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Practical, Immediate, Creative Solutions

Lilly’s approach to her work is practical and immediate. She understands that the art department serves the movie and that it’s imperative they provide creative solutions to the director and cinematographer in order to support their vision for the film.

Designing for the Camera

When designing, Lilly’s goal is to make backgrounds that are seamless and distinctive, while allowing the flexibility and accessibility filmmaking requires. In Lilly’s words, “My work should be beautiful but shoot-able.” This is achieved by working with the cinematographer to create locations that not only stand up as authentic backgrounds but also as settings that give the director the flexibility and accessibility the film shooting requires.

Inside Out Set Design

One of Lilly’s focuses has been to develop ‘inside out’ sets – or building sets on location so the actual light and real surroundings are used during filming. With this type of construction, crews can film outside when the light is conducive and move inside when the natural light is less compatible to filmmaking. This gives flexibility and range to the creative team as well as dynamic cinematic results.

Communicative Teamwork

Filmmaking can be a strenuous team effort and having clear, concise team leadership is imperative to getting the job done quickly, effectively and beautifully. While Lilly’s creative work focuses on the results, her day to day job is to constantly communicate with the creative team. She finds it’s imperative to ask questions, while at the same time providing answers and guiding her design team. Managing that process smoothly is as much her responsibility as the artistic results of the film itself.

Research-based Creativity

Research is a key element of Lilly’s creative process. It is the path that brings her to the ‘holy cow’ moment – the moment she discovers a key clue or revelation that brings a set to life. It gives Lilly the tools to not be a slave to authenticity, but design the set that feels authentic; and it’s the feeling that counts in the end. With period films such as ‘The Crucible’ and ‘The Last Samurai’ there is a required attention to historical correctness, however, both films also needed a believable sense of place – a manufactured yet plausible reality. Lilly’s depth of research ensured this was achieved.