Miniatures / Model Making

Blade Runner 2049 -- Official Site -- Imdb

The BFG (2016) -- Official Site -- Weta -- Imdb

Thunderbirds Are Go -- Official Site -- Weta -- Imdb

Gulliver's Gate -- Official Site

Production Design

To Be Forgotten


The Chanticleer

Double Word

Happy Hour

Set Design

spring awakening


Rabbit Hole

Speech & Debate

Drafting/Paint Els.

Happy! - Season 1

Rabbit HOLe

Spring Awakening

Hand Drafting, Architecture

Props ++

Far Away

Linguistical Lamp

Leaf Dress

Ancient Scrabble

Leg Crutch


Living Dam

Sci-Fi Museum Wedge

Meisner in Design

Thesis Book

Alcon Entertainment

Weta Workshop


The new sequel to the 1980s classic. In homage to the original miniatures are used for some of the key locations in this new film.


I was a senior model maker for the fabrication of these miniature environments at Weta Workshop as well as the Assistant On-Set Art Director for the miniatures unit which filmed in New Zealand under the direction of Alex Funke.






Image credits: Entertainment Weekly "Blade Runner 2049: Time to Live" featurette

Amblin Entertainment

Weta Digital

Weta Workshop


Though the dream world locations in Spielburg's recent film were almost entirely CG, miniatures were used as a tool in the design process for the film and the construction of the CG models.


I was one of three senior model makers at Weta Workshop involved in the fabrication of these miniatures. We worked closely with the designer in order to provide quick implementation of new ideas for consideration. The final approved models were 3d scanned for use by Weta Digital in developing the CG world and then shipped to Amblin for use as a visual aid by the main unit.

Image credits: Weta Workshop


Pukeko Pictures

Weta Workshop


ITV's reboot of the hit British 1960s TV show that featured marionette puppets in a model built world. This updated version combines CG characters and vehicles with a world of practical miniature environments in an effort to update the show for modern audiences while keeping as much of the original's charm as possible.


I was one of 15 model makers on Weta Workshop's initial miniatures fabrication team for this production and progressed to be one of 3 senior model makers on the team with a hand in overseeing as well as fabricating all the sets for the show.

Miniatures Museum


This attraction in Times Square contains a warehouse worth of miniature landscapes from around the world. Developed and brought to fruition in just over a year each continental representation was designed and fabricated by a shop located somewhere on that continent. The finished museum opened in May 2017.


I was a designer for the airport landscape in the early stages of development and managed a fabrication and install team for the final months leading up to opening. My team was responsible for the installation, and in some cases, augmentation of several models arriving from overseas as well as full fabrication of some additional exhibits.

Marked Pictures

Director - Masa Gibson


Short film that just verges on science fiction. The story focuses on the mental struggles of an addict as he tries to reacclimate after his addiction lead to family tragedy and incarceration.


A visual theme of reflections complements the themes of memory and regret as well as the hope of the main character as he tries to transform himself. Red and white color motifs evolved as significant markers of the characters mental state.


I was fortunate to be involved in this project from the time of the script's development and thus able to have input into every aspect of its evolution and realization.

Marked Pictures

Director - Masa Gibson


A single shot short film that maintains a close up of a single character throughout.


The visual conceit of the film led to the exploration of miniatures in real time composite with live action by way of piloting a camera through a model and live feeding to a projector screen behind the action. This enabled the actress to remain fairly stationary for the majority of the film allowing us to achieve our goal of consistent close focus. In addition to the main narrative the themes of the film are augmented by an opening dance piece featuring masked dancers.


Nice Girl Films

Director - Becky Lane


The plot of this web series centers on Eddie and the staff of her small town bar in upstate NY. The series deals with issues of gender and sexual orientation in society in the 1950s.


To augment the tone and flavor of the story a rich color pallet was chosen and embellished upon. A period piece meant as much attention was paid to the specificity of the details, down to the pens and ashtrays, as was to the overall look.


Marked Pictures

Director - Masa Gibson


Although this short film is set in the modern day world the opening sequence of the film shows an ancient, Hebrew, version of the game of scrabble being played by two pairs of male hands. Relating the tale of the modern day brothers, with all its intricacies, back to the rivalries of brothers since the dawn of time.

