Interview with Jesse Kaufmann – Production Designer for the film, CATERPILLAR


What lead you to a career in production design?

I grew up painting, drawing, and eventually sculpting. This all led to conceptual art and multi-mediums and eventually performance. The few that I did where to emerse the viewer in an experience. This all occuring in college, I had to find a job when it was over. The first film I worked on I was hired as the carpenter. From here it went from film to film to commercial to advertising and editorials. I enjoy them all.

The word on the street is that you’re a man with an uncanny knack for procuring things.  What are some of the the most obscure props you’ve been able to find?

I consider myself a Minister of Acquisitions. Although, if its word on the street I hope the word is only legal procurements. I have had some strange requests, but none are more obscure as the next its usually the amount of time I have to get them. Some favorites have been working with my taxidermist and butchers. They have provided me with animals for everything from a still life to a sacrificial lamb. I’ve made adornments from animal parts, like goat eyes, beef hearts, and talons. These have been most sensational, but my favorite is to build my own creations. Currently, I am making masks.

Describe your thought process behind constructing the multi-layered world within Caterpillar

Caterpillar was a challenge, due to some parameters to work with at the location and the methods of dressing a historical landmark.  Ben was great for this, a true pro at his craft in developing the application method for the silk webbing. Fortunately I had most of the propping already in my storage. I believe the vision we see in the film, was shared from the start by myself and everyone that worked on it.

Your line of work seems to be a never-ending adventure, and is surely composed of some quirky tales.  Is there any specific story that stands out among the rest?

The best part of this job is that everyday is different. I go from putting a chair on a white cyc, to sweeping a 1/2mile of Caribbean beach clean, to crucifiying the devil.  It isnt so much the job itself that stands out. As it is the variety of colorful and creative people I get to work with. They all stand out to me


To view Jesse Kaufmann’s website, CLICK HERE

Jesse is represented by, The Magnet Agency