation filmmakers

29:32 – Advice for creative thinking about a career in design

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Next Steps

Grab your freebies:

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Check out the best books every interior designer should have here.

Enroll in Business of Design with Kimberly Seldon or DesignYou with Tobi Fairley today to scale your interior design business!

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Thanks for listening. I hope this helps you discover if interior design is the career for you. See you next week…