Interviews with IndustryNetwork

Andrea Roxy Balogh, Set Decorator on ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ & More

When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in the industry and how did you go about making it a reality?
My Mom worked as a production coordinator, so it was easy for me to get in.

Is there a specific film that sparked your interest in the industry?
No, there is not.

What is the role of an set designer? What day your day to day consist of?
My day to day plan is to put the dressing for each set together, present to the production designer, and then I tell my buyers/assistant to get them and take them to the set. When everything is there I dress the set.

How do you choose your projects?
Projects choose me. Where I live in Budapest, Hungary, I am working for a Service Company called Mid Atlantic Films. They are always telling me what is the next project and if I am OK for the production designer I go straight to the project.

You have an extensive list of notable credits, such as “Inferno”, “The Martian”, and “Silent Witness”, to name a few. Was there something in particular that drew you to any of these projects?
On “Inferno” I worked as a junior set decorator and the set decorator was Jille Azis from the UK. She asked me to jump onto the project.

For “The Martian” I was an assistant set decorator, and I was working for John Bush, a UK set decorator on “The Debt”, who is a good friend of Celia Bobak, who was the set decorator on “The Martian”, and she asked me to jump in, so John Bush recommended me to Celia Bobak.

The trailer for “The Spy Who Dumped Me” was recently released. How did you first get involved in the project? What drew you to it? 

I had worked for Marc Homes 3 times before, who is a supervisor art director, and he asked me to do “The Spy Who Dumped Me” as a set decorator, alongside him. He was the production designer on this film.

When coming aboard a project, how does the process generally work? What is the general working relationship and process between the set designer and the director?
I am not communicating much with the director but more so the production designer.

What have been the most challenging and most enjoyable projects you have worked on?
The most challenging and most enjoyable project was” The Spy Who Dumped Me”. Best job I have ever worked for.

From your personal experience, does it take you any time to adjust to projects that are quite different from each other, or do you simply complete one film, figure out your next approach, and go on from there?
I just finish one project and jump myself to the next one. Here in Hungary I do not have the privilege to select jobs, I always have to take the next one which comes to my way.

What would be your dream project to work on?
A dark horror movie/tv show.

What do you think the biggest surprise about the role of a set designer would be to an outsider?
Making miracles all the time, every day!

If someone wants to pursue a career as a set designer, how would you recommend they go about it?
They should join the set decoration department as a PA, buyer, or even an assistant, and learn. Then they can climb up on the ladder.

What would your top three tips for aspiring set designers be?
Flexibility, great problem solving skills and creativity.

Thank you for your time!


The Spy Who Dumped Me will be released in UK cinemas on the 22nd August, 2018.