Oral Histories

Interview of Chris F.C. Brandt

Storyboard artist whose work includes Hidden Figures and St. Vincent; director whose work includes The Illumination of Jim Woodring and Dance, Voldo, Dance.
Series:
The Crafts in Hollywood: Production Design
Topic:
COVID-19 Pandemic
Film and Television
Interviewer:
Collings, Jane
Interviewee:
Brandt, Chris F.C.
Persons Present:
Brandt and Collings.
Place Conducted:
Sessions one and two: Brandt's home in Redondo Beach, California. Because of the necessity of restricting personal contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, the third session was conducted by phone.
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. Brandt 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. Some months after the oral history interview was completed, the UCLA Center for Oral History Research recontacted Brandt to invite him to participate in another interview session documenting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the film and television industry. The final session thus focuses primarily on the personal, professional, and industry-wide effects of the pandemic.
Length:
4.75 hrs.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Interviewee Retained Copyright
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--Childhood spent abroad--Interest in movies and comic books as a child--Studies art in college—Works at the American embassy in Beijing--Graduates from University of California, Santa Cruz with a BFA--Mini-comics--Puppy Toss comic book collective--Digital graphic design work--The small press circuit--Starts work doing storyboarding--Non-union storyboard artists--Works on feature film St. Vincent.
Storyboard work on Hidden Figures--Changes in the work due to digital revolution--The high level of stress on a set--Lack of respect for the work of storyboard artists--Dissatisfaction with union--The process of storyboarding--Large number of non-union digital arts workers--Current project, Last Life--Directs own work, Dance, Voldo, Dance, and Closing Time--Moral objections to working on commercials.
First awareness of virus and expectations--Continues work on a project at home for a time--Lack of sense of fear or panic--Social attitudes toward masks--Cessation of planning for future--Prediction for impact on industry work--Hopes to see a national health plan.