Rick Carter

Last updated
Rick Carter
Born1950 (age 7071)
NationalityUnited States
OccupationProduction designer, art director
Years active1976–present
Notable work
Back to the Future Part II and III , Jurassic Park , Forrest Gump , Avatar , Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Rick Carter (born 1950, Los Angeles, California) is an American production designer and art director. He is known for his work in the film Forrest Gump , which earned him an Oscar nomination, [1] as well as numerous nominations of other awards for his work in Amistad and A.I. Artificial Intelligence . Notable films include Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker , Jurassic Park , Avatar , and Back to the Future Part II and Part III . Other films include Cast Away , War of the Worlds , What Lies Beneath. Many of the films that he has worked on are directed by Steven Spielberg or Robert Zemeckis. For his part in the Art Direction of Avatar , he was awarded the Academy Award for Best Production Design alongside Robert Stromberg and Kim Sinclair. In 2013, Carter won his second Academy Award, for production design on Steven Spielberg's biopic, Lincoln .


Early life and education

Rick is the son of publicist, and later, motion picture producer, Dick Carter. His mother, Ruth, was a one-time Life magazine staffer, and later Realtor in Southern California. [2]

Carter's student days at UCSC were spent painting. Participating in a film panel at 2011's "Bridging the Gap" Arts Division event, the former Art major joined then Arts Dean David Yager in revisiting his alma mater and reliving the unique experience of his UCSC days. [3]



A conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, he dropped out of the University of California at Berkeley and eventually entered the art department for the first time as an assistant on Hal Ashby’s Bound for Glory (1976) followed by James Bridges The China Syndrome (1979). [4]


His first credit as art director was with Ashby again on Second-Hand Hearts (1981), but art-directing The Goonies in 1985 was a pivotal job for the designer, as it led to another key meeting for Carter: with that film’s writer and producer Steven Spielberg. The two hit it off and began a close working relationship that endures to the present day. [4]


1989 Three Fugitives Francis Veber
Back to the Future Part II Robert Zemeckis
1990 Back to the Future Part III
1992 Death Becomes Her
1993 Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg Also wrote an unused draft of the film
1994 Forrest Gump Robert Zemeckis
1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg
2000 What Lies Beneath Robert ZemeckisWith William James Teegarden
Cast Away
2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence Steven Spielberg
2004 The Polar Express Robert ZemeckisWith Doug Chiang
2005 War of the Worlds Steven Spielberg
2009 Avatar James Cameron With Robert Stromberg
2011 Sucker Punch Zack Snyder
War Horse Steven Spielberg
2012 Lincoln
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens J.J. Abrams With Darren Gilford
2016 The BFG Steven SpielbergWith Robert Stromberg
2017 The Post
2019 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker J.J. AbramsWith Kevin Jenkins


List of awards and nominations
Academy Awards Best Production Design 1994 Forrest Gump [5] Nominated
2009 Avatar (shared with Robert Stromberg) [5] Won
2011 War Horse [5] Nominated
2012 Lincoln [5] Won
British Academy Film Awards Best Production Design 2010Avatar (shared with Robert Stromberg) [5] Won
2012War Horse [5] Nominated
2013Lincoln [5] Nominated
2016 Star Wars: The Force Awakens [6] Nominated

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  1. "The 67th Academy Awards (1995) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  2. "Rick Carter Biography". IMDb.
  3. "ARTS ALUM RICK CARTER TAKES OSCAR". University of Santa Cruz.
  4. 1 2 "Rick Carter". Screen Daily. 2012-09-31. Retrieved 2020-03-20.Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Oscar®-Winning Production Designer Rick Carter to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at 18th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards on Feb. 8". PR Newswire. 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  6. "BAFTA Awards: Complete Winners List". Hollywood Reporter. 2016-02-14. Retrieved 2020-03-20.