Garvin Eddy

Production Designer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour interview, Garvin Eddy talks about his early years, and his very first experience on a television show set when he visited Maude to talk to Edward Stephenson. He recalls being Stephenson's assistant in the art department on several Norman Lear shows including Sanford and Son and Good Times, as well as his first solo assignment as production designer on the Beatrice Arthur comedy Amanda's. He chronicles his time in the art department on the Witt/Thomas/Harris productions Soap and Benson, which led to his being the production designer on The Cosby Show. He details the many aspects of production design, including the importance of collaboration with the director, producers, and star. He discusses production designing for several other series, including Roseanne, Grace Under Fire, Cybill, 3rd Rock From the Sun, and That '70s Show. He concludes with a summation of his career and advice to aspiring television production designers. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview in North Hollywood, California on May 21, 2010.

"The production designer is responsible for everything you see on the screen that doesn't move. What is this world that these writers have created in their minds and have written about? And how do you make that into a real, three-dimensional living thing that actors move into? It's our job to bring that to life."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Good Times
Garvin Eddy on designing the Huxtable residence on The Cosby Show and working with Bill Cosby
Garvin Eddy on choosing the afghan and sofa on Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on designing the junkyard on Sanford and Son and on the junk or things around the set defining the characters
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Grace Under Fire starring Brett Butler and produced by Chuck Lorre
Garvin Eddy on Roseanne Barr's conflicts with the producers of Roseanne
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on television he watched as a kid; on visiting the set of Maude
On working in the art department as an assistant to Edward Stephenson for shows like Maude and Sanford & Son; on going from assistant to collaborator to Edward Stephenson on shows like Amanda's and Victory at Entebbe ; on what a production designer or art director does
On the importance of doing research to a production designer; on choosing the afghan and sofa on Roseanne; on making sets look unique and non-generic looking
On what he learned from his mentor Edward Stephenson; on the look of the Norman Lear shows he assistant art directed early in his career; on designing the junkyard on Sanford and Son and on the junk or things around the set defining the characters
On how the set of Maude reflected the character of "Maude Findlay" played by Beatrice Arthur; on production designing for Good Times; on the logistics and budgets on production designing for sitcoms in the '70s

Chapter 2

On going to work in production design with Witt-Thomas-Harris productions with the series Soap; on production designing for Benson, a spinoff of Soap; on his first non-assistant production design job on the Beatrice Arthur series Amanda's (misidentified here as "Amanda's By the Sea")
On being hired as production designer for The Cosby Show; on designing the Huxtable residence on The Cosby Show and working with Bill Cosby; on his schedule during the run of The Cosby Show
On the number of sets for The Cosby Show, and on the evolution of and mood on the set; on favorite episodes or memories of The Cosby Show; on collaborating with the producers and directors of The Cosby Show and on the budget of the show
On the legacy of The Cosby Show; on production designing for A Different World starring Lisa Bonet; on production designing for Roseanne
On how his sets may have contributed the success of Roseanne; on working with Roseanne Barr on Roseanne; on the most important, key pieces of the Roseanne set
On Roseanne Barr's conflicts with the producers of Roseanne; on being nominated for an Emmy Award for Roseanne; on staying with the show for its entire run

Chapter 3

On the evolution of the title art director to production designer; on becoming vice president of production design for Carsey Werner; on production designing for Grace Under Fire starring Brett Butler and produced by Chuck Lorre
On the challenges of designing for Grace Under Fire with Brett Butler; working with Chuck Lorre; on dealing with product placement as a production designer; on production designing for Cybill starring Cybill Shepherd
On production designing for 3rd Rock From the Sun starring John Lithgow and Jane Curtin; on production designing for That '70s Show and on the challenge of doing a period piece
On production designing for the John Goodman show Normal, Ohio and Sunny with a Chance; on what a producer needs to know about a given production designer, and on their collaboration
On the most important developments in the technology or technique of production design; on the then-current state of production design on television; on the essential elements that make a production design work
On the importance of a production designer understanding what the camera sees, and on the challenge HDTV presented; on advice to aspiring production designers; on career highlights, and how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

