Oral Histories

Interview of Roy Christopher

Art director and production designer. Known for Frasier, Wings, Murphy Brown, and Academy Awards, among many other productions.
Series:
The Crafts in Hollywood: Production Design
Topic:
Film and Television
Interviewer:
Collings, Jane
Interviewee:
Christopher, Roy
Persons Present:
Christopher and Collings.
Place Conducted:
Christopher's home in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Jane Collings, principal editor and interviewer, UCLA Center for Oral History Research; Ph.D., Critical Studies in Film and Television, UCLA.
Processing of Interview:
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. Christopher was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.
Length:
2.75 hrs.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Audio:
Series Statement:
This series of interviews was undertaken in collaboration with the Art Directors Guild. Its aim is to document the lives and work of Guild members and staff who have made a significant contribution to film and television history. Interviews capture the work of title artists, set designers, art directors, production designers, and many other categories. The contribution of labor unions in shaping the conditions of the work is also addressed.
Early life in Central Valley near Fresno--Attends California State University, Fresno as a drama major--Lives in Germany with wife Dorothy while in the army--Takes a design job at the Valley Music Theater in Los Angeles--Starts work as an assistant scenic artist at NBC--Interest in pop art--Receives an Emmy Award for a set for The Richard Pryor Show--Enjoys the live theater aspect of TV work--Breaking down a script scene by scene is key to visualization for production design--Production designers go through several levels of approval in today’s working environment--Found work on Our Town, for NBC, to be very rewarding.
Commits himself to work in the field of art direction when starting at NBC--Enjoys productive collaborative professional relationships--Enjoys the “show business” aspect of live TV--Works with Lucille Ball on Bungle Abbey--Works comfortably in all styles, from “high comedy” to realism--Works with Norman Lloyd for Hollywood Television Theater--Dorothy Christopher’s work as a set decorator--The Christophers’ design work for the greenroom for the Academy Awards--The work process involved in designing the Academy Awards--Design work for Frasier--Writes plays with Dorothy Christopher.