Segments in this Video

Art Director and Production Designer (04:22)


Carol Spier needs trust from her directors and frequently collaborates with David Cronenberg. The production designer began in the film industry after studying interior design at the University of Manitoba. For "Dead Ringers," she decided on cool colors and many vertical lines to allow Cronenberg to split the screen easily.

"Naked Lunch" (05:40)

Spier recalls during filming, the production company lost the locations in Morocco because of the outbreak of the Gulf War. Cronenberg decided to build the sets in Toronto. After reading the script to "eXistenZ," Spier broke down the locations, props, set decorations, and special effects.

Special Effects (03:22)

Cronenberg expects the production designer and special effects supervisor to work together to address safety concerns and effect gags. Jim Isaac explains how he collaborates with Spier to implement Cronenberg's vision. Spier incorporates the needs of each department to ensure that filming goes smoothly.

Art Director Design (04:56)

Tamara Deverell explains her design for the cases that surround the pods. Cronenberg decided to go with a ski boot instead of Deverell's design; watch a scene from "eXistenZ." Spier works with the location manager to create an interior that matches a church's exterior.

Models (03:32)

Spier works with models to help Cronenberg discover appropriate shooting angles. Cronenberg decides to go with pews instead of chairs within the church. Spier creates rough drawings of the interiors and then delegates to members of the art department.

Building Sets (03:21)

The construction crew needs to disassemble the chalet easily to transport it to another stage and then move it to a location. Joe Curtin gives Spier an update on the set's timeline. Cronenberg decided to redress the interior to look differently in multiple scenes.

Blowing Up the Chalet (03:37)

The special effects supervisor meets with Cronenberg to decide how the explosions and fire will occur. Watch the scene from "eXistenZ." Spier and members of the prop department discuss how many headboards and beds they need.

Preparing for Camera (05:01)

Spier meets with Peter Suschitzky, the director of photography, to address his needs and concerns about the chalet set. The set is too low and it does not have a grid to hang lights or sets. Elinor Galbraith discusses the art department's concept for the guest ski chalet and how her team helps the vision.

Shooting in a Warehouse (04:37)

Cronenberg converted an area dedicated to the wardrobe department into a Chinese restaurant. Spier needs to build 360 degree sets, because Cronenberg changes his mind on shots.

Location (04:58)

Cronenberg found a location to use as the trout farm. Michael Madden describes how the art department transformed a quonset hut. Cronenberg explains how multiple departments collaborated to make the trout farm one of his favorite sets in "eXistenZ."

Game Store (04:13)

Deverell describes her approach to building the set. Spier wanted to shoot the set during daylight, so Deverell decided to implement colored gels and graphics to make it look like night.

Eliminating a Set? (04:09)

Cronenberg promised he would eliminate a set to save money, but changed his mind. Eventually, the production crew found a small back room to shoot the scenes. Spier felt she let the director down.

Credits: Frame by Frame (01:13)

Credits: Frame by Frame

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Frame By Frame

3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



The relationship between director and production designer is a special one. Frame by Frame is a documentary that goes behind the scenes of David Cronenberg's sci-fi film, eXistenZ, for a rare and fascinating look at the art of production designer, Carol Spier.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL129950

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.