PRODUCTION DESIGN PORN: Baz Luhrmann & Catherine Martin

From the scintillating reds in ‘Moulin Rouge’ to the bombastic excess of ‘The Great Gatsby’, Catherine Martin has always shown she has a knack for audacious and daring production design. Come explore the breadth of Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin’s breathtaking work.

Australian director, Baz Luhrmann and his wife, production designer, Catherine Martin, quickly made names for themselves right from the start with Strictly Ballroom by making visually bold films together. They have collaborated on five feature films that continue to sparkle with bold, vibrant maximalism. While the films aren’t always critical darlings they are always beautifully imagined and executed.

Romeo + Juliet has always stood out for me as a shining beacon of what can be accomplished when you think outside the box. From the scintillating reds in Moulin Rouge to the bombastic excess of The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin has always shown she has a knack for audacious and daring production design. Explore the breadth of their work below.


Production Designer, Catherine Martin with her husband, Baz Luhrmann


STRICTLY BALLROOM (1992)


Logline: A maverick dancer risks his career by performing an unusual routine and sets out to succeed with a new partner.

Production Designer: Catherine Martin | Art Director: Martin Brown


ROMEO + JULIET (1996)


Logline: Shakespeare’s famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona Beach still retaining its original dialogue.

Production Designer: Catherine Martin | Art Director: Doug Hardwick

Set Decorator: Brigitte Broch


MOULIN ROUGE! (2001)


Logline: A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources.

Production Designer: Catherine Martin | Art Director: Ian Gracie

Set Decorator: Brigitte Broch


AUSTRALIA (2008)


Logline: Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot.

Production Designer: Catherine Martin | Art Director: Ian Gracie

Set Decorator: Beverley Dunn


THE GREAT GATSBY (2013)


Logline: A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.

Production Designer: Catherine Martin | Art Director: Ian Gracie

Set Decorator: Beverley Dunn


Which Baz Luhrmann film is your favourite? How do you feel about Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin’s collaborations? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Rose Lagace | @artdepartmental


Films and images are owned by their respective production companies and distributors.

Posted by Rose Lagacé

Rose Lagacé is a production designer for film & television by day and an emerging filmmaker by night. Rose is also the creator and editor of Art Departmental where she celebrates the art and craft of production design.

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