I look forward to the red carpet Oscar glamour and all of the hoopla as much as anyone else. I tune in every year to see who wears what and to jot down the names of all the dark horse winners and offbeat foreign films that I will want to rent after seeing snippets of footage during the Oscars. Of course I’m curious about who will win the biggies like Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Film – but every year I’m amazed by the number of Oscars that are awarded to people I’ve never heard of, whose hard work and creative energy behind the scenes is absolutely essential to the making of a great film. In addition to the Best Composer of a Musical Score, the Best Set Design, the Best Special Effects, etc., think about how many more collaborators on those films never set foot on stage: the musicians in the orchestra, the carpenters who built the sets, the writer who wrote those memorable lines, not to mention the key grips, assistants, and countless others without whom film production would come to a screeching halt.
Filmmaking is a collaborative effort on a gigantic scale, but the parallels to the design industry are striking. The client sees a fabulous finished room or a beautiful window treatment, and usually only has the designer’s face to associate with it. Can you imagine what it would look like if we could present the client with a group photo of everyone whose efforts and ingenuity went into pulling off that one show-stopping design? The designer would be in the picture, as well as the client (producer) for financing the production and influencing the direction of the project. But we’d also have our ingenious drapery installers and our workroom owners, seamstresses, and the workroom assistant who calculated yardages and coordinated the project to ensure it was finished on schedule. The showroom manager would be in my photo as well, along with her staff for assisting me in locating the perfect trim to complement that gorgeous fabric. My cast and crew photo would also include the artisans who created our handmade molded tassel fringe, the people at the fabric mills who wove the breathtaking silk damask, the fabric company that imported that fabric from the mill and their sales rep, who provided me with samples, as well as the person who designed the trim and the textile historian who discovered the antique damask pattern in some dusty archives somewhere. The hardware manufacturer would be in my photo, along with the men and women who designed, crafted, and carefully packaged each exquisite piece for shipment. I’ve got hundreds of people in my photo already, and those are just the ones responsible for the window treatments – imagine how many more are involved if we’re designing an entire room or an entire home. Clearly, the success of the design industry is made possible by the dedication and passion of millions of unsung heroes whose work goes on behind the scenes. This year, as Oscar night drags on interminably with speech after speech thanking everyone from the gardener to the kindergarten teachers, I’m going to be thinking of all of the many people who have made my successes possible… this year, the Oscar goes to YOU!
By Rebecca Deming Rumpf of Custom Interiors By Rebecca