AMA! Marie Jach - Production Design


(Yuri Baranovsky) #41

Honestly, I expect two things: that the production designer read the script and is very familiar with it, that they have ideas and some beginnings of a vision. They don’t need to bring anything, I just want to know they’re well-versed in what we’re doing and can bring ideas to the table in the first meeting.


(Anna Bateman) #42

Thank you!! So is Art Director kind of to production designer the same as an assistant director/line producer to director?


(Marie Jachimoicz) #44

That’s a tough one, and something I still struggle with a little. If someone offers a job and says, “this is what we have budgeted for you.” and it’s too low, I’ll be straight forward and say, “My usual day rate is $xxx, do you think you can get closer to that number?” Sometimes they say no and I have to decide if the job is worth doing, or if I can slip in a kit fee to make it worth my time. But at the end of the day, being a freelancer is about knowing your worth and asking for it. There was a point in my career when I was so desperate that I just took jobs for whatever people would pay, and it kept me stuck in that cycle of only making low rates. But the minute I was like, "Nope, this is my rate now, and I have the skill set to deserve that rate. " everything changed.


(Marie Jachimoicz) #45

Hah! Oh geez, how much time do you have? Let’s see… My number one thing is probably greeking. Spend the $6 on a cleared label instead of using a sharpie to cover three letters on the vodka bottle. Also, steaming curtains, sheets and pillow cases. No one has perfectly creased pillow cases in their house.


(sam lockie-waring) #46

how do you determine what your day rate is? (you don’t have to like tell us what it is, but i’m curious how you decided on a number and what variables went into it)


(Bri Castellini) #47

Greeking?


(Ron Valderrama) #48

Well I’m late again. Thanks for doing this @Mjach.


(Jaime Lancaster) #49

Kind of on this topic, speaking from the perspective of a producer… are there production design elements that are kind of good general things to have that we might be able to repurpose from project to project? Or things we can send less experienced people to look for? In order to keep prices down, I mean?


(Marie Jachimoicz) #50

Whoa. Such a good question. I do think I have a personal aesthetic that is very “me.” It’s a little hard to describe… my best friend calls it “Midcentury cowboy.” But in general I think I like things neat, composed, and visually organized. Even when I have to do a messy space, say a garage full of junk, it’s difficult because I still want things to be arranged just so. I think composition is so important so that even then things look “messy,” theyre arranged in a way that does’t make your brain crazy. Does that make sense? That said though, I think it’s important to be flexible in terms of design, so that you’re always honoring the project’s needs and the director’s vision.


(Marie Jachimoicz) #51

Take all the jobs. Never say no. Work your ass off. When you’re just starting out, do everything you can. Meet people, join facebook groups, ask strangers for advice or jobs or help. I used to email total strangers that were references of people I barely knew, just to say “Hey, I’m trying to do this thing. Any help would be amazing.” It’s hard, and requires a lot of pride swallowing, but most people are so happy to help.


(Marie Jachimoicz) #52

Take all the jobs. Never say no. Work your ass off. When you’re just starting out, do everything you can. Meet people, join facebook groups, ask strangers for advice or jobs or help. I used to email total strangers that were references of people I barely knew, just to say “Hey, I’m trying to do this thing. Any help would be amazing.” It’s hard, and requires a lot of pride swallowing, but most people are so happy to help.


(Marie Jachimoicz) #53

Yes! That’s a good way to look at it!


(Marie Jachimoicz) #54

When I started out, I took what people offered, which was $120/a day. Yes. But, then as I got more experienced, worked on bigger things, I started asking for more. I will also feel out a project to see what the budget is to see how much I can ask for. But if you honestly say, “This is my day rate and people pay me this” the worst anyone can do is say, “Whoa, we do not have that much money.” And you go from there.


(sam lockie-waring) #55

So you’re saying your current number is kind of arbitrary, partially dependent on overall budget? Or are you assigning value for time or difficulty of project?


(Bri Castellini) #56

Wow you guys, 1 hour really flew by today! HUGE big thanks to @Mjach for sharing her expertise with us today! Definitely check out her work (mariejach.com) and FYI- I’m gonna be watching your guys’ production design like a HAWK from now on :wink:


(sam lockie-waring) #57

thank you marie, and thank you thank you bri and stareable for bringing a production designer to an ama. this was so dope and so helpful


(Marie Jachimoicz) #58

That’s a tough one. My general thought is, no. Art people are are people because they have a skill set that not everyone has. They have an eye for beauty, for what’s right in a space, and they know exactly how and where to find those things. We work really hard to develop these skills and I feel like artists are crucial to every project. When producers offer me PA help, it’s hard to utilize it because what art does on set is so specific. That said, one way to help art on low budget stuff in pickups and returns. It takes a lot of time, an if you can have cheap PAs in a truck on a pickup or return day, that means art can be utilizing their time doing other things.


(Anna Bateman) #59

Thank you!!


(Marie Jachimoicz) #60

Thanks for the great questions, Sam!!


(Jaime Lancaster) #61

Thank you Marie!! This was so informative!