Wynn Thomas - photo credIt Sarah Shatz
Photo by Sarah Shatz.

Working with directors like Spike Lee, Tim Burton, Robert De Niro, and Ron Howard, Wynn Thomas is one of the leading production designers of his generation. He is also the first African American production designer in the history of films. His credits include DO THE RIGHT THING, HIDDEN FIGURES, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, A BRONX TALE, GRUDGE MATCH, SHAFT, WAG THE DOG, ANALYZE THIS, INSIDE MAN, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, MALCOLM X, KING RICHARD, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, and many other films and shows. 

As a production designer, Wynn has worked with some of the most important film directors active today. For director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, he designed A BEAUTIFUL MIND, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the critically acclaimed CINDERELLA MAN. Both starring Russell Crowe. Wynn has a long-term relationship with Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Productions. For many years he was their in-house designer having designed A BRONX TALE directed by Robert DeNiro, WAG THE DOG directed by Barry Levinson starring DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman, ANALYZE THIS and ANALYZE THAT directed by Harold Ramis and starring DeNiro and Billy Crystal. For director Tim Burton he designed the cult classic MARS ATTACKS!!! He has a long-term collaborative relationship with Spike Lee, having designed SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, SCHOOL DAZE, DO THE RIGHT THING, MO BETTER BLUES, JUNGLE FEVER, the epic film MALCOLM X, CROOKLYN, HE GOT GAME, THE ORIGINAL KINGS OF COMEDY, and the critically and commercially successful INSIDE MAN, and DA 5 BLOODS.

A Beautiful Mind, production design by Wynn Thomas
A Beautiful Mind, production design by instructor Wynn Thomas.

Wynn designed the award-winning film HIDDEN FIGURES (20th Century Fox). The film was nominated for 3 Oscars including Best Picture. Wynn was awarded the Hollywood Film Award for best production design of 2016 as well as the Art Director’s Guild Award for Best Production Design (Period film). 

Other credits include SHAFT (20th Century Fox, directed by Tim Story) starring Samuel L. Jackson, THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR (Warner Bros., directed by Ry Russo Young), 80 FOR BRADY (Paramount, directed by Kyle Marvin), starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Rita Moreno, GRUDGE MATCH (Warner Bros., directed by Peter Segal) with Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone, KING RICHARD (Warner Bros., directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green) starring Will Smith, and DEVOTION (Sony, directed by J.D. Dillard) starring Jonathan Majors. He recently completed working on BASS REEVES, a new Paramount Plus series starring David Oyelowo.

Hidden Figures - production design by Wynn Thomas
Hidden Figures – production design by Wynn Thomas

Wynn also designed the TV pilot for HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER starring Viola Davis, as well as GET SMART (Warner Bros., directed by Peter Segal) with Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway,  ALMOST CHRISTMAS (Universal, directed by David Talbert), THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN (Disney, written and directed by Peter Hedges), ALEX STRANGELOVE (Netflix, directed by Craig Johnson), ALL GOOD THINGS (Magnolia Pictures, directed by Andrew Jarecki) with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, the FBI thriller BREACH (Universal, directed by Billy Ray) starring Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillipe, and TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, JULIE NEWMAR (Universal, directed by Beeban Kidron), starring Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze. For actor-director Edward Norton he designed KEEPING THE FAITH.

Thomas is a graduate of Boston University. He received his BFA in Theatre-Design. He started his career designing sets for the theatre. He was resident designer with the world famous Negro Ensemble Co. Wynn also designed sets for Joe Papp’s Public Theatre, Arena Stage in Wash. DC, Great Lakes Shakespeare Co. in Cleveland Ohio, and the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven.

Wynn Thomas with Robert DeNiro on the set of A Bronx Tale
Wynn Thomas with Robert DeNiro on the set of A Bronx Tale.

As an assistant art director, he worked with the distinguished production designer, Richard Sylbert, on THE COTTON CLUB. He also art directed or assisted on BEAT STREET, THE MONEY PIT, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, and THE PACKAGE with Gene Hackman.

Wynn is the first African-American production designer to become a member of the Art Director’s Guild in Los Angeles and he is the first African American nominated for the Art Director’s Guild award for his design work on Tim Burton’s MARS ATTACKS!!!. He won two Art Director’s Guild Awards for excellence in production design (HIDDEN FIGURES, DA 5 BLOODS). He is a proud member of United Scenic Artist Local 829.  And he is thrilled to be a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Mars Attacks - production design by Wynn Thomas.
Mars Attacks – production design by Wynn Thomas.
    Upcoming Workshops taught by Wynn Thomas