Hamish Purdy discusses his experience working on set for the movie The Revenant.

Hamish Purdy is Oscar nominated art director and set decorator known for his work on Man of Steel (2013), Watchmen (2009) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). A born and raised Vancouver boy, Purdy attended UVic and UBC before going into film and TV, working on local independent film Impolite and TV series The X Files and films like Watchmen and Sucker Punch. He’s worked with respected industry folks Jim Erickson, Elizabeth Wilcox and Lin MacDonald here and abroad. Most recently he worked with Jack Fisk on The Revenant, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for production design. Hamish lives in North Vancouver with his wife and three kids.

About the speaker

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Hamish Purdy is Oscar nominated art director and set decorator known for his work on Man of Steel (2013), Watchmen (2009) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). A born and raised Vancouver boy, Purdy attended UVic and UBC before going into film and TV, working on local independent film Impolite and TV series The X Files and films like Watchmen and Sucker Punch. He’s worked with respected industry folks Jim Erickson, Elizabeth Wilcox and Lin MacDonald here and abroad. Most recently he worked with Jack Fisk on The Revenant, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for production design. Hamish lives in North Vancouver with his wife and three kids.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?

A Combination of imagination and problem solving. Coming up with concept and designs and the figuring out how to achieve it. Learning from mistakes or, in hindsight, unnecessary hardships. For me the joy of figuring out a clever soloution or method is equal to the pride of a perfect set.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

Excellent design in a movie or TV show. Also, seeing a successful set of my own completed I’m amazed it has come together and encouraged that bigger& better could be done next time.

What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

Keep eyes open at all times. Every single thing you see object, product, structure, article….it was all considered, thought through, planned, and executed. Decisions were made on knowledge and instinct and eventually it was time to go ahead a do it.

Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?


Pat Metheny….Good luck with that!


What practises, rituals or habits contribute to your creative work?

Always tackle the hardest technical problems first. As the solutions unfold, the pressure eases and my creative instincts kick in allowing me to explore possibilities, I love to take details to my sets to a level that only a few might notice. It raises the bar all around and keeps me from letting things “slide”


What was the best surprise you’ve experienced so far in life?

Learning that my wife and I were going to have twins. Getting an OscarNomination…a close second.


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