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Michael Carlin studied sculpture in Perth and Sydney and practiced as a fine artist before moving to London in the late 1980s to pursue a career in film.
He worked in various capacities on independent films such as Peter Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover; Richard Stanley's
Dust Devil; and Iain Softley's Backbeat; and also designed commercials and music videos for, among other artists, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Elton John, and George Michael.
Mr. Carlin's first film as production designer was David Evans' Fever Pitch, adapted by Nick Hornby from his own novel and starring Colin Firth. His subsequent films include Tim Roth's The War Zone; Sandra Goldbacher's Me Without You; Thaddeus O'Sullivan's The Heart of Me; Dennie Gordon's What A Girl Wants and New York Minute; and Julian Jarrold's telefilm Crime and Punishment, for which he won a Royal Television Society Award.
His most recent credits include Kevin Macdonald's The Last King of Scotland, starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker; Steve Bendelack's Mr. Bean's Holiday, starring Rowan Atkinson; and Saul Dibb's just-wrapped The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes of In Bruges.