BENGALURU: Clothes, makeup, creative camera angles, sound and editing...these are just a few of the elements that go into the making a film. Set design is one such aspect that is frequently overlooked during the credits, believes Harshita Reddy, a Bengalurean, who is currently based in Los Angeles.
The set designer and assistant art director has got a few opportunities to work in Hollywood productions, including an upcoming Disney film, The Santa Clause. In the series, which is to release in December this year, she is creating the drawings of Santa Claus’ house in the North Pole.
“When I put pen to paper, I need to know how my design is practically achievable. I end up spending a lot of time with the construction department figuring out how to make my crazy ideas come to life,” says the art director. Reddy believes that having the skills to work as a set designer as well as an art director was what led her to land a Netflix show, one of her first big projects, called The Woman in the House Across The Street From The Girl in The Window, starring Kristen Bell, a few months ago. “I worked as the lead set designer alongside the production designer and created the house of the lead character,” adds the architect from the BMS College of Engineering.
Although Reddy’s dad is a movie buff, he was not very convinced about her interests. “Initially my parents thought this was an unconventional career. To comfort them, I decided to study architecture. I believed it could eventually take me to where I want,” says Reddy, who after graduation, moved to Hyderabad where she assisted event managers in creating wedding sets. A few months later in 2017, she enrolled for a two-year programme at the American Film Institute Conservatory (AFI).
Reddy recollects that one of her best works was with Oscar-nominated production designer Ra Vincent, who has worked on films like The Lord of the Rings, Thor and JoJo Rabbit. As a set designer, she was required to create the main deck of the hero pirate ship.“I worked with him on a pirate comedy show Our Flag Means Death. It is not very often that you get to build pirate ships for a 30-minute comedy in Hollywood, so it was very exciting,’’ says Reddy, who started as a researcher and then went onto become a set designer.