ADG Perspective

March-April 2024

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8 0 P E R S P E C T I V E | M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 4 M I L E S T O N E S William F. Matthews 1942-2023 B Y D AV I D M O R O N G , E D I T O R A. BILL MATTHEWS ACCEPTING AN ADG LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN 2019. B. HOUSE EXTERIOR DRAWN BY MATTHEWS FOR THE KING OF CALIFORNIA. Senior Set Designer and Art Director Bill Matthews passed away at age 81 in the final days of December 2023. Bill's career as a Production Designer, Art Director and Set Designer spanned fifty years, and he was the recipient of an ADG Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, recognizing his many contributions to the crafts. Born in Marietta, Ohio, Bill earned an MFA in fine arts and theater design from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, and began his career working for PBS and designing for the theater. Bill relocated to Los Angeles and joined the ADG in 1979, finding employment in both film and television. He worked his way up from Set Designer to Art Director and Production Designer for all the major studios, including ABC, NBC, HBO, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Columbia and Universal, as well as streaming services. He worked on several early Steven Spielberg films, including Poltergeist, E.T., Gremlins and Innerspace, as well as the first episode of Amazing Stories. He spent three seasons as Production Designer on the original Beverly Hills, 90210 for Aaron Spelling and another three seasons on Lost, creating places like London, Berlin and Iraq on the island of Oahu. Following Lost, he spent two seasons on Monk. Other projects included Captain Ron, Cheaper by the Dozen, three Karate Kid films, Out to Sea, Stripes, The Marrying Man, Godless and The Underground Railroad, among many others. Along with his extensive professional career, Bill was also an educator, teaching at Castleton State College, Mount Holyoke College and Carnegie- Mellon University. Since 2013, Bill lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his wife Diana and his many dear cats, where he continued his work as a Set Designer, as well as to be engaged in his art, poetry and his love of the classical guitar. I was fortunate enough to have worked with Bill on a few projects, and his drawings were always much more than instructions on how the scenery should be built; they were infused with the kind of character that comes from a lifetime of storytelling, and his skill with a pencil reminds us of just how powerful a design tool it can be. Sitting across from his drafting table for those months, I got to know him not just for his skill, but as a kind, thoughtful gentleman with wide interests, who was a pleasure to spend those fourteen- hour days alongside. I'm sure all who worked with him over the years will remember him with the same fondness. A B

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