Patti Podesta is a Los Angeles-based Production Designer for film and television. Over her 20year career as an artist and designer she has become known for intelligent, imaginative work in a variety of genre and for her sophisticated aesthetic.
Her spare, moody design for the original and critically acclaimed film “Memento” directed by Chris Nolan put her on the map. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy and the Art Director’s Guild Award for her work on the film “Recount” which reconstructed the events and milieu of the contested Florida vote for the Presidential Election in 2000.
Recent projects include “Love and Other Drugs” for director Ed Zwick; “Cinema Verite,” the Emmy-winning HBO docudrama; “Smart People” for director Noam Murro; and “Bobby,” Emilio Estevez’s account of the day Robert Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles, for which she recreated the Ambassador Hotel circa 1968. She received early notice for two films with independent director Gregg Araki, “Nowhere” and “Splendor.” Podesta began her work in the movie business designing title sequences, most notably “Bound,” and designing the slide-show-scene in “Jurassic Park.”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, she lived for a time in Europe as a teenager which had considerable influence on her point of view. She originally envisioned being an architect before taking up sculpture and then video, becoming well-known as a media artist. Her experimental video works have been screened at museums and festivals in the U.S. and Europe and recognized with numerous awards. She holds a Masters Degree in Fine Art and brings this background to her film design. Her career is a continuing investigation of the intersection of art and film.
Asked by a friend to design a set in 1993, Podesta discovered that Production Design encompassed all the subjects she wanted to explore: spatial articulation and its implication on bodies, the nature of Realism and its double, Expressionism, and above all, creating a conceptual form that unfolds over time. In the late 90s, she began designing feature films and this became the focus of her career, the synthesis of her interest in the sculptural and the temporal, in architecture and in color.
Podesta maintains her participation in the art world as a member of the Graduate Art Faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where she advises students working in all disciplines and teaches filmmaking for artists.