Recently, Walt Disney Studios released a brand new film, “World’s Best”, onto Disney+ around the world, which is a new movie about a 12-year-old mathematics genius called Prem Patel, who discovers his recently deceased father was a famous rapper and immediately sets out to pursue a career for himself as a rap superstar. While his recent actions may appear reckless and the quickest way for him to lose everything, Prem, empowered by imaginative hip- hop music-fueled fantasies where he performs with his father, is determined to find out if hip-hop truly is in his DNA. As his father always used to say, “the world’s best never rest.”

I recently got to speak with the film’s production designer, Liz Bischof, who is s heavy believer in research and making her designs fit the character and story buildup, Liz worked on this project with a sharp and creative eye.

Liz focused heavily on balancing the hip-hop elements and the colourful Disney aesthetic of the film. From researching music videos of early 90’s legends like LL Cool J and Missy Elliot, Liz incorporated her signature deep saturated colors while also adding in the hip hop style grit. A perfect example of this is the giant boombox she built that was influenced by an LL Cool J music video.

How did you come up with the overall look of “World’s Best”?

So I think I took a deep dive into kind of the late eighties, early nineties hip hop, and I think a lot of the ideas, inspirations and head nods came from that period.  It was a period of hip-hop that was, was I what I call party hip-hop. It was really fun. It was really colourful, full of saturated colours and interesting camera work. So we all kind of gravitated to this area of hip-hop. That was our starting point, really.

How did the whole giant boom box idea come about?

So the director and I spent so much time together, it was really round table collaborative experience, and Rosh had some very specific hip-hop ideas that he wanted to add to the show. And he originally show us a shot of a scene from “Dave” where there was a rap sequence happening. And there was a sort of podium there, but he wanted something that would have a real reveal, he wanted something that would spin or something that would just reveal Manny and Kar to the audience. In terms of the logistics of where the space we had and the timing we had. When I was doing my research, was this amazing photo of LL Cool J coming out of a giant boombox. And if you find that picture, it’s really quite funny because it, it didn’t really have him coming out of it and people are actually holding it up. The doorway up with their hands, and you can actually see a couple of arms there. I showed Rosh the picture, and he was just so excited about it. And then that was pretty much the birth of that giant boombox. And then everybody got so involved with it, the construction team was super excited about it, The Wireman had great ideas about how to light it and make the volume buttons work. And, yeah, it was super fun. Everybody enjoyed building that

How long did it take to work on this project?

We had about seven weeks of prep and six weeks of shooting. I start a bit earlier because I start with the location manager, and we start looking for all the locations before.

How did you make a Canadian High School look like a US High School?

Well, interestingly enough about that school, it really looked like an American school. I think when everybody walked in there, they were like so shocked. I had to redo a lot of things because of clearances and stuff. But we could have walked into that gym and shot that finale exactly the way that gym was, but we repainted it and, and put new logos up and, and things like that. But it was great. It did have its own problems, because it was, it was one floor down, so, and there was no outdoor access, so carrying the camera equipment was a little problematic. But outside of that, it was really the perfect space.

When the film came out on Disney+, were you excited or terrified to see people’s reactions to it?

Oh, I was so excited. And I actually texted the director, and I said, I can’t stop watching it, watching the musical numbers. They’re so good. They were just so great, and the choreography was fabulous. Bradley Rapier did a great job. And together with the design, I think the musical numbers are just the highlight of the show, so I was really happy to see it finally.

Check out the full interview below:


“World’s Best” is out now on Disney+.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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