Production Designer Hannah Beachler
In this episode, host Rodney Veal talks with Hannah Beachler, an award-winning Production Designer, who has worked on films such as Fruitvale Station, Moonlight, and Marvel’s Black Panther, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Production Design.
[00:00:29] Rodney Veal: So, today we are super excited to have a conversation with someone. I get to fan boy out with all of my guests, but this is really fanboying out on a I cuz I geek out on design and all things art and visual and visual design.
[00:00:46] Hannah Beachler, who is from the area, Centerville, Ohio, and Wright State and University of Cincinnati …. , I call her an iconic production designer because I, I pulled this from an [00:01:00] article in Fast Company that said like, how many people know of a production designer of a film, but we know who Hannah Beachler is.
[00:01:06] And so Hannah has a distinguished career that has been going for a while. It didn’t start with Black Panther people. It is definitely a, a, a very long and storied career and a journey an Oscar winner. Just someone I, I just admire her work and so we’re gonna have a conversation about all things that inspire her.
[00:01:25] So here we are. Hannah. Thanks for doing this podcast.
[00:01:29] Hannah Beachler: Thank you for having.
[00:01:30] Rodney Veal: This is super cool. So, Hannah, I, full disclosure, I’m a political science major as well as an artist, so I love research. So here I go, , I went in, I went in . And speaking of going in, so let’s start at the very beginning because it’s, I, my curiosity is people don’t go around as a child.
[00:01:50] You know, most people go, I wanna be a firefighter, I wanna be a doctor. I wanna be a dancer. But how does one land in the, the position of being, I want to [00:02:00] be a production designer. So how, how did this start? How did Hannah Beachler become Hannah Beachler?
[00:02:07] Hannah Beachler: Well, I would say that I, I definitely had some ideas about what I wanted to do when I was growing up in Centerville and I, and one of those things was, I wanna be a fashion.
[00:02:19] and if, if people knew that about me from the time I was in, like sixth grade, seventh grade in art, I was, you know, my, my art teacher at tower Heights Middle School Mrs. Langley, who’s Francine Langley, who’s now Francine Riley was a big influence at that time for me. Like, I thought she was the coolest.
[00:02:41] I mean, she was the coolest. She is the coolest. And so wanted to be around art and she dressed really cool. And I was into fashion and, you know, I came from a family with creative background. My father being an architect and my mother being a, a decorator, interior decorator you know, off and on and, and working with my [00:03:00] dad and, and of course the house that I grew up in.
[00:03:03] I knew I wanted to be into a, in a creative field, what that was. I didn’t have the language for, knew I loved movies and knew I loved fashion, but didn’t know, you know, how those two things would kind of intersect down the road in a way. So, you know, went to school for fashion design, kind of when it got more serious and more like a job.
[00:03:26] I kind of moved away from that thinking that, you know, that wasn’t how I wanted to combine my creativity and, and, and work. So I kind of, kind of just went out and started to find my own way and fell into, you know, doing some music videos with friends and bands and I was the person who got the stuff and, you know, didn’t have the language for it then.
[00:03:47] Enjoyed getting the stuff. The stuff Oh yes. The stuff. And and then, you know, realized that I had this infinity for affinity, excuse me, for film. [00:04:00] Went to Wright State University, kind of fell upon art department in film school and realized that’s kind of how I related to movies. And what I was really looking at when I was watching movies was the environments.
[00:04:14] And then from there, I, you know, moved to New Orleans and then started in the business.
[00:04:20] Rodney Veal: Most people would say, let me move to New York. Let me move to la Why New Orleans? For, for production design,
[00:04:26] Hannah Beachler: I did, you know, kind of try to figure out, can I move to la can I move to New York?
[00:04:32] And it was, you know, I had a young son at the time, a toddler, and it was cost-prohibitive and I didn’t really know what to do cause I knew I kind of couldn’t do what I wanted in film at the level in Ohio. And my brother and his wife happened to live in, well they happened to live, but they lived in New Orleans.
