ADG Perspective

May-June 2016

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72 P E R S P E C T I V E | M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 6 reshoots The streamline modern exterior representing the fictional utopian lamasery Shangri-La, high in the mountains of Tibet, was designed by Stephen Goosson, Columbia's Supervising Art Director, for Frank Capra's production of LOST HORIZON (1937). The lamasery set, built at the Columbia Ranch in Burbank was, at the time, the largest single standing set built for a motion picture of the sound era. The rear of the lamasery backed up to the intersection of Verdugo Avenue and Hollywood Way, a busy thoroughfare by day, which necessitated filming at night and heavily added to overtime expenses. The chic modernist villa could have been straight off the drawing board of Frank Lloyd Wright, and this stunning presentation illustration was sketched by Cary Odell, a multiple-Oscar ® -nominated Art Director is his own right. Mr. Odell joined Columbia in the mid-1930s as a draftsman and worked on dozens of that studio's films over the years. This and other production illustrations prove that his contributions to the film were considerable. Michael Stephens writes: "LOST HORIZON is one of the most famous examples of Hollywood exotica in the late thirties. Based on James Hilton's novel about a utopia in the Himalayan mountains, it provided the perfect inspiration for Goosson and Odell's designs. Their sets were influenced both by the then-prevalent art deco "big white" style that dominated Hollywood scenic design, as well as sensual Chinese influences. The result is one of the most visually stunning films ever produced in Hollywood."

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