Diary of a Set Designer is a book of Polaroids taken over 25 years by Happy Massee while traveling the world as a production designer. The photographic journal is a journey through time, with a collection of images taken with the now-defunct Polaroid camera–which, at the time, was essential to the art of designing for film.
One of the industry’s top production designers, Massee has enjoyed a career spanning the realms of theater, film, commercials and fashion. He has worked with established directors such as Wes Anderson, David Lynch, David Fincher, Michel Gondry and more, while in the world of fashion he has collaborated with the likes of Inez and Vinoodh, Peter Lindbergh and Craig McDean, and worked for brands such as Gucci, Valentino, Armani, Bulgari and Swarovski.
His film credits include, among others, Broken English, directed by Zoe Cassavetes, and Two Lovers, directed by James Gray, and he has designed sets for music videos such as Jay Z’s “99 Problems” and Madonna’s “Take a Bow.”
In this volume, “the images of personalities, sets, locations and encounters,” Massee explains, “all tell a story related to my work and travels, and the people I met while on them. The images, raw and unretouched, are candid, and capture my art as well as my life as I like to travel through it.”
After growing up in France, and receiving his MFA from the School of Applied Arts in Paris, American born Happy Massee moved to New York to establish himself as one of the top production designers. In the past 25 years his career has spanned theatre, films, Commercials, and fashion. He has worked with some of the world’s most established directors, including Wes Anderson, David Lynch, Nicolas Winding Refn, Rob Marshall, David Fincher, Michel Gondry, Michael Haussman, and Mark Romanek.
His film credits include amongst others Broken English directed by Zoe Cassavetes, Welcome to the Rileys directed by Jake Scott, Two Lovers and The Immigrant Directed by James Gray. In the world of fashion, Happy has worked with the likes of acclaimed photographers Mert and Marcus, Inez and Vinoodh, Peter Lindbergh, and Craig McDean as well as for such brands as Gucci, Valentino, Armani, Bulgari, Swarovski. Recently, Happy marked his Broadway debut, by joining Fisher Stevens and John Leguizamo on his new one man show Ghetto Klown.