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Ross MacDonald Gets His Props

Feb 01 2019

By Victoria Holod

Imagine having to design the passport that Nucky Thompson uses in Boardwalk Empire. Or, designing John Wilkes Booth’s diary for the second National Treasure movie. That is Ross MacDonald’s job. He designs movie props, in addition to being a fantastic, talented product designer, illustrator and author. 

Our first-year students were – and to be frank, still are – completely blown away by the work Ross graciously showed them. His design history has been monumental – starting with illustrating and designing a children’s book for director John Hughes’ movie, Baby’s Day Out. His process starts with a ton of research, making sure that what he is currently designing looks identical to what it would have looked like in the past. When he is designing a book, he needs to take into consideration how many times it would have been used, where it would have been stored, how it was made, etc. This is a lot of attention to detail but in the end, he is able to bring a piece of history to the present.

Thank you Ross for giving the class a memorable lecture.