Production Designer Inbal Weinberg Visits Art Department


Inbal Weinberg, originally from Israel, graduated in 2003 with a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts. The Film and Media Studies Department hosted the production designer on Thursday, March 5, for a Q&A and screening about her career and profession at Golden Auditorium in Little Hall.  

Weinberg is known for her work on many critically acclaimed films such as “Frozen River” (2008), “Blue Valentine” (2010), “Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012), “Beasts of No Nation” (2015), “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” (2017) and most recently “Suspiria” (2018). She is also the co-founder of Production Designers Collective, an organization which brings together all production designers interested in furthering the field of production design. 

Weinberg made use of the floor-to-ceiling screen in Golden Auditorium to kick off the Q&A with an overview of the history of production design. Using photos of sets from Edison’s first film studio “the Black Maria,” the set of Ben Hurr, and the shooting location for her most recent film project, “Suspiria”, Weinberg illustrated the advances and changes made in the field of production design over the course of cinematic history. Using Suspiria as a model, Weinberg explained in detail her own experience with the process of creating sets for film production. 

Later that day, Weinberg returned to Golden Auditorium to screen the 2012 film “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” on which she worked as the production designer. “Perks of Being a Wallflower” is an emotional portrait of a freshman in high school, Charlie, navigating new friendships, a burgeoning crush, and his own mental illness. 

In the Q&A portion following the screening, Weinberg provided insight into how she tried to maintain a personal thread to the author’s, Stephen Chbosky, life throughout the film, describing how he brought personal effects from his childhood to use as props in the film, and how they based a lot of the suburban setting around his own neighborhood growing up. 

Weinberg also talked about her choice to take on the film in the first place. 

“The connection was more emotional,” Weinberg said. She also discussed her somewhat particular mindset in taking on projects. 

“It takes me a while to find a project that I like… first off, the script has to be really good, it doesn’t really have to do with the design, it just has to be a good script, which is very hard to find, unfortunately… The script has to be very interesting, just well-written.” 

“I love Perks of Being a Wallflower. I feel like everyone who’s been in high school can relate to it in some way, and it was so special being able to get the insider’s perspective through listening to Inbal,” Sophomore Isabel Lariño said in response to the screening. Another sophomore, Logan King, reaffirmed these sentiments. 

“I’ve never thought about all the choices and roles that go behind making a film. Hearing [Inbal] talk about all the minute aesthetic decisions she made really deepened my appreciation for the process,” King said.

At the end of the lecture, Weinberg summarized her role and the industry in general with the words, “I feel that all of filmmaking is how to make the impossible possible.”