Roger C. Ambrose
Roger C. Ambrose (also credited as Roger Ambrose) is an American born Production Designer-Art Director in the Television and Film Industry. Born in Hollywood and raised in Southern California, Ambrose has become an innovative and creative artist with a wide range of looks, styles, genre and experience in the Art of Production Design and Art Direction. With over 25 years of professional experience, he has focused his entire academic and professional endeavors in one area of expertise, the Art Department, always bringing “Production Value to the Screen” on every project he has been associated with.
To his credit, he has designed hundreds “sets” for theatre, television and film, as well as music videos, commercials, internet broadcasts, concerts and convention exhibits. Also creating designs for “theme events” like “The X-File UFO Crash” @ the Grove in LA, “Pixelon’s iBash” in Las Vegas, the Grand Opening of the New-Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and for the Ronald McDonald House foundation at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles.
Having grown up in the shadows of Hollywood, Ambrose was greatly influenced by the “Entertainment Industry”. With the plethora of theatre venues, the rapidly expanding television and cable communications field, along with the theme parks of Disneyland and Universal Studios, all these added a great playground of visual excitement to his ever growing passion for design. After graduating from San Gabriel High School (SGHS), under the training / guidance of Dennis Reed and R.O.Wilson, he pursued a Double Major-Bachelor of Science Degree from both the School of Theatre Arts and the Television/Film Department at San Diego State University (SDSU). Both disciplines were with a focused emphasis in “Design for TV & Film”.
He began his career in the early 1980s as a starving artist in the San Diego market, Art Directing the campy cult classic Return of the Killer Tomatoes starring George Clooney. He was the first official intern for San Diego Film Commissioner Wally Schlotter before graduating to Hollywood as Department Head and staff Art Director for the Arthur Company (MCA), located at the original and historic Desilu Studios (Hollywood Center Studios) and then onto the Universal Studio back lot.
As staff Art Director he designed and supervised over 250 episodes for the Turner Broadcasting original sitcom series; Down to Earth, Rocky Road and Safe at Home along with designing the sets for The O’Briens with Darren McGavin (MCA), Around the Bend with Heather O’Rourke (MCA), Comedy Challenge hosted by Ray Combs (WTBS) and the Arthur Company original pilot of Ace Diamond Private Eye starring Adam West from the original 60s Batman series.
Additional TV Sitcom and Series included: The Steven Banks Show the first original sitcom ever produced by and aired on PBS, along with Brandon Tartikoff’s Best Defense pilot for ABC, King’s Pawn starring James Avery, Knock Out with Lou Rawls, and Driving Me Crazy featuring Rance Howard (father of Ron Howard). He was hired by Michael Nesmith (The Monkees) and director Bill Dear as their Art Director on the original comedy program Television Parts with Michael Nesmith on NBC.
In the Music Video arena he collaborated, as Art Director, with many talented directors of the MTV generation; (like Joseph Kahn and Paul Hunter) creating numerous Award Winning and ground breaking Music Videos for Aaliyah, Erykah Badu, Changing Faces, 702, Total, New Edition, Johnny Gill, Montell Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Heavy D, John Oates, Warren G, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Lionel Richie, Sean Combs aka “Puff Daddy”, Vince Gill and Barbra Streisand.
Television pilots, feature films, national commercials as well as the all consuming “infomercials” are also a part of his art department palette of experience. From Jason Alexander’s The Whitey Show starring Michael McKean (Studios USA/MTV), and Sean Young’s Indie Film Hollywoodland -the Desmond Taylor Affair to Conan the Adventurer (TV Series), Paramount Television’s Dance 360 (TV series), and Docu-Dramas for the Discovery Channel (ID). Ambrose has successfully traversed a wide gambit of production design work and art department credits over his unique and varied career. From Iceland to Mexico, throughout the US both east and west coast and Canada, Ambrose’s career journey has been a continuing adventure.
Ambrose’s talents have also been called upon in the internet-podcast world with the Original “Screen Saver’s” program on TechTV with Leo Laporte the “Tech-Guy”, Unscrewed with Martin Sargent and on to TWiT TV Network’s Studio design The TWiT BrickHouse.
His set designs have also added production value to the Fitness Video market with his work on several “Billy Blanks TaeBo” videos, “The Firm”, “Crunch Fitness” on ESPN, “Paula Abdul’s Cardio Dance”, “Winsor Pilates” with Daisy Fuentes, Gunnar Peterson’s “Core Secrets” with Brooke Burke as well as “Buns of Steel” video series. He has helped to “brand” many health and fitness video products for top producer/director Andrea Ambandos and Dragonfly Productions.
Additionally, Ambrose spent a season as the Manager of Scenic Design @QVC in Philadelphia and continued a freelance career on the east coast and internationally. He was VP of Creative Design Affairs for BBTV (Better Black TV), was Creative Director with Ultra-Star Cinema and supervised the event design on launch of the Anaheim International Film Festival.
Ambrose holds the honor of winning 2 EMMY AWARDS for his Art Direction in SD and several Film Festival awards for Art Direction and Production Design. A Commercial Clio Award, Student EMMY Award in SD, multiple MTV Video of the week recognitions, and Action on Film International Film Festival- Best Art Direction – Feature, 20 Ft Below: The Darkness Descending (2014).