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Production designer Rick Carter talks Star Wars: Episode VII’s blend of old and new

November 21st, 2013 by Edwin Torres Jr Comments

At the Camerimage Festival of the Art of Cinematography in Bydgoszcz, Poland had the chance to chat with production designer Rick Carter, whose credits range from the Back to the Future movies and Jurassic Park to Avatar and Lincoln. Recently, Carter served as consultant on Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World and is currently hard at work on J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII.

Here’s a bit of what he had to say:

“I offered my services to Kathy Kennedy, who I had known for a long time. I said, ‘If you’re going to get involved with ‘Star Wars’ in this new generation, I’d love to be a part of the dialogue and help’. She invited me in last January and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. Then J.J. [Abrams] came in and we hit it off.”

The Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm production is taking an interesting approach to the film’s design, teaming Carter with a younger designer, Darren Gilford. Carter explains that, by working together, the pair can mix classic and modern sensibilities. That sounds great.

“We’re kind of both production designing the movie as a team, to help give J.J. the best of what his generation and the new generation can offer with Darren Gilford and also myself as a guide that takes us back to not so long, long ago, but to the 70′s where I was around and making movies that old-fashioned way. Whenever we want to touch that level, it relates to something that’s not just being made up as though it’s new. It’s being rediscovered.”

Carter’s work on Jurassic World is already done:

“I came into that one as a visual consultant. I just worked for four months to get it going. To try and visualize where this could go next and make sure it had some the same — literally the same — DNA of the previous movies. Ed Verreaux is the production designer on that one. He did the third ‘Jurassic Park’. We’ve worked together going all the way back to ‘Back to the Future’. It’s a real hand-off between the two of us. He’s the production designer and the director’s a new director named Colin Trevorrow. He’s a big, big talent.”

Jurassic World hits theaters on June 12, 2015 with Star Wars: Episode VII arriving December 18, 2015.

Source: Coming Soon


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Born and raised in NY, a self titled Nerd Jedi. He met his destiny at 5, with the snap-hiss of Luke's lightsaber in Star Wars. He's never looked back. He wields dual lightsabers, called Common Sense and Humor, and uses them in pursuit of all things Nerd. A husband and father, he still finds time for comics, video games, movies, and shows. You can follow his blog at or his Twitter @ed_pool