The magic of designing film props for Wes Anderson, with Annie Atkins

Annie Atkins is the much-loved graphic props designer who has the dream job we all want and is most famous for her work on Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs.

Annie actually began her career working for an advertising agency in Iceland before she found her way into television, creating props for the tv series, The Tudors. It was here that she started to specialise in the field and was eventually headhunted by Wes Anderson himself. The rest is history.

Last year, Annie released her first book – Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams, and Prison Escape Maps: Designing Graphic Props for Filmmaking – where she reveals some of the secrets and processes behind her craft. And despite the pandemic and a personally difficult year, Annie continued to make props for various films throughout 2020 – all from her Dublin studio.

This year, we can expect to see Annie's work in Spielberg's West Side Story remake, and in Anderson's The French Dispatch where Annie was once again able to roll her sleeves up and all the details we might only see for a second.

In this episode, we talk about Annie's journey to graphic prop design – about death warrants, her love of typography and the curiosity of Jeff Goldblum. We discover what it was like to work with Wes Anderson and Steven Spielberg – and why it's perfectly ok to sometimes make mistakes.

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