Nice Girl Films

Director - Becky Lane


This music video explores what it meant to be lesbian in the 1960s. The piece incorporates dance and features an original song by Mary Lorson titled "Oh Regret".


The emphasis for this design was on creating a colorful 1960s era bar environment accurate down to the smallest details.

Melodramatics Theatre Co.

Director - Amina Omari

Music Director - Masa Gibson


Rock-musical set in 1890s pastoral Germany but interspersed with rock numbers that exist in a realm of their own.


The versatility of the set to portray an array of locations (interior and exterior), give a sense of the period, and then completely transform for rock songs was paramount to the design. Burlap cloth as a facing material and as a scrim backdrop in front of the band was chosen to speak of 1890s Germany as well as providing possibilities for back lit rock numbers.


I was both Designer and Master Carpenter for this production

Actor's Workshop of Ithaca Theater Co.

Director - David Kossack


Cheeky, whimsical, comedic look at the last day of a modern art exhibition entitled "The Broken Silence". This show is full of crazy characters and bizarre interactions and includes the presence of the quintessential museum guard.


Since the show takes a satiric look at modern art I wanted to create an environment that could be in and of itself a piece of modern art unfurled and inhabited.


I was both Designer and Scenic for this production



Actor's Workshop of Ithaca Theater Co.

Director - Jeremy Webb


We watch as an upper middle class couple that lost their young son two years ago try to live with the pain. Dealing with the effects it has on them, their relationship, and their closest family members.


This design sought to both express the style and elegance of the couple's home while giving voice to the absence of their young son who is still the focus of their lives. The etching of the set in colored chalk was inspired by a common style of children's drawing where a black overcoat is selectively scratched away to reveal a layer of bright colors.


I was both Designer and Scenic for this production




This second set of images is of a redesign I completed for Rabbit Hole at a much grander scale. This redesign was completed for my Local USA 829 application presentation. Full drafting and paint elevations for this design can be found in the Drafting/Paint Els section later on this page.


This version uses the same concept of the child's colorful artwork as a device to frame the world of the play. The preset for the show displays only the child's drawing. When the show commences two turntables rotate open to reveal the interior of a house nested in the child's art.


Kitchen Theatre Co.

Director - Samuel Buggeln


In today's world of  blogs, chat rooms, and social networking three teens find themselves unlikely compatriots as they deal with issues of sexual orientation and struggle to be heard and accepted by the adults around them. The script incorporates multiple phone calls, online chat room conversations, and audio blog sessions.


Creating a visual and spatial world that spoke of modern technology was the seminal aim of this set design. Incorporating both the implements of communication (the phones, keyboards, computers, etc.) as well as the social media icons of our time.

NBC Universal

Syfy Channel

Director - Brian Taylor

PD - Roshelle Berliner

Art Directors - Mylene Santos, Randall Richards


I was Assistant Art Director for the second half of production on this show. I was responsible for surveying locations,  creating construction drafting, spotting plans, director's plans and occasionally previs renderings.


Included here is a sampling of my work on the production: Construction drafting for two location based sets (one with spotting plan) as well as a couple director's plans.

Actor's Workshop of Ithaca Theater Co.

Director - Jeremy Webb


Drafting and paint elevations here are from the redesign of the Actor's Workshop produced design above. This redesign, which is for a much grander production of the play, was completed for my Local USA 829 application presentation. Renderings and images of the model can be found in the Set Design section above.

Melodramatics Theatre Co.

Director - Amina Omari

Music Director - Masa Gibson


Drafting here is from the Melodramatics produced design featured earlier on this page. As I was both designer and master carpenter for the production not all details are fully developed in the drafting. In some cases it was most time efficient to simply measure and build components to fit once on set.

Melodramatics Theatre Co.

Director - Amina Omari

Music Director - Masa Gibson


Samples of hand drafting from some of my architectural designs featured towards the bottom of this page.

Actor's Workshop of Ithaca Theater Co.

Director - Amina Omari


A play portraying a bleak future in which every species has taken sides in a truly all-encompassing world war. The "parade of hats" scene, which functions as our only glimpse in the play of the world outside, features shackled prisoners being used as models for a fashion show of modern hats created by top-notch designers of the day.


