Bengaluru girl designs set for a Netflix show in Hollywood
In recent years, some significant, more visible conversations about diversity in films have emerged. Women and minorities continue to be underrepresented in all areas.
Bengaluru: In recent years, some significant, more visible conversations about diversity in films have emerged. Women and minorities continue to be underrepresented in all areas. The problem extends not only to the characters we see on screen but also to those who work behind the camera.
So it's refreshing to come across the work of Harshita Reddy, from Bengaluru, a set designer and an Assistant Art Director, making her mark in Hollywood despite being a woman. She left her promising career as an architect and ventured into an industry where women make up less than 20 percent of the workforce.
But, Reddy was determined to make her dreams come true. Her love affair with films began at the age of 12 when she watched the Telugu movie, 'Arjun and was fascinated by the recreation of the iconic Madurai Temple. It was then that she decided to pursue designing sets as her potential career.
The Bengaluru girl, who now resides in Los Angeles, cut her teeth in Hollywood as a lead set designer for a Netflix film called, 'The Women in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window', starring Kristen Bell. She believes that she was fortunate to land upon such a challenging and interesting opportunity during the Covid-19 phase.
Working alongside notable production designer Melanie Jones to design the house of the lead character was a great learning experience, shares Harshita. "I was expected to make construction drawings for an entire 3- storey house in just under 3 weeks. Although I was slightly intimidated by the task at hand I decided to take up the challenge, she expounds. She adds " Even though, the pandemic presented multiple challenges such as not having the flexibility to shoot at actual locations and limiting the number of people on set, it was rewarding to see the outcome"
The challenges did not deter the set designer from pursuing her work, "We had about three weeks of prep time and an additional three weeks of construction to make this happen along with the second lead's house and other small sets." While working with Melanie, who is known for her work for the movies like 'The Purge', 'Whiplash' and more recently ' Bill and Ted Face the Music' starring Keanu Reeves, Harshita was allured by her decision-making skills and her ability to communicate with various members of the product be it the producers or the directors. "She had such a good relationship with the construction team that a lot of things were executed even before we had to tell them.
This is something I would like to inculcate into my work ethic." Highlighting one of her most memorable moments on set was seeing the set built and how the project came to life in just under two months. When Melaine Jones recognised her experience and skillsets she received another opportunity to work with her again right after the pirate show. "I recently worked with her as a set designer on a Disney+ mini-series which is a reboot of 'The Santa Clause ' movies starring Tim Allen. Looks like I did something right for her to call me back," she laughs. Sharing her plans, she intends to keep working hard and make her way up in the Art department to become an Art Director and eventually a Production Designer. "My goal is to develop the skill sets that will allow me to work on a diverse range of projects irrespective of the language or the country itself" says hopeful Harshita.