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Photo of Michela Marino Lerman by Luis Guillen

ON TAP WINS 2024 NYSCA AWARD
Funding will assist completion of our
ON TAP documentary.

NOW IN PRODUCTION

A NEW FILM FROM KRISTI ZEA AND KAREN GOODMAN

ON TAP

ON TAP has won a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts

to assist in the completion of our film.

 

ON TAP explores the origins of tap through an in-depth profile of preeminent improvisational jazz tap dancer, Michela Marino Lerman.

 

Oscar-nominee Kristi Zea (Everybody Knows...Elizabeth Murray, Notes from the Field) and Oscar and Emmy award-winner Karen Goodman (Strangers No More, HBO Masterclass) are independent filmmakers who have been directing, producing, and designing documentary and feature films for more than three decades, including several works for PBS’ American Masters series.

Your support will help us complete this work. To make a donation, please visit HumanArtsAssociation.org

We are grateful to the New York State Council on the Arts whose mission is to foster and advance the full breadth of New York State’s arts, culture, and creativity for all. For more about NYSCA, please visit www.arts.ny.gov and follow NYSCA’s Facebook page, Twitter @NYSCArts, and Instagram @NYSCouncilontheArts.

Michela Marino Lerman and Anna Deavere Smith Featured in New York Times Style Profile

This NYT piece resonates with Kristi Zea's own experience. read more...

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What an amazing week!

Big thanks to Kalina IvanovInbal Weinberg, and Rick Carter for putting together an incredible week!

International Production Design Week – the first ever – was a monumental achievement!

From all of us “below the line” here’s to the team at productiondesignweek.org for giving production designers top billing!

Photo: Kalina (left) and me after the October 29th IPDW panel "Production Design: A Life-Long Philosophy.''

IndieWire talks with "Daddio" director Christy Hall about filming a stage script as a movie.

First-time director Hall worked with A-list behind the scenes talent like producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff (“The Irishman”), production designer Kristi Zea (“Revolutionary Road”) and director of photography Phedon Papamichael (“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”)... read more...

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"DADDIO" WINS ACCLAIM at
2023 TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL

Kristi Zea's production design recognized

Director Christy Hall's new film Daddio, starring Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson, is winning raves from critics after its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. As production designer, Daddio presented very specific challenges for KristiZea as it takes place entirely inside a taxicab.

 

"I believe production design for this film is unique for me because although the taxicab itself is real, everything you see out the windows is virtual. It was a pleasure to work with director Christy Hall, Phedon Papamichael, and Lisa Zeno Churgin." —Kristi Zea

 

Critics have called out both Kristi and cinematographer Phedon Papamichael for the authentic atmosphere they created.

 

"[Christy] Hall’s stellar technical team—cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, editor Lisa Churgin and production designer Kristi Zea—keep the proceedings lively." —Telluride Film Festival

 

"Something should be added to the physical challenges of shooting almost an entire film in a taxi. According to Hall, most of the film was actually shot in a studio with a taxicab set up on the stage. The fact that it feels so authentic is a tribute not only to the director but also to veteran cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (Nebraska, The Trial of the Chicago 7) and production designer Kristi Zea (The Departed, The Silence of the Lambs)."  —Lynn Henson, USA Today

 

Daddio will be screened Sept 10 and 14 at the Toronto Film Festival.

Poster Art © Luke Dorman of Meow Wolf 2023

Publicity still of Dakota Johnson - Courtesy of Toronto Film Festival

MY FILM ANNIVERSARIES

the silence of the lambs

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The Silence of the Lambs was released on February 14 — 30 years ago. I had worked as a production designer with Jonathan Demme on Married to the Mob. I was hesitant to do The Silence of the Lambs. It was so creepy. But this film has become a classic. Here are some other juicy articles about The Silence of the Lambs 30 years later.

Anthony Hopkins in

The Silence of the Lambs.  ©1991 - MGM

Martin Scorsese's Powerful Goodfellas at 30

A review on theconversation.com

Associate professor in Cinema and Media Studies, RMIT University Adrian Danks writes a review of Martin Scorsese's seminal film Goodfellas, takes us through every nuance of the film to underscore how "massively influential" it has been.

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Along the way he gives a shout out to the production design. "Although key collaborators such as editor Thelma Schoonmaker and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus have often and rightly been singled out for their contributions, the production design by Kristi Zea truly brings this “cloistered” and insular world to life."