The specifications for the hats were simply that they be as extreme and varied as possible. The only other specification was from the managing director that they cost as little as possible to make. Thus the inspirations and materials for the finished line of hats came almost entirely from supplies found in attics, thrift stores, and dollar shops.

Gift for a Linguist


This lamp was commissioned (by me from me) as a gift for the linguist in my life. It was inspired by the fact that the individual in question didn't have any lamps in his apartment.


The base for this lamp was found at a thrift store. The form of the stand inspired the form of the shade. The shade was created from an old dictionary, cut into thin strips and woven directly onto a twisted and soldered wire frame.

Purely for pleasure


This piece was inspired by a group of beautiful red maples that I had admired every Fall for years. And it is only natural to desire to create with beautiful materials.


Due to the nature of the material this piece had to be completely constructed over a period of roughly 48 hours. Beyond that time the leaves had dried to the point of being too brittle to work with. This dress is constructed solely of leaves without any thread, glue, pins, staples or fastening materials of any sort. The leaves are joined by a technique of weaving each leaf's stem back into the prior layer of leaves.

Marked Pictures

Double Word prop


This was a key prop created for the opening sequence of the short film Double Word (featured earlier on this page).


It was not desired that the board and tiles be historically accurate to the beginnings of the game of scrabble but rather that they lend to the portrayal of a mythical ancient beginning to the game. The board needed to incorporate a plausible beginning rendition of the bonus system, which is a feature of the modern board, and both board and tiles needed to be simple, plausibly created by the technology of the time.

Out of necessity


Inspired by having a broken bone in my foot and not being able to walk without crutches for two months. This design made life infinitely more bearable by negating the need for classic under the arm crutches.


This leg crutch mimics the commercial “iWALKFree” crutch delivering the same functionality but at the mere cost of a few PVC pipes, a cast off backpack, and a pair of old rollerblades from Salvation Army.

Cornell University

Bachelor of Architecture degree program work


The site for this project is located on the east shore of Cayuga Lake in Lansing NY. The main characteristics of the site are a stream running through a natural gorge and the forty-foot bluff that drops from the site to the level of the lake below. The program for this project is an architect's combined dwelling and studio.


This house was designed based on the model of a water lock and is incorporated directly into the natural gorge on the site. The house consists of four heavy lock walls, sunk into the gorge, that suspend between them the light filled spaces of the house above. The lock walls allow, through manipulation of the lock doors, the occupant to control the water levels surrounding and throughout the house.

Cornell University

Bachelor of Architecture degree program work


The site for this project is in downtown Ithaca NY, it sits adjacent to a creek and an overpass and thus between three different levels of the city. The program is a science fiction museum that must contain exhibition spaces, a science fiction library, and a large auditorium versatile enough to accommodate both live, and media presentations.


The design of this museum plays upon the combination of levels inherent to the site to enhance the visitor's experience of the fantastical and eerie. The large auditorium features seats hanging from the ceiling (with a view out over the creek) and a floor system that can be broken up and manipulated to the specifications of any production or presentation.


Cornell University

Bachelor of Architecture degree program thesis


The site for this project is the St. Regis region of the Adirondack Park in northern New York State. The program is for a retreat center/studio for the training of individuals in the Meisner acting technique.


This design is based on the principles of the Meisner acting technique in which acting is a matter of true and honest reaction. Thus the design developed through close interaction with and reaction to the site and the natural elements and cycles that already existed there. True to the technique the finished design seeks to facilitate continuing interaction and reaction between the inhabitants and the natural environment.

Cornell University

Bachelor of Architecture degree program


As the final requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Architecture (after having passed the defense of their thesis design project) each student must submit said project in book form.


The choice to hold true to the tenets of Meisner design, developed and explored through the thesis project itself, and carry them on into the creation of the book resulted in a "Meisner designed book". The book takes on the complex, non-linear, interconnected structure of the thesis project itself providing the reader the opportunity to explore the connections in the material fully and perhaps discover new ones.



j Smith

Image credits: fxguide unless otherwise noted