Fabien Baron & Happy Massee come together to create a diary of Massee’s journey


BY MARISSA TORSIELLO

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Happy Massee

The past 25 years, Happy Massee has traveled the world as a set designer with highlights such as designing sets and photographing people with his Polaroid including Madonna, Jay Z, and Keith Richards, and brands like Gucci and Chanel. With all the photos he captured, he created a photo book – Happy Massee: Diary of a Set Designer. This diary, designed by Creative Director, Fabien Baron, was comprised of Polaroids taken in Morocco, Australia and countless other locations in between, as well as Polaroids he took on set, providing a remembrance of his journey as a production designer across film, theatre and fashion.

The Impression recently spoke to Happy about his journey and the creation of Diary of a Set Designer:

How did you become a production designer?
The classic story; graduated art school in Paris, worked in a bar, met an architect/production designer, became his assistant, never looked back…

How did the book come about?
At the end of every job, I would end up with hundreds of Polaroids I had taken for continuity and other production purposes. An assistant of mine suggested I keep them rather then toss them out. The idea came about years later when I retired my Polaroid for the less cumbersome point and shot and 1 Hour Photo service, and had shoe boxes full of them.

How did Fabien get involved?
We were working together on a job in Iceland. I told him about my book idea, and he said without even seeing the pictures, “I’ll do it for you.”

What is the book about?
The title of the book is a little misleading as most people think the book is all about set design, when in fact they’re only two pictures of actual sets. Its more about a 20 year journey me and my Polaroid took, documenting people, places and things.