 

I remember the almost obsessive detail needed to make the film look and feel like the time and place Scorsese had in mind. For an article for GQ, I recalled how it was important that the length of the collars, the shape of those shirts, the shape of the tie, the kind of knot, be accurate.

 

Marty had his mom cooking for the scenes where they were eating Italian food, because he wants his actors to feel like they're in the real place doing stuff for real.

 

Goodfellas was a remarkable film to have had the opportunity to work on.

Here are some iconic scenes as ranked by Uproxx.com. Plus ten best
food scenes
from Inside Hook!

Kristi honored with a Masters of Cinema award
at the 2022 RiverRun International Film Festival.
see more...

Kristi Zea on "The Watcher" house

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Production designer Kristi Zea shares a behind-the-scenes tour of the house and scenery that set the stage for the infamous residence.

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"The house is certainly the main character and that’s what attracted me to the series." Kristi talking to Architectural Digest.

See the trailer for The Watcher. And Netflix promotional house tour with actress Jennifer Coolidge who plays real estate agent Karen Calhoun

The Watcher premiered on Netflix October 13.

EVERYBODY KNOWS…ELIZABETH MURRAY

EVERYBODY KNOWS…ELIZABETH MURRAY is an intimate portrait of the groundbreaking artist and former Buffalo resident Elizabeth Murray. The film explores the relationship between Murray’s family life and career and reconsiders her place in the contemporary art history. Produced and directed by Kristi Zea, the film has been called “A vivid portrait of a unique talent and personality.” by Film Journal International.

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"...stage-to-screen adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith’s "Notes from the Field" stars her alone playing a multitude of personalities...[and] paints a troubling picture of class
and race in modern America."
LATIMES.COM
"...an effective pulse-taking documentary..."
BLACKGIRLNERDS.COM

“Notes From the Field” was written and co-produced by Anna Deavere Smith

Directed by Kristi Zea

"This is not your father’s or even your

older sibling’s documentary..."

FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE PRISON CELL, ANNA DEAVERE SMITH GIVES VOICE TO THE FORGOTTEN

TISCH RESEARCH, NEWS & EVENTS

ART & PUBLIC POLICY

New Amsterdam episode ‘Lift Off’ directed by Kristi Zea

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New Amsterdam is inspired by Dr. Eric Manheimer's bestselling memoir "Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital" about his 15 years as medical director at the hospital.

Kristi Zea has been part of NBC’s drama New Amsterdam since its beginning in 2008 serving as production designer for the pilot and 11 additional episodes. She then directed “Five Miles West” in season one and now “Lift Off” in season two.

 

In typical New Amsterdam fashion, the story of “Lift Off” has viewers on the edge of their seats, including a super suspenseful lifesaving rescue by Dr. Reynolds.  

 

“I am very proud of this episode” Kristi says, “and all the hard work that the cast, crew and all aspects of production contributed to making it so compelling.” 

New Amsterdam airs on NBC and streams on NBC.com/New-Amsterdam.

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Talking Pictures

A love poem to his late wife Elizabeth Murray by poet-performer
Bob Holman


A SHORt Film
by Kristi Zea

In TALKING PICTURES, poet performer extraordinaire Bob Holman, founder of the legendary Bowery Poetry Club, is inspired by an exhibition of the supremely individualistic, off-the-wall paintings of his late wife, Elizabeth Murray. His performance bridges the relationship between poetry and painting, and asks the question, if paintings could talk, would they speak poetry?

 

Directed by Oscar and Critics Choice nominee Kristi Zea (EVERYBODY KNOWS... ELIZABETH MURRAY, NOTES FROM THE FIELD) with music by Oscar nominee, David Lang, and edited/arranged by Charles Caster-Dudzick. TALKING PICTURES is produced by Bowery Art + Sciences.

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EVERYBODY KNOWS...ELIZABETH MURRAY 

Directed & Produced

by Kristi Zea

Watch the Trailer!

Explore the life and enduring legacy of
New York contemporary art maverick Elizabeth Murray

"...[a] cogent, fascinating portrait..."

NEW YORK TIMES 

Available to stream on PBS.org app

See Kristi Zea talk about the film

on PBS NYC-ARTS here

Talking Pictures SHOWCASED IN LONDON

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