Brandon Tonner-Connolly is a New York based production designer with a deep love of film sparked by a childhood spent in dark movie theaters and living rooms. His credits include Taika Waititi/Sterlin Harjo’s Peabody Award winning Reservation Dogs, The Big Sick (Sundance ‘17), Brigsby Bear (Cannes ‘17), The Bad Batch (Venice ‘16), and Mona Lisa and The Blood Moon (Venice ‘21). He most recently designed Jane Schoenbrun’s I Saw The TV Glow (Sundance ’24) for A24 and David Gordon Green’s The Exorcist: Believer.
He also enjoys writing about the movies he’s obsessed with and how they relate to his own work, most recently in an article for Filmmaker Magazine about Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession and the intimate experience of watching a movie after helping to create it. His Filmmaker article “The Seven Arts of Working In Film” has been read over 500,000 times since its publication and is part of the syllabus of Martin Scorsese’s Masterclass program.
Every aspect of Reservation Dogs’ look was crafted with intention and it showed onscreen. “You’re giving people the opportunity to experience life in a different place,” Tonner-Connolly explains. “The character details we put into a set create intimacy, and intimacy builds empathy, and conveying that experience helps someone understand and feel another person’s world.” Read Full Article ︎︎︎
Authenticity was imperative to Sterlin Harjo, co-creator along with Taika Waititi of the half-hour comedy, which revolves around four teenagers who live on a reservation and dream of moving to California. Harjo, who grew up in Oklahoma, called on production designer Brandon Tonner-Connolly to find the right organic look in towns like Okmulgee, center of the Muscogee reservation. Read Full Article ︎︎︎
Condé Nast Traveler
“These elements combined to present a large task for the production team: To identify and accurately represent spaces and experiences that have, for too long, been left off the silver screen. Brandon Tonner-Connolly, production designer for the show, tells us what it took to create the world of the Reservation Dogs—and why he hopes it will make viewers curious about this stretch of Oklahoma. “ Read Full Article ︎︎︎
“Visually, the film is a kaleidoscopic pastiche of society’s debris, thanks to production designer Brandon Tonner-Connolly. The frame is filled with all manner of eccentric ephemera (my favorite being a “Hang in there!” kitten painting, where the cat is clinging for life above a sea of flames).” Read Full Article ︎︎︎
“Production designer Brandon Tonner-Connolly, meanwhile, cannily fashions a second-hand America using all the cultural debris that the nation apparently discarded along with these people…” Read Full Article ︎︎︎
The Hollywood Reporter
“... the movie’s grindhouse world remains vividly rendered and immersive, full of inventive touches from production designer Brandon Tonner-Connolly…The Bad Batch looks sensational.” Read Full Article ︎︎︎