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Film designer is set for an Oscar

Category: Phantom of the Opera News
Article Date: February 18, 2005 | Publication: Islington Express | Author:

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HOLLYWOOD spotlights will be turned to Archway on Oscar night, thanks to the artistic talents of Anthony Pratt.

The Whitehall Park resident has designs on an Academy Award for his work on the film set for Phantom of the Opera.

He has been jointly nominated, along with set decorator Celia Bobak, in the best art direction category of the awards to be announced on February 27.

"I would be very surprised if Lemony Snicket or The Aviator didn't get it," Mr Pratt told the High&I. "There's also a French film, A Very Long Engagement, which was a late runner as it were and will be a contender. But I suppose you always have an outside chance."

The set designer is no stranger to glory, having been nominated in 1987 for John Boorman's Hope and Glory. He was beaten by the set designers on Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor.

This year the LA ceremony will be different, with some winners receiving Oscars in their chairs, cutting down on the speeches but giving each nominee more TV airtime.

And Mr Pratt is looking forward to the event, although he plans to take all the red carpet glamour in his stride.

"I'll be taking my daughter - I think she'll be more into that," he said. "I'll just be wearing the normal tux."

As production designer of The Phantom of the Opera, Mr Pratt provided a lavish setting for the film directed by Joel Schumacher and based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical.

"The interesting thing about it was that we did it entirely on stages, like an old fashioned studio film, which is quite rare these days," he said.

His sets ranged from the Paris Opera House to the Phantom's lair and were built on eight stages at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. He used 73 tons of steel, 15,000 litres of paint, more than 92 miles of lumber and 51 miles of scaffolding in the construction.

It's all a long way from the days when, as a teenager, Mr Pratt was inspired by a book on Alexandre Trauner's set designs.

"It showed a sketch he'd done for Les Enfants du Paradis and then opposite the actual set. I thought, that must be nice - you do a sketch and it turns into that.

"That was when I was 17 so it gave me a direction to go in. I'm 67 now and the nomination is probably not likely to happen to me again, so it's a nice bit of nonsense.


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