Mozart Wasn’t A Hummer

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Sketch for Rosemary's Baby by Richard Sylbert

Sketch for Rosemary’s Baby by Richard Sylbert

“When I began working in the industry, you made all the illustrations, you drew up the plans, you decorated the sets, you picked all the locations. Today most designers on a big production will have dozens of people working for them. The most I ever had is six. Imagine Mozart saying to somebody, ‘I have a great idea for a piece of music, but I don’t know how to play the piano. Let me hum it for you.’ The fact is Mozart was the finest pianist of his day. ¬†Most production designers today are hummers. ¬†They have ideas but can’t draw a 1/4 inch plan. They have no idea how to commit to details.”

Richard Sylbert, Production Designer – Chinatown, Reds, The Manchurian Candidate, The Graduate, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?