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Interview: Production Designer Ethan Tobman on Creating the Distinct Look of ‘Free Guy’

Free City in Free Guy

Designing the look of a film offers a number of both challenges and opportunities. For a Production Designer, their ideas will literally define what a movie looks like. Ethan Tobman has spent years on projects as varied as Room and What If on screen, not to mention music videos like Cardigan and The Man for Taylor Swift, along with Lemonade for Beyonce. Now, with Free Guy, Tobman has really outdone himself, making a flick that merges the cinematic language with the world of video games. It’s truly one of the most unique bits of design work this year. Last week, I had the opportunity to get on the phone with him and discuss the look of Free Guy. It was a pleasure, and today, you can hear what we had to say.

20th Century Studios

In my rave review of the movie (here), I had this to say:

Free Guy is essentially The Truman Show and Grand Theft Auto merged together into a Reynold Reynolds action-comedy. It may sound messy, but trust me, it works. Some of it is due to the charisma and likability of Reynolds, but it’s also the pure imagination on display.

Below, you can hear my interview with Tobman. Free Guy is the focus, but as a Taylor Swift fan, I made sure to bring her up as well. The aforementioned Grand Theft Auto meets The Truman Show thought process comes up in the conversation, but obviously GTA isn’t the only game influence. Tobman gets into not just his influences, but the process of getting it all on to the screen. It’s utterly fascinating, as well as incredibly creative. Kudos to him for a job well done. When you see the film in a few days, and you most definitely should, as it’s terrific, you’ll understand why. If nothing else, Free Guy is a triumph of creativity…

20th Century Studios

Here now is my conversation with Free Guy Production Designer Ethan Tobman. Enjoy:

Free Guy is in theaters this weekend. Be sure to check it out!


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[…] Awards Radar had the privilege to speak with him again, after Joey’s first chat with Tobman here around release to learn more about Free City. Along the way, we discuss some of the other projects […]



Written by Joey Magidson

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