Setting the Scenes

Setting the Scenes

In 2023, you could go just about anywhere you ever wanted to at the movies: the rural American Midwest of the 1920s; a Lisbon-originating luxury sailing vessel making port calls in Marseilles and Alexandria; the hallowed nether regions of Carnegie Hall and through the Leonard Bernstein estate; and even a dreamy parallel universe in which a pink-outfitted, Mattel-branded icon can accomplish anything…until emotions get a little too real. It’s all thanks to talented production designers whose vision can make the imaginary real and the real, well, beyond imagination. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable cinematic tableaus of 2023 as interpreted by artist Konstantin Kakanias

Poor Things

Oscar-nominated production designers James Price and Shona Heath re-created an oceanliner on a soundstage in Budapest to convey the otherworldly feel of Yorgos Lanthimos’ globe-trotting tale of a re-animated young woman (Emma Stone) and her quest for independence.



This drawing room provides the setting for Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre’s (Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan) emotional blowout as they navigate their marriage. And yes, the production team led by designer Kevin Thompson even threw in a Thanksgiving Day parade Snoopy for levity.

Barbie Artwork by Konstantin Kakanias


Gliding into her dream car, Barbie’s (Margot Robbie) world is dictated by one visual dictum: Pink and lots of it. So much that Academy Award-nominated production designer Sarah Greenwood said that they cleaned out the inventory of a specific blend of flourescent pink paint.

Priscilla Artwork by Konstantin Kakanias


Production designer Tamara Deverell brought Graceland back to life on a Toronto soundstage in only 30 days and on a very small budget, delving deep into the colors that defined Elvis Presley’s ethos: lots of creams, whites, blues and golds.

Killers of the Flower Moon Artwork by Konstantin Kakanias

Killers of the Flower Moon

Veteran production designer Jack Fisk just earned his third career Oscar nomination for Martin Scorsese’s visually captivating Osage drama. His team turned to the rich, troubled history of the Osage Nation as well as to period photographs, county records and classic Westerns to re-create this harrowing time in 1920s Oklahoma. Here, owls serve as specters of death, a belief rooted in Osage tradition.

Konstantin Kakanias


When we invited artist Konstantin Kakanias, we knew the results would be delightful, as you can see in “Scene Setters,” in which he reimagines the work of the production designers responsible for Poor Things, Priscilla, Maestro and more. The L.A. artist’s work has been exhibited worldwide and graced the pages of The New York Times and Vogue, and he has collaborated with Christian Dior, Cartier and Christian Louboutin among others.