[00:04:52] And he called me and he said, you know, they’re making films down here cause they have the tax incentive. So a lot of films were coming and mm-hmm. crew was [00:05:00] being built. It was still new. It was at the beginning. He’s like, you should come down here. And I’m like, new Orleans. They have films in New Orleans,
[00:05:08] But it was, you know, it was a, it was, it was. Comparable to living in Dayton at the time, it wasn’t too expensive. I had some support, family support with my son. I, you know, knew people my brother, their friends and whatnot, his wife here. So it felt a little more doable. It felt more realistic to be able to come to a place like New Orleans.
[00:05:33] And I didn’t know what I was gonna find or how much far I would get or if there were really any films at all. But worked out . It worked out .
[00:05:42] Rodney Veal: I love it. So what was the first project that you did in New Orleans?
[00:05:46] Hannah Beachler: It was called lebo. It was a children’s feature. It it was some of the people, I think some of the producers and whatnot that did Mighty Morphin.
[00:05:57] Power Rangers is very small, [00:06:00] didn’t have a lot of money. I was a set dresser. . And they shot out a nine mile point, which was an old plantation, and they shot around the woods and stuff. And they had this little puppet, this animatronic puppet that never worked called Lebo . And we would run around and we’d see like the puppet, the animatronic puppet sitting there and nobody would be around.
[00:06:20] So we would like put a potato in its hand or stick a cigarette in its mouth. And then they would come to film and Laboo would be sitting there with a cigarette hanging out with there. And then he would like smoke and not work when they tried to turn him on. And so they had to have like a hand guy. It was really bad.
[00:06:36] Oh my goodness. Oh my. That was the first, that was the first film, but met many lifelong friends on that.
[00:06:42] Rodney Veal: I love it. I love and well, we all have to start somewhere. I mean, I think we all That’s right. Have that. I think as artist creatives, we all have that first story, you know, it’s like, okay, yeah, I was the guy third row in the back on the ballet , you know, just standing there.
[00:06:55] You know, that’s kinda how exactly I started my career. We, we all start that way. And one of [00:07:00] the things is really ing is Hannah we met before, believe it or not, have we? I, yeah. I, I don’t expect you to remember me. I mean, that’s just really ridiculous, but that’s okay. No no. Come on, please. This is even before all of this you came to Dayton and you talked it was a screening of Moonlight.
[00:07:17] Okay. I do. At, at the Neon movies and Stuart McDowell. And it was really funny because it was the conversation. You, you had a q and a and you, and, and it was, and it was right before Black Panther. And I remembered because I laughed cuz it was, I don’t probably worst laugh. I have the God awful laugh. And, and, and you said, well, somebody said, well Hannah, what’s, what, what are you gonna work on next?
[00:07:42] And they said, he said, well, I’m in the middle of production, starting the production of, of a film called Black Panther. And the room just kind of all gasp. They were all like, and I went, , I just started. That’s my laugh. And I was, and I just thought it was very funny how you described it and it was just, but I mean that [00:08:00] moment before this explosion kind of a thing.
[00:08:02] So that’s who knew I had who, who knew exactly who knew. I, I do remember. And, and, and, and one of the things that, like I said as a fanboy, because I went to see Moonlight, that was my second time seeing it on the screen, was I fell in love with it the first time. And so, And then I started diving in. And so what struck me about the movie and design, and this is why I got excited, I thought, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a film about black people that had that European art cinema look and feel, because it was about the emotional response visualized.
[00:08:42] And I was like, oh, she speaks my language . I’m like, I was actually, I get it. I, as I, I, I, cuz I was thinking about in the, one of my favorite films is I am Love with Tilda Swinton. And I just think about mm-hmm. Luca Diano. And that just, that design of that [00:09:00] film was just like, oh, got me. You know? So it’s like Hannah does it just like that
[00:09:06] So I mean, the question is like, you know, did when you were in film school, did that kind of, those kind of films kind of really speak to you and resonate with you? And that’s kind of how. Because you really capture emotion and design. I, I think that’s just a gift. So I’ll shut up.
