We had the good fortune of connecting with Rohini Jadhav and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rohini, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I have a favorite quote and a favorite affirmation, one serves to encourage me to dream bigger while the other motivates me to keep going even when the going gets tough. My favorite quote is – “Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – written by J. K. Rowling. As a designer who literally depends on her ability to imagine and turn fantasy to reality, this strikes me as an incredibly powerful quote. I take great comfort in knowing that all the colorful sets, fantastical worlds and moody environments that I can conjure in my mind will soon enough be tangible, interactive spaces inhabited by people. It also serves as a daily reminder that dreams can be realities, if only one believes in them! My favorite affirmation on the other hand is – “You didn’t come this far to only come this far!” I believe in working hard every day to achieve my goals but every so often when things don’t go your way, it is easy to lose momentum or to wonder why you don’t seem to be making much progress despite the work you put in. At such a time, this quote is the very motivation I require to push myself the extra mile and remember that I started out my journey with loftier goals that await me just a few steps ahead.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am production designer and art director with a professional background in architecture. After working as an architect and interior designer with one of the most reputed design firms in India for two years, I realized that while I enjoyed architecture, I craved a more fast-paced work environment. My passion for movies and fictional worlds led to my decision to pursue a program focussed on world-building in LA. Upon graduating from the program, I began working in art departments of film and television projects. In my short time in LA, I’ve juggled multiple roles within art departments like that of a Production Assistant, Researcher and Digital Asset Manager and learning from some incredibly talented people before taking on the challenge of leading an art department myself. During my time working as a researcher and digital asset manager, I had the privilege of working closely with renowned designers like Oscar-nominated Guy Hendrix Dyas (Inception, Passengers), David Lazan (Westworld, Ant-Man) and Inbal Weinberg (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Suspiria). These talented designers also mentored me and encouraged me to work towards a union membership with the Art Directors Guild in LA, and as a result I was chosen to be part of their highly selective Production Design Initiative in 2019-2020. More recently, I have production designed and art directed for multiple short films, music videos and ad films as well as a feature film expected to release later this year or early next year. One of my short films, Song, filmed in late 2019 is currently doing the festival circuit and has already been shortlisted into 4 film festivals. My work as a production designer has also been featured in a few publications back home in India, so it has been quite the journey making my place in a fiercely competitive industry. Along the way, however, I’ve learned that my experience in architecture and my time working as an architect in India has brought fresh perspective to my craft as a production designer in LA. I’ve worked on a wide variety of projects, be it an emotional father-daughter story in You Are Never Here, an exploration into the concept of emotional fidelity in a relationship through the short film Midnight Sun, an intriguing tale probing the forgotten and oft-ignored side of Los Angeles in American Anomie or the touching tale of a young lesbian girl coming out to her parents in Found Family. While I seek out projects that challenge me as a production designer, I also hope to be a part of stories that have a social impact and every one of my projects has given me that opportunity. In the coming years, I hope to continue to envision more wonderful sets and bring to life the worlds amidst which these powerful stories reside. I would absolutely love to connect and collaborate with other filmmakers and artists and leave my own mark in the craft of production design both in Indian and international cinema.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A few of my go-to places in Los Angeles, that I never fail to take my friends and family to when they visit, would be as follows: 1. The Last Bookstore – a charming bookstore and favorite haunt for any bookworm, filled with quaint corners and book displays along with wonderfully stocked shelves with new and used books. 2. Grand Central Market – a delightful place with some amazing food, live music and a super neon display wall. 3. Wayfarer’s Chapel – an hour drive south of LA, this tiny chapel is must-see on a week long trip. 4. Santa Monica Pier – one of my favorite sunset spots, filled with quirky touristy mementos, great food in the area and fun little photo ops like the Forrest Gump bench. 5. Griffith Observatory – a great science museum or center, perfect for the average geek. It also proudly boasts plenty of amazing hike trails in the park surrounding the main observatory.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d dedicate my shoutout to my parents, who have been incredibly supportive on this rollercoaster ride. Also a special shoutout to my incredible mentors that have always given me feedback on my work, encouraged me to scale new heights and supported me along the way – Guy Hendrix Dyas, David Lazan, Inbal Weinberg and Lauren Fitzsimmons.