Sadra Tehrani | Art director, Set designer

Working with passion and awareness...

Art Designer | Set Designer | Production Designer
Feature Films | Theatrical Productions | Animations
As a visual thinker, images are my main creative driver and I always visualize the script in my head as I’m reading it
Committed Projects
“Phosphor” | “Voyeur: Windows of Toulouse-Lautrec”
Nuestra puntuación

Sadra Tehrani is an Iranian-born Set and Production Designer based in New York City. He is a graduate of the MFA in Production Design program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He decided he wanted to pursue Production Design after watching the original Blade Runner during his Architecture studies at Penn State University and being blown away by the visual world of the film. Sadra is intrigued by stories that explore concepts of home, alienation and the uncanny.

A career full of experiences and achievements

He’s also an avid sketch artist. Since 2019 when he made his transition from architecture into set design, he’s been involved in various film, theater, animation and live performance projects, and his design and film work has been featured in the New York Times, Broadway World and awarded in various national and international festivals.

Sadra Tehrani

I work mainly as a Production Designer, working closely with the director to bring the world of the story to life. As a visual thinker, images are my main creative driver and I always visualize the script in my head as I’m reading it, constantly imagining the characters, the world in which they experience their journeys and the mood and details of the environments where their stories unfold. When I was younger, I would close my eyes while listening to music and try to picture what it could look like if it was a music video. I find a lot of joy in telling stories visually.

Creative process

My process is heavily informed by research, as well as my own experiences. I think it’s critical for a designer to have a vast archive of what I like to call “emotional blueprints”, of places, sights and objects. My main go-to for gathering such gems is travelling, as well as studying culture, art history and architecture. I think my background in the latter contributes a lot to how I react to stories that I read. I like to situate the arcs of the story in spaces – either concrete or imagined/abstract. Career-wise, I’m also deeply passionate about Concept Art.

I find a lot of pleasure in creating something that did not exist before and condensing the major beats and nuances of a story beat into a single image. I believe it can be an integral part of the world-making process for any kind of medium. I’m excited for what lies ahead, and for developing my skills both as a conceptual thinker and visual artist.

Projects and Studies

1. Phosphor, the animation that me and my fellow collaborators made which was selected for BUEIFF was born out of humble beginnings. In the summer of 2020, my friend Zach asked me to join him and a few others in developing an animation piece as part of New Phase Collective’s first chapter. It became our early-pandemic artistic project as we were having fun working remotely through our tiny squares on Zoom. Little by little, “Phosphor” was born and became what it is.

Today Phosphor has been officially selected for various international film and animation festivals, including BUIEFF. It had its world premiere at the Oscar-qualifying IN THE PALACE film festival, and at NYC and Cannes Indie Short Awards, winning BEST ANIMATED SHORT and BEST SOUND DESIGN in them respectively. What amazes me is that when we were starting out, we never saw where it could go. Working in a small team of highly talented and communicative creatives, I believe we all found the space for our imagination and expression to roam freely and to synergize with each other’s voices.

2. In the fall of 2020, a while after theatrical productions had been shut down across the country due to the pandemic, I got the chance to work on an immersive performance called “Voyeur: Windows of Toulouse-Lautrec”. The show invites audiences to peer through the windows of old Paris, wherein the sidewalks, doorways and windows of Greenwich Village become the setting as live accompaniment collides with the city’s soundscape and transport the audience bohemian world of 1899 Montmartre.

Since the opening of the show, it has been critically acclaimed in New York Times (where it was praised for its “poetic” set design), Time Out New York, Broadway World (where it won a scenic design award) as well as other major theatrical news outlets. Starting from the Duplex bar the audience observe a scene of a drunken Toulouse-Lautrec in a Parisian bordello and are then led by musicians to a storefront window performance at ChaShaMa. After passing through the Washington Sq Park the tour resolves in the Judson Church where I transformed the balcony into a dreamscape collage of Toulouse-Lautrec’s studio and the streetscape of Montmarte, as he recalls his final absinthe-laced years.

3. I studied Production Design at NYU, which was a truly amazing and fulfilling experience: To be surrounded by people passionate about the same things as I was, to practice taking in a story and process it visually, and to develop an overall understanding of the many facets of not only film, but also theater and opera. However – above all – the biggest takeaway has definitely been meeting the people I went through three years of grad school with, to learn from their viewpoints and processes, and to build an invaluable network of friends and artistic collaborators with whom I will stay connected for years to come. In retrospect I can now see how these human connections have made me more aware of who I am, and what I love to pursue artistically.

My software skills
I think it’s critical for a designer to have a vast archive of what I like to call “emotional blueprints”
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Photoshop
3d Max
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Art & Set Designer

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