Creating the Brave New World of 'Her'

'Her' production designer K.K. Barrett explains the sci-fi film's warm feel and vintage touches.


Old-timey touchstones appear elsewhere in the film, from Theo's high-waisted wool pants to a quilt that adorns his apartment.

"We were influenced by things from another craft time rather than trying to predict what would be, and fashions and styles go in cycles anyway," Barrett says.

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The world of the film was created as much by what the filmmakers decided to leave out as what they added in. What you won't see in "Her": denim, sports clothes, traffic, graphics on clothes, old buildings or keyboards.

"It's the first thing that can date you. If we had keyboards there it would feel very analog," Barrett says. "Sometimes when you have limitations, you do much more solution-searching."

Also banned was the color blue ("Already the sky is blue and that's too much," cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema said, according to Jonze). Theo is usually wearing at least one item of red or blood-orange coloring, and the film overall is basked in warm lighting.

"On 'Where The Wild Things Are' I did no green because everyone expected us to go into a jungle or a forest," Barrett says. By doing away with the color blue in "Her," "I took away the most obvious thing there was: When people think of us going to the future, it's going to be cold, it's going to be mean, it's going to be totalitarian and steely."

Barrett describes the process by which the world of "Her" was created as being both organic and collaborative among everyone working on the film.

"All of these little decisions just added up to a unified world . You never know if it's going to work or not," Barrett says."You think you might be making goofy decisions that may stick out, but you try to make them in a subtle way so it becomes a consistent vision of the world he lives in."

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