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Filmcraft: Production Design by Fionnuala Hannigan

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Legacy Richard Sylbert

Outspoken, charismatic and highly influential, Richard (Dick) Sylbert was a production designer like none other—in fact, he was the only production designer ever to become head of production at a major film studio when he replaced Robert Evans at Paramount in 1975.

Born in New York in 1928 and a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Pennsylvania’s Elkin University—alongside his identical twin brother Paul, who also forged a career as a successful Hollywood production designer—Sylbert started in TV in the 1950s, art directing NBC’s Inner Sanctum (where he met his mentor, William Cameron Menzies).

Oscar-nominated eight times, Sylbert won twice—for the black-and-white claustrophobia of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) ...

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