3rd Rock From the Sun

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Garvin Eddy on production designing for 3rd Rock From the Sun starring John Lithgow and Jane Curtin

Amanda's

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Garvin Eddy on going from assistant to collaborator to Edward Stephenson on shows like Amanda's and Victory at Entebbe
Garvin Eddy on his first non-assistant production design job on the Beatrice Arthur series Amanda's (misidentified here as "Amanda's By the Sea")

Benson

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Benson, a spinoff of Soap

Cosby Show, The

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on being hired as production designer for The Cosby Show
Garvin Eddy on designing the Huxtable residence on The Cosby Show and working with Bill Cosby
Garvin Eddy on his schedule during the run of The Cosby Show
Garvin Eddy on the number of sets for The Cosby Show, and on the evolution of and mood on the set
Garvin Eddy on favorite episodes or memories of The Cosby Show
Garvin Eddy on collaborating with the producers and directors of The Cosby Show
Garvin Eddy on working with the budget The Cosby Show afforded him for production design
Garvin Eddy on the legacy of The Cosby Show

Cybill

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Cybill starring Cybill Shepherd
Garvin Eddy on winning an Emmy Award for Cybill

Different World, A

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Garvin Eddy on production designing for A Different World starring Lisa Bonet

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Garvin Eddy on being nominated for an Emmy Award for Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on winning an Emmy Award for Cybill

Good Times

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Good Times

Grace Under Fire

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Grace Under Fire starring Brett Butler and produced by Chuck Lorre

Maude

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on visiting the set of Maude
Garvin Eddy on working in the art department as an assistant to Edward Stephenson for shows like Maude and Sanford & Son
Garvin Eddy on how the set of Maude reflected the character of "Maude Findlay"

Roseanne

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on choosing the afghan and sofa on Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on how his sets may have contributed the success of Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on working with Roseanne Barr on Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on the most important, key pieces of the Roseanne set
Garvin Eddy on Roseanne Barr's conflicts with the producers of Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on being nominated for an Emmy Award for Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on staying with Roseanne for its entire run

Sanford and Son

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on working in the art department as an assistant to Edward Stephenson for shows like Maude and Sanford & Son
Garvin Eddy on designing the junkyard on Sanford and Son and on the junk or things around the set defining the characters
Garvin Eddy on working with Redd Foxx on Sanford and Son

Soap

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on going to work in production design with Witt-Thomas-Harris productions with the series Soap (Susan Harris)

That '70s Show

View Show Page
Garvin Eddy on production designing for That '70s Show and on the challenge of doing a period piece
Garvin Eddy on being nominated for several Emmys for That '70s Show, and on the particular challenges of that show

Victory at Entebbe

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Garvin Eddy on going from assistant to collaborator to Edward Stephenson on shows like Amanda's and Victory at Entebbe
Topics

Advice

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Garvin Eddy on advice to aspiring production designers

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Garvin Eddy on what he learned from his mentor Edward Stephenson

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Garvin Eddy on being nominated for an Emmy Award for Roseanne

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Garvin Eddy on what he learned from his mentor Edward Stephenson

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Garvin Eddy on the most important developments in the technology or technique of production design
Garvin Eddy on the importance of a production designer understanding what the camera sees, and on the challenge HDTV presented

Television Industry

View Topic
Garvin Eddy on becoming vice president of production design for Carsey Werner
Garvin Eddy on the then-current state of production design on television
Garvin Eddy on advice to aspiring production designers
Professions

Art Director/Set Decorator

View Profession
Garvin Eddy on what a production designer or art director does
Garvin Eddy on the evolution of the title art director to production designer

