A production designer known for his visually evocative work and creative alliances with some of cinema’s most compellingly inspired directors and storytellers, Rick Heinrichs has conceived and built cinematic worlds for scripted characters to inhabit as vast and deep as a galaxy far, far away (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), and as sparse and flat as a Midwestern winterscape (Fargo). His most recent film design work delves into the visual revelation of character in the murder mystery genre (Knives Out 2) with his previous collaborator, director-writer Rian Johnson. Other director collaborations have included extensive and repeated collaborations with Tim Burton, Joel & Ethan Coen, Gore Verbinski, Joe Johnston, designing films for Ang Lee, Harold Ramis, Spike Jonze, Henry Selick, and Brad Silberling, as well as series television and commercials for the likes of Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher, Agnieszka Holland, and Peter Bogdanovich.
Rick has explored the graphically expressive opportunities of gothic horror (Sleepy Hollow, for which he won the Oscar and BAFTA awards for Art Direction), of swashbuckling adventure (Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3), of superhero origin (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Hulk), of dark period comedy (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dark Shadows), of period reality (Big Eyes) and period fantasy (Dumbo), of Bowling-Noir Detective (in which genre there is but one film: The Big Lebowski), and of eclectically surreal stop motion animation (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Frankenweenie). What unites these films is their strong manifestation of visual intention that serves the narrative without overwhelming it.
With early experience in animation at the Disney Studio, theme park design at Disney Imagineering, art direction for VFX, and as a Set Designer and then Art Director for live action films, Rick has developed conceptual workflows that weave together the requirements of a film’s practical build and location shoot into virtual pipelines compatible with VFX processes necessary for world-building and other narrative environments.
Rick says he’s always on the lookout to collaborate on novel challenges of the imagination with similarly spirited filmmakers.