Three-time Academy Award winning British costume designer, James Acheson, recently visited Unitec's Mt Albert campus for a series of lectures presented to students from the School of Creative Industries. The visit was arranged by Unitec's Costume Design department in Performing and Screen Arts.
On Monday 5 August, the 73-year old spoke about comic book super-hero films he has worked on such as the original Spiderman trilogy and Superman: Man of Steel. He also gave an overview of the history of costume design.
Acheson remarked on his time working in New Zealand as one of the highlights of his 46-year career and praised the skill and diligence of Kiwi film crews. Students took the opportunity to ask questions about the pros and cons of working in the screen industry.
Acheson has designed costumes and sets for television, theatre, opera, ballet and film since 1973, winning Oscars for his designs in "The Last Emperor” (1987) directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988) directed by Stephen Frears, and “Restoration” (1995) directed by Michael Hoffman.
His other film work includes “Time Bandits” and “Brazil” both directed by Terry Gilliam, "The Meaning of Life" and "Wind in the Willows" directed by Terry Jones, “Highlander” directed by Russel Mulcahy, "The Sheltering Sky" and "Little Buddha" directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, “The Man in the Iron Mask” directed by Randall Wallace, the first three “Spiderman” movies directed by Sam Raimi, and Superman: Man of Steel directed by Zack Snyder.
For the Royal New Zealand Ballet, he designed both sets and costumes for a new production of Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”.