Production Designer Sarah Greenwood is Up to the Task | Quote

When producers start asking in a job interview whether you can “handle” a job, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ production designer Sarah Greenwood knows just how to respond.

“I recently went for a job, and the producer asked, “This is really big; can you fit in with it?” I’ve worked on huge sets, so the answer was simple: ‘If you have the time and resources and backup team, you can do anything’. When I met with the director, he said he’d been asked the same question; it wasn’t a gender issue – though it could have seemed that way. The movie was huge, and they wanted to make sure that everyone understood and was up to the task.”

Sarah Greenwood

Sarah Greenwood’s insightful quote sheds light on the challenges and expectations faced by professionals in the film industry, particularly production designers. When asked if she could fit into a big production, her response encapsulates a profound philosophy applicable to her craft and various professions: “If you have the time and resources and backup team, you can do anything.”

Greenwood’s emphasis on the importance of adequate resources, time, and a supportive team underscores the collaborative nature of filmmaking. Regardless of the task’s scale, success depends on a confluence of factors, including sufficient time for planning and execution, ample resources to bring creative visions to life, and a dependable backup team to navigate unforeseen challenges.

Moreover, her encounter with the director reveals a shared sentiment within the industry. The concern about fitting into a colossal project transcends gender considerations and speaks to the universal need for competence and preparedness. In the face of massive endeavours, ensuring that everyone involved comprehends the magnitude of the task becomes paramount.

Professionals in the field can glean valuable lessons from Greenwood’s words. It underscores the significance of preparation, communication, and a collaborative mindset. Emphasizing the need for a well-equipped team and recognizing that challenges are surmountable with suitable support structures can inspire resilience and innovation within our profession. Ultimately, Greenwood’s quote encapsulates the spirit of confidently tackling grand difficulties as long as the necessary elements align to support the creative process.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) | Production Designer: Sarah Greenwood

Beauty and the Beast (2017) | Production Designer: Sarah Greenwood

Do you agree? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


You can find previous Quote of the Day posts here.
Source: Golden Globes Interview with Production Designer Sarah Greenwood, 2016.

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.