ABOUT

John DeCuir Jr. practically took his first steps on a film set. Learning at the feet of his father, it was inevitable that DeCuir Jr. would become a designer. While attending college and studying architecture, he was a design intern with the five-year production of Cleopatra. “I am probably the only person who worked their way through college on one film!” says DeCuir Jr. Through his experience and skill, he became a distinguished production designer like his father with titles such as Top Gun, Turner & Hooch, and Sister Act 2. He also worked with DeCuir Sr. on Ghostbusters as Art Director. He went on to work as an architect and designed projects with Six Flags, NBC Universal, and Walt Disney Company’s ventures. DeCuir Jr. has taught at the UCLA Performing Arts Program and USC’s School of Cinema in the graduate program. He currently resides in Kentucky with his wife and is teaching classes on the art of production design at Asbury University.


1941

John DeCuir, Jr. is born.


1963

Cleopatra

During the production of Cleopatra, DeCuir Jr.’s team was tasked with building an archway that Elizabeth Taylor would enter through on a sphinx. Over time, their measurements became inaccurate. He stumbled onto the set the day of filming expecting the worst, but was surprised when Taylor and the sphinx managed to just pass through. It was later revealed that some of his team had realized their mistake and had spent the night before removing inches from the ground beneath the arch so that the sphinx would fit under the arch.

cleopatra-title.jpg

1980

Raise the Titanic

Art Director


1982

Monsignor

Production Designer


1984

GHOSTBUSTERS

Art Director

With DeCuir Sr. as Production Designer and DeCuir Jr. as Art Director, this father and son project has inspired designers since its release in 1984. This film is largely admired for the presence and even character of the main building, 55 Central Park West, designed by John DeCuir Sr.

“[Spook Central] played such an important role that in my mind it became a character in the film,” says DeCuir Jr. 55 Central Park West was so important to the story that it was fabricated from many different parts to create a narrative environment that was just right. The lower street and main part of the building were filmed on location in New York, where the real building exists. However, they couldn’t cause a sinkhole and explosion on the streets of Manhattan so they recreated the street on a stage in Los Angeles. The temple and the upper floors of the building were created with matte paintings, miniatures, and full-size sets for shots throughout the movie. DeCuir Sr. constructed both Dana’s and Louis’ apartments as a single unit at The Burbank Studios in LA. You can learn more about the process of creating Spook Central in the Connectivity lesson in The Pillars of Design.


1985

Fright Night

Production Designer


1986

Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling

Production Designer

Top Gun

Production Designer

Legal Eagles

Production Designer


1987

Double Agent (TV series)

Production Designer


1988

Earth StaR Voyager (TV series)

Production Designer


1989

Turner & Hooch

Production Designer


1991

MUPPET*VISION 3-D

Production Designer

TRUE IDENTITY

Production Designer


1992

SLEEPWALKERS

Production Designer


1993

SISTER ACT 2: BACK IN THE HABIT

Production Designer


1995

THE FOUR DIAMONDS

Production Designer


1998

THE NEPHEW

Production Designer

LAND OF THE FREE

Production Designer


1999

RUNNING RED

Production Designer

INHERIT THE WIND

Production Designer

THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON

Production Designer


2000

SLOW BURN

Production Designer


2001 - 2002

PROVIDENCE (TV SERIES)

Production Designer


2010

KREWS

Production Designer