Designers

View Profession
Garvin Eddy on what a production designer or art director does
Garvin Eddy on the importance of doing research to a production designer
Garvin Eddy on making sets look unique and non-generic looking
Garvin Eddy on the significance of the production designer in television
Garvin Eddy on the logistics and budgets on production designing for sitcoms in the '70s
Garvin Eddy on collaborating with the creative team on his production design of a show, using The Cosby Show as an example
Garvin Eddy on the evolution of the title art director to production designer
Garvin Eddy on dealing with product placement as a production designer
Garvin Eddy on what a producer needs to know about a given production designer, and on their collaboration
Garvin Eddy on the most important developments in the technology or technique of production design
Garvin Eddy on the essential elements that make a production design work
Garvin Eddy on the importance of a production designer understanding what the camera sees, and on the challenge HDTV presented
Garvin Eddy on advice to aspiring production designers

Production Designer

View Profession
Garvin Eddy on what a production designer or art director does
Garvin Eddy on the importance of doing research to a production designer
Garvin Eddy on making sets look unique and non-generic looking
Garvin Eddy on the significance of the production designer in television
Garvin Eddy on the logistics and budgets on production designing for sitcoms in the '70s
Garvin Eddy on collaborating with the creative team on his production design of a show, using The Cosby Show as an example
Garvin Eddy on the evolution of the title art director to production designer
Garvin Eddy on dealing with product placement as a production designer
Garvin Eddy on what a producer needs to know about a given production designer, and on their collaboration
Garvin Eddy on the most important developments in the technology or technique of production design
Garvin Eddy on the essential elements that make a production design work
Garvin Eddy on the importance of a production designer understanding what the camera sees, and on the challenge HDTV presented
Garvin Eddy on advice to aspiring production designers
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Garvin Eddy on working in the art department as an assistant to Edward Stephenson for shows like Maude and Sanford & Son
Garvin Eddy on going from assistant to collaborator to Edward Stephenson on shows like Amanda's and Victory at Entebbe
Garvin Eddy on choosing the afghan and sofa on Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on designing the junkyard on Sanford and Son
Garvin Eddy on how the set of Maude reflected the character of "Maude Findlay" played by Beatrice Arthur
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Good Times
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Soap and Benson
Garvin Eddy on production designing for The Cosby Show
Garvin Eddy on production designing for A Different World
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Roseanne
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Grace Under Fire starring Brett Butler and produced by Chuck Lorre
People

Beatrice Arthur

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Garvin Eddy on how the set of Maude reflected the character of "Maude Findlay" played by Beatrice Arthur

Brett Butler

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Garvin Eddy on production designing for Grace Under Fire starring Brett Butler and produced by Chuck Lorre

Marcy Carsey

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Garvin Eddy on working for The Carsey-Werner Company for producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner

Bill Cosby

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Garvin Eddy on designing the Huxtable residence on The Cosby Show and working with Bill Cosby

Redd Foxx

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Garvin Eddy on working with Redd Foxx on Sanford and Son

Susan Harris

View Person Page
Garvin Eddy on going to work in production design with Witt-Thomas-Harris productions with the series Soap (Susan Harris)

Norman Lear

View Interview Page
Garvin Eddy on the look of the Norman Lear shows he assistant art directed early in his career

Chuck Lorre

View Interview Page
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Grace Under Fire starring Brett Butler and produced by Chuck Lorre

Roseanne

View Person Page
Garvin Eddy on Roseanne Barr's conflicts with the producers of Roseanne

Cybill Shepherd

View Person Page
Garvin Eddy on production designing for Cybill starring Cybill Shepherd

Tony Thomas

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Garvin Eddy on going to work in production design with Witt-Thomas-Harris productions with the series Soap (Tony Thomas)

Tom Werner

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Garvin Eddy on working for The Carsey-Werner Company for producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner

Paul Junger Witt

View Person Page
Garvin Eddy on going to work in production design with Witt-Thomas-Harris productions with the series Soap (Paul Junger Witt)

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