Guided by award-winning set decorator Lydia Marks, discover the techniques that enhance the connection between storytelling and set design in any medium.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

Note: This workshop will be held in a live, online format utilizing the Zoom platform.
Class meets Saturday, Nov 18 from 1-4:30pm ET.

The Devil Wears Prada (Fox 2000, 20th Century Fox) - Set Decoration in Film & Photography with Lydia Marks
The Devil Wears Prada (Fox 2000, 20th Century Fox).

Have you ever wondered how to create a set that tells a powerful story? In this half-day online workshop, set decorator and designer Lydia Marks (Devil Wears Prada, Sex and the City, Fosse/Verdon, Maniac, and Synecdoche, NY) shares her experience from her work on feature films, TV, and print campaigns, giving participants a behind the scenes view into the creative, collaborative, and practical considerations that make it all come together.

Sex and the City - 2 (Warner Bros.) - Set Decoration in Film & Photography with Lydia Marks
Sex and the City (Warner Bros.)
Sex and the CIty Wardrobe Set (Warner Bros) - Set Decoration in Film & Photography with Lydia Marks
Sex and the City (Warner Bros.).

The workshop will explore the process behind several well-known film sets, deconstructing the final designs and discussing the key considerations involved, to highlight principles and techniques that will enhance the connection between story and set in any medium or genre.

Behind-the scenes of Fosse-Verdon (FX) - Set Decoration in Film & Photography with Lydia Marks
Behind-the scenes of Fosse-Verdon (FX).

Topics include:

A review of the basics:

The key to a successful project is a successful beginning. We will cover the basic logistics of budgeting, research, staffing, script breakdowns, concept development, and collaborations. The Netflix limited series Maniac will be our case study on what you need to know to set up your project for success.

Building the set of Maniac (Netflix) - Set Decoration in Film & Photography with Lydia Marks
Behind the scenes of Maniac (Netflix).
Maniac (Netflix) - Set Decoration in Film & Photography with Lydia Marks
Maniac (Netflix).

Developing nuanced set designs:

We will look at completed sets from Fosse/Verdon and peel the layers back to see what went into their making. We also examine the different methods used to depict the passage of time in this series. Drawings of the stage sets, research from the National Archives and Fosse/Verdon family will be reviewed.

Set of Fosse-Verdon - 3 (FX) - Set Decoration in Film & Photography with Lydia Marks
Set of Fosse/Verdon (FX).
Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Fosse/Verdon (FX).

How to handle creative challenges:

The nature of this creative practice is one of creative challenges. When the right team is in place and obstacles are embraced, the solution can have a positive outcome on the work. By examining the design of the sets from Devil Wears Prada and Tick Tick Boom, we explore actual situations that occurred while making these films and discuss how the creative challenges and expectations are navigated, the best methods to prepare for the unexpected, and some rules that can’t be broken.

Tick Tick Boom Sets (Netflix) - Set Decoration in Film & Photography with Lydia Marks
Tick Tick Boom sets (Netflix).
Emma Stone in Maniac (Netflix) - Set building and decorating with Lydia Marks
Emma Stone in Maniac (Netflix).

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is open to everyone who would like to build their understanding of the process and possibilities of set decoration and design in any medium.

Participants will leave this class with fresh ideas and inspiration as well as a better understanding of the potential for their own work.

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Instructor: Lydia Marks

Lydia Marks is an award-winning New York-based set decorator for film, television, and print campaigns. Her film and TV credits include THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (20th Century Fox), MANIAC (Netflix), SEX AND THE CITY 1 and 2 (HBO), FOSSE/VERDON (FX), MONEY MONSTER (Tri-Star/Sony), THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE (HBO Max), tick, tick… BOOM! (Netflix), THE TODAY SHOW studio redesign (NBC), SYNECDOCHE, NY (Sony Classics), THE NAMESAKE (Searchlight), YOU CAN COUNT ON ME (Paramount), and two films for director Jim Jarmusch: BROKEN FLOWERS (Focus) and PATERSON (Bleecker Street/Amazon). Her most recent work A MURDER AT THE END OF THE WORLD, a streaming series for FX, premieres in November 2023.

Lydia’s 20 years of experience with decoration and design began with a passion for documentary photography. Critiques in art school made her aware of the power of interiors to tell a story. After working in the photography departments of several museums, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Lydia began to envision making her own stories and interiors. She became a set decorator for films, thoroughly enjoying taking the words from a script, the vision from a director and production designer, and the character development of an actor, and distilling all that information into visuals to tell a story.

Lydia is the winner of a Daytime Emmy Award and has received one Emmy nomination and two Art Directors Guild Award nominations. Her work was featured in the book DESIGNS ON FILM: A CENTURY OF HOLLYWOOD ART DIRECTION. Her work has been featured in many publications, including Elle Decor, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, and Architectural Digest. She has been designing interiors for private clients at her firm, Lydia Marks Design, since 2008.  Lydia lives in Brooklyn, NY.