A conversation about design, filmmaking, Afrofuturism, world-building, and other topics with Hannah Beachler, Academy-Award-winning production designer of Black Panther.
Hannah Beachler is known as an award-winning production designer, but she tells an audience that she considers herself to be more of a story designer. As film stills and concept art from a few of those stories--Moonlight, Miles Ahead, Creed, Lemonade, and Black Panther--flash across a screen, Beachler engages in a meandering conversation with Jacqueline Stewart and Toni L. Griffin about set building and curation, urban design, location scouting, Afrofuturism, fictional histories, and Black feminist narratives, and illustrates her role: a designer behind on-screen tableaux that provide not only visual feasts of artistry and imagination, but also intimate spaces of emotion, humanity, and constructed memory.
About the Author
• Hannah Beachler is a prolific production designer who made history as the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award in Production Design, which she won in 2019 for her work on Marvel's Black Panther (2018). She previously worked with director Ryan Coogler on Creed (2015) and Fruitvale Station (2013), and with director Barry Jenkins on the 2017 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Moonlight (2016). She also worked on visuals for Beyoncé's 2018 OTR II tour, as well as on her visual concept album Lemonade (2016), which earned Beachler the 2017 Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design, and a 2016 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Production Design.
• Jacqueline Stewart is professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, and directs the South Side Home Movie Project and the Cinema 53 screening and discussion series. She is also the host of Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies.
• Toni L. Griffin is Professor in Practice of Urban Planning at the Harvard GSD, director of the Just City Lab, and founder of urbanAC, an urban planning and design practice in New York City. In 2016, President Barack Obama appointed Griffin to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.