Born in South Africa to a family of artists and architects, I quickly developed an appreciation for design. After completing my Bachelors degree from the University of Cape Town, I gravitated to film making while assisting a fashion photographer who owned a casting agency in Cape Town. After spending time on a South African/International Feature Film in South Africa and Namibia, that was it- hooked for the rest of my life. Thereafter, I moved to Johannesburg to pursue work in the film industry where I worked on Feature Films, TV Shows, Commercials and Music Videos as a Production Designer, Costume Designer, Prop Master, Set Decorator and ultimately realized my passion for Set Decorating.
In 1995 after moving to Los Angeles, I worked for several years on Feature Films such as Alex and Emma, the cult classics Midnight Meat Train and The Babysitter: Killer Queen, Commercials for Ford, GMC, and Nike, Music Videos for Mary J. Blige and the Rolling Stones, and TV Shows such as CSI, Better Off Ted, Pitch, The Affair and Dear White People. CSI was groundbreaking TV in that it made forensic science a sought-after career, CSI references have become forever ingrained into literature, film and lexicon around the globe. Pitch broke the glass ceiling featuring the first woman to play Major League Baseball and Dear White People came at a time where addressing systemic racism was and remains an obstacle to equality. I feel privileged to have worked on these shows.
I love traveling the world and enjoy observing daily life: the homes and shelters in which people live, the interiors and exteriors where people work and play. People’s dreams, aspirations, careers and limitations are all important in researching how best to design a good set. The most rewarding part of working in this industry is recreating environments that reflect the reality of this world, in addition to creating new worlds entirely reconstituted by my wildest imagination.
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
- It’s Been Awhile, music video, artist Stain’d, was nominated for an MTV Award (2001)
- Shambala, music video, artist Dr. Victor and the Rasta Rebels, was nominated for a Coca Cola Music Award (1995) and a finalist: Top 3 Music Videos of 1994 (SA)
- Coming out of Water, short film, won ‘Most Courageous Film’ in the Weekly Mail Film Festival (SA) (short film, 1994)
- Tough Enough music video, artist Johnny Clegg, was nominated for an Ezimtoti Music Video Award (1993), and was #4 in top 5 music awards of the year. (SA)
Andi Brittan has been featured in the following publications
“Working alongside set decorator Andi Brittan and the rest of the production team, Blass created highly flexible sets that can be transformed easily. A hallway beneath the stadium does triple duty as a batting cage and press area, while the owner’s office can become another office and the owner’s box. The biggest set is the clubhouse, which takes up the largest stage at Paramount Pictures. (Blass notes that it once held the entire Star Trek set.) “Everything is interconnected, so you can walk from the trainer’s room into the coach’s office, down the hall to Ginny’s locker room, and then go through the main clubhouse and walk into the batting cages, all in one big shot,” he says.” Click here to read the full article.
LOCAL 44 NEWSREEL MAGAZINE
“…Soon it became apparent that the Construction crew wasn’t the only department to pull off the unusual: Set Decorator Andi Brittan has introduced her fair share of “unusual, weird, and crazy” on CSI. ‘Just recently we dressed my most memorable set: a freak show carnival. It was a 1930’s vintage style, part circus, part carnival freak show, with a touch of steam punk to add to the mix. We had the Torture Tent (where the human candelabra was tortured), a dressing room, which was detailed in many layers of rich warm cozy dressing with a touch of weird, and ‘The Elephant Man’ tent which was filled with vintage medical props that represent the old idea of experimentation on the “freaks of nature.”‘” Click here to read the full article.
SDSA SET DECOR MAGAZINE
“Set Decorator Andi Brittan SDSA describes the mindset and collaboration that brought the sets of ALEX & EMMA from an empty soundstage to richly realized scenes on film.” “…Production Designer John Larena contrasted the present and [fictional] past by utilizing different color palettes. Contemporary Boston is portrayed in deep, saturated tones. These scenes are set in autumn, so I used deep reds, burnt oranges and yellows. For the 1920s, softer colors reflecting spring hues were used: pinks, lilacs, and sage green. We created an impressionistic painterly feel to evoke the dreamy nuances of a fictional world.” Click here to read the full article.