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Curt Beech (’94) proud member of Oscar-winning team

'Lincoln' production designers take home prestigious Academy Award

By Cherin C. Poovey (P '08) Wake Forest Magazine
"The Oscar is an honor you don't work for, but secretly strive to be worthy of on every film," says Curt Beech.
"The Oscar is an honor you don't work for, but secretly strive to be worthy of on every film," says Curt Beech.

Rick Carter and his colleague, Jim Erickson, set decorators for “Lincoln,” won the Academy Award for production design at Sunday night’s Oscars.

Alumnus Curt Beech (’94) is a California-based production designer and a member of their award-winning team. He had some proud words when Wake Forest Magazine touched base with him following the biggest night in Hollywood.

“I couldn’t be prouder today! Rick and Jim were inspirational leaders on the ‘Lincoln’ set, and they worked tirelessly to make the film great,” said Beech. “We tried to imbue the look of the film with the same detail that Daniel Day-Lewis put into his (Oscar-winning Best Actor) performance, and I think that is where the film is successful. Everyone on the project knew the bar was high, and we did everything we could to give him (Rick) and the rest of the cast environments that they could get lost in while they did their exemplary work.

From the day we started work on ‘Lincoln’ (and for the 10 years or so before that Rick and Director Steven Spielberg had been conceiving the film), the goal was to give the sets a rich story of their own,” Beech said. “This is the key to great production design. Every set should have its own history and life, and whether the audience is conscious of it or not, these details help to support the story the director is trying to tell.”

He continued, “We had an amazing crew of researchers, graphic designers, set designers, coordinators, builders and painters, prop artisans, sculptors, and production assistants in the art department working tirelessly to make the film a reality. Every movie is a little miracle, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart for how well everyone worked together to make it happen.”

Adds Beech, “The Oscar is an honor you don’t work for, but secretly strive to be worthy of on every film.”