Updated: Oct 27, 2022
The highly anticipated Don't Worry Darling is finally in theatres, and we've dug up the top production design secrets you need to know. Starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, this film follows a 1950s housewife who lives with her husband in a utopian experimental community and begins to worry that their community may be hiding disturbing secrets. In this post, we’ll provide our top four production design secrets that showcase the unique desert oasis, mid-century architecture, and surreal landscape of the long-awaited Don't Worry Darling.
Secret No. 1:
Director Olivia Wilde chose Palm Springs for the filming location because she found it to represent the “patriarchal masculinity” that makes up the story being told.
Secret No. 2:
The Victory Project’s mysterious headquarters takes place in the Volcano house, a saucer-like structure that sits atop a 150-ft cinder cone in the Mojave Desert of Newberry Springs. This structure is meant to seem as though it had materialized from another planet.
Secret No. 3
Frank’s home takes place at the Kaufmann Desert House. Made of glass, steel, and Utah stone, this home is a marvel of modernism. A photograph of this home was pinned to Wilde’s wall for inspiration while she was developing the film.
Secret No. 4
Jack and Alice’s home is located in Canyon View Estates, a community of condominiums built in the 1960s. These villas have floor-to-ceiling windows and stone fronts, embodying luxurious suburban living.
Why is Production Design So Important?
A production designer is head of the art department. On board from the beginning, they work with the director + producers to help bring the writer’s script, director’s vision + producer’s plans together as a visual whole. The production designer researches or "scouts" locations, eventually securing + preparing it for shooting. They budget the cost of materials, track expenses, and typically oversee the art director, set designers, illustrators + scenic painters to develop a specific visual style for a production. From minute details to overarching themes, a production designer must consider every aspect shown on screen, and whether big budget or small, they must be resourceful and think on their feet. Viewers don't often realize how many people are involved behind the scenes and how much time + energy goes into a major production like Don't Worry Darling. According to IMDB, about 34 people made up this films' art department, working alongside Production Designer Katie Byron to bring the seemingly utopian world of Don't Worry Darling to life. It's no secret that Don't Worry Darling and its impressive production design will leave audiences in awe.