Paul Sylbert, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Film and Media Arts from 2005-2011, died on November 21 at his home in Jenkintown, PA. He was 88.
An Oscar-winning production designer known for his work on wide-ranging films such as The Wrong Man, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Prince of Tides and Rosewood, Sylbert was an inspiration to a large number of students, particularly undergraduates who were in his large lecture course. He was also a faculty supervisor of some MFA thesis projects.
One of the main courses he taught nearly every year was a Topics in Film Studies under the title of "The Creative Process." It was a behind-the-scenes examination of more than a dozen major Hollywood films that he had worked on. With each film he woudl trace the evolution of hte production and analyze the creative decisions that went into the production design and art direction, along with insights into the directing, cinematography, lighting, costime, editing and major production issues. Some of the films he covered were One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Heaven Can Wait, Prince of Tides, Gorky Park, Blow Out, Rosewood and Kramer vs. Kramer.
The New York Times published an article on Sylbert's impact on the film industry on November 25.
(Photo by Warren Bass)