When the Academy Award nominations are announced on Jan 13, don’t be surprised if “Jojo Rabbit” ends up with more craft nominations than you might have anticipated. Taika Waititi’s farcical dramedy is set in a small German town in World War II, but features a look and style rarely seen with such period films. Much of that is due to the work of production designer Ra Vincent.
The New Zealand native earned an Oscar nomiantion for his work as a set director on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” but its his collaborations as a production designer with Waititi that have really showcased his talents. From “What We Do In The Shadows” to “Thor: Ragnarok,” and now “Jojo Rabbit,” Vincent has show a wide range of looks that all still fit in what is now seen as a Waititi aesthetic. “Rabbit” turned out to be one of his bigger challenges and for unexpected reasons.
In the video embedded on this post, Vincent discuses how his research informed him, in one instance, of how colorful Jojo’s world would have been at the time, especially at the beginning of the picture. That contradicts with the impression most people have of every day life at that time thanks to the impressions left from black and white photos and newsreels. Like the film’s narrative, these eye-popping designs mask the true horror surrounding Jojo. As the film progresses, the colors become more muted and a grey, a melancholy tone saturates the film’s look.
You can watch Vincent and Waititi discuss and demonstrate their creative choices in the video below.
“Jojo Rabbit” is now playing in theaters nationwide.