[00:09:23] Hannah Beachler: I, it, it really was in film school, you know, we had a really two really great, we had a bunch of really great professors, but my theory professors Dr.
[00:09:33] Lafferty and, and oh, I can’t re, I can’t believe, I can’t remember my, my that’s ok. Anyway, talked about, and they would show a lot of, you know, films during the sixties and fifties from Europe, mostly France. We’re talking about the new Val Vogue, the French New Wave. And I never was really into that.
[00:09:53] I like didn’t connect to that. But when they showed me the Italians, Michelangelo, and [00:10:00] Antonioni be Delucci, Pasolini you know, even you Le Vert, Miller Fellini, I. Suddenly understood in a way that I had not understood before. And I think it was because a lot of those films were absent dialogue and the emotion was conveyed within the environment, which was a thing that I kind of keyed into in films anyways.
[00:10:22] So when I was watching, you know, Michelangelo and Tony’s trilogy, LA Ventura, LAE la red Desert, I felt what the design was doing in as much as the emotion of it, u the use of color, the way that Antonio or Ferna scarf to be quite exact used color, not only in his European films, but when he came to the United States and did Scarface and Empire of the Sun and, and some of the bigger films that he did here.
[00:10:56] And and I just, it, it just spoke to me [00:11:00] like I just understood it and it just made sense. And I think in a way, because I kind of grew up that way with that sensibility of you know, that aesthetic being part of an emotional response. So so yeah, I was drawn to that. I actually did a screening of, I fora Luci IA at the Egyptian Theater in la and then did a a talk about it afterwards about Fernando Scarf Garcia and, and you know, watching it again on the big screen.
[00:11:33] I was like, yes, this is the one that you know, really. Said, this is what I wanna do, like the color. Of course, Dara was the cinematographer, famous Vittorio Dara, and the way that he used color inside of like gathering information about the characters, really setting us in a place in a time. Just all of it.
[00:11:56] I was just breath. It was breathtaking to me. And so, [00:12:00] and then I got onto the Cohen brothers who very much did the same thing. Did very much so. And I started studying Nancy Hague and her, their set decorator and the designers that they worked with and, and, and, and how they were sort of their process and doing the same, those same things in a very American filmmaking way.
[00:12:21] And then of course, spike Lee, he was doing the same things when Thomas bringing a very, you know, a sense of emotion through stylization and sort of that kind of looking at a frame as though it was a piece of art. And several films do that, but those are the ones and the directors that sort of spoke to.
[00:12:41] Rodney Veal: I, I love it cuz in my research as that PolySci person, when Thomas I, because in this article it talks about it and it made me, I, I went back and watched Malcolm X because of, which is one of my favorite films, and seen it in a different lens because you mentioned him in the article in Fast Company and, and it mentions him as one of the first African [00:13:00] American considered to be one of the first African American production designers, which, you know, we, you know, that’s a, it’s America, but it shouldn’t be.
[00:13:08] But it is. Sorry, not sorry. So I, I, and it says that you consider him a mentor and I’m like, you know, do you guys talk, I mean, I mean, is there a conversation with black creatives and that I imagine in my head, , it happens here in Dayton, but does it happen in the film?
[00:13:26] Hannah Beachler: Absolutely. Apps. 100%. I when I was coming up, I was still working in New Orleans and I had, you know, decided to become a, a production designer and I had maybe a couple.
[00:13:38] Small feature horror film type things under my belt at that time as production designer. Mm-hmm. and you know, I had reached out to win. just for guidance. You know, WIN has held up a thousand black creatives on his shoulders over the decades, and I knew of him and I, I’ve kind of found my way to sending [00:14:00] him a letter and he called me right when I was about to like, You know, well, I was in one of the moods where I was like, I’m quitting.
[00:14:08] I’m not doing, I can’t do this. You know, I was really ready to like, I’m gonna find another pursuit, you know, maybe I’ll do interior design. I was so, WN calls me right on the, you know, precipice of this and, you know, he kind of shook me up and gave me a good shaken on the phone and said, get it together.
