We were looking at Ritika Ramesh’s Production Design/Art Director portfolio the other night and were very impressed with her wide ranging knowledge of time period furniture and settings in general. Whether it was a 1930s era period film, a film set in the 1970s or a contemporary piece she always nails it. It’s as if the set and the furnishings and the costumes were magically made to pull us into that particular world at that particular time, which in a big sense, is what a Professional Production Designer is hired to do. Whatever time period the script calls for, apparently, Ritika can materialize it out of thin air.
Well, we know that it is not air that Ritika gets her realistic set pieces from, it takes her a great deal of research and homework to first of all, grasp what the set should look like and then even more research and digging to actually find the stuff she needs to fill a room with the most realistic things so the audience will suspend its disbelief and follow the story and the characters. Ritika’s work, like so many other talented and in-demand Production Designers in the entertainment industry, can go unseen even though it is right in front of us, simply because of her making exactly the right choices of what goes in the scene and what stays out.
Her job is to help the film and the filmmakers tell a story in a way that doesn’t pull the audience’s focus away from what they should be watching, which is, of course, the actors, their dialogue and their action. Her sets are perfect because they blend in seamlessly with the mood of each scene, which then gives the actors a more realistic place to become their characters. It’s much easier to act in a real house with real furniture and a real kitchen, etc., than it is to act on an empty dark stage where the actors must not only assume a different persona but they must concentrate on imagining that that empty space is full of the right type of furnishings and color. That’s why it’s so important to hire an experienced Production Designer who has an unlimited imagination and firm grounding of a solid education and an unassailable body of work.
When asked about her future plans and what projects she has coming up, she said, “I have worked with Alien Film Entertainment in the past as an art director for their commercial with BoohooMAN. I will be working with Gabi Iliou in the future for more such projects. Then I have a feature film coming up called Devotee (Dir. Sharmila Ray) We already made the proof of concept short film for the same in 2019 and will probably get on floors by end of 2021. I have been working with a set construction company called Scenic Highlights, Inc for over 2 years now as a scenic artist and continue to work with them for various productions like the Universal Halloween Horror Nights, Golden Globes, etc. I also have a web series that’s been pending that I Production Designed for in 2018, called Airmen (Dir. Xanthe Pajarillo). We shot a couple of episodes in the past and due to a few personal reasons could not be continued then. We intend to start filming the rest of the episode by end of summer 2021.”