Born in Edmonton and raised on an acreage just outside of Ardrossan, Todd attended NAIT (Architecture ‘88) and the U of A (BFA – Art & Design ‘93). FAVA was introduced into his daily schedule in ’89, and after serving as Production Designer on several shorts including SIMON SEZZ, SENESCENSE, and ALLNIGHT BEETLES, looked for options to study art direction formally. Moving to Los Angeles to attend the AFI, Cherniawsky found a solid program focused on the craft, headed by Robert Boyle, one of Hitchcock’s production designers. Richard Sylbert, Harold Michaelson, and Henry Bumstead, were amongst the other mentors at the school that passed on their wisdom and knowledge of the craft.
After graduation at the Conservatory, Todd worked his way up the art department as a Set Designer, Assistant Art Director and Art Director in the studio system. Opportunities on films such as ARMAGEDDON (Bay, 1998), PLANET OF THE APES (Burton, 2001), HULK (Lee, 2003), THE POLAR EXPRESS (Zemeckis, 2004), LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS (Silberling, 2004), WAR OR THE WORLDS (Spielberg, 2005), MONSTER HOUSE (Kenan, 2006), NANCY DREW (Fleming, 2007), OCEAN’S 13 (Soderbergh, 2007), and BEOWULF (Zemeckis, 2007) allowed him to refine traditional techniques and explore and implement the early use of digital tools in the art department.
As digital tools became accepted, more economical, and more important, he was tasked with a two-year commitment as Supervising Art Director on AVATAR (2009). This lead to overseeing ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Burton, 2010), SUCKER PUNCH (Snyder, 2011), and IN TIME (Niccol, 2011).
ZERO DARK THIRTY (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012), and OZ: THE GREAT & POWERFUL (Sam Raimmi, 2013), are his most recent supervising credits.
Todd’s Production Design credits include the Canadian features SPLICE (Vincenzo Natali, 2009), 100 DAYS IN THE JUNGLE (Gunnarsson, 2002) and the GINGER SNAPS trilogy ( John Fawcett, Brett Sullivan, & Grant Harvey, 2001-04).
Catch his Artist Talk at FAVA FEST 2013:
MAR 22 | ARTIST TALK & FILM SCREENING
Admission by donation | Cash bar
Artist Talk with Todd Cherniawsky | 7pm
Sponsored by AMPIA
Ortona Room | 9722 102 St