[00:14:26] You know, , what are you doing? You know, shook me a little bit and I thought I was gonna, you know, cry on his shoulder. And he was like, you know, no get to work. And gave me some really wonderful advice that I followed. He told me, he’s like, you know, stop doing these horror films and only do films that you connect with and relate to.
[00:14:45] And I was like, oh, that’s easy for you to say, you know, I gotta pay bills and how do you say no to a job? Right? . And then he’s like, you know, don’t do these horror films anymore. You know, start. Was thinking about that. He’s like, get an agent. And I was like, again, easy for year win. Thomas , [00:15:00] like who’s, nobody knows who I am.
[00:15:02] So he told me all these things and I got off the phone and I wiped away my tears. And I went back to my apartment and I got on the line and I started looking up agents. I’m like, well win. Said to get an agent. So I probably sent, you know, six e emails, just email after email. Everybody said no. And, and one finally was like, well, we’d love to talk to you.
[00:15:22] And I was like, you know, , somebody wants to talk to me. Okay. So I, that’s when I kind of went on board with Datner Photo Associates in LA and they became my agents at the time. And so I was like, okay. And then, you know, the second real big piece of advice was just do the things that you love.
[00:15:40] And the first script that that agent brought to me, Danica Poopa, was Fruitvale Station. .
[00:15:46] Rodney Veal: Oh yeah. Yes. .
[00:15:48] Hannah Beachler: So, and that changed almost everything. So Danica sends me that, she’s like, now I’m sending you this script. It’s really small. They don’t have any money. It’s this real young director. He’s done a couple [00:16:00] shorts that are really good.
[00:16:01] They have no money to bring you out there. They have no money to put you up. They have no money to, you know, give you gas money or any of it. But you know, it’s a great script. So I was like, okay, let me read the script. And man, I read that script and I called her up and I said, I have to do this movie, this script is out of this world.
[00:16:20] And she’s like, okay, well let me get you a meeting with, with a director. And his name is Ryan Coogler and , you know? Yes, yes. I said, okay. And so we got on Skype and I mean, I hadn’t designed enough stuff. I had like a, I made a collage on my wall of Oakland, so pictures that I had cut out and made this giant collage, and I’m holding the computer up to the wall in the interview, like, you know, showing him this collage that I had taped to the wall of all the things I, you know, this sort of, the colors of Oakland, the vernacular design and [00:17:00] architecture, some of the history, how I saw the story, sort of woven through all of those things and I’m holding the computer.
[00:17:07] And then we had other technical issues because for some reason he was flipped upside down. And then, and then I was slipped up. So we did this really crazy interview and he’s like, well, you know, we’re talking to some other people and we should know something in a couple weeks and we’ll call you back and let you know what direction, you know, either way that we go.
[00:17:24] And I hung up, you know, closed the computer and opened it back up and, , you know, it was emailing my friend like, oh, you know, I had this great interview and then I was sitting on my bed, I had my dog with me and Pit Bull Dante sitting next to me, and I looked over at my computer and it’s, the Skype was ringing.
[00:17:41] It was like 45 minutes after this interview, and it said Ryan Coogler. And I’m like, Ooh, I wonder if he accidentally called, you know, accidentally hit the Skype, right? I walk over to my computer and I like hit, you know, picked it up and here, there, here comes Ryan upside down on the screen. Still can’t get that together.
[00:17:59] And, [00:18:00] you know, we’re, we’re both like flipping the computer all different ways. And he’s like, well, you know, I’d love for you to come on this show. You wanna do this show? And I was in this, on this movie and I was like, absolutely. 100% wanna do this. Like, when can I start? You? So we did that and then I realized like, well, I, how do I get out out there
[00:18:21] What do I do? So I made, what do you do? There’s no budget. . I made some phone calls. I found couple people, helped me find some dogs sitting jobs, and Lafayette right outside of Oakland. So I dog sitted. A couple. Corgis and, and then for the second half of the movie, I dog sitted at Dalmatian.
[00:18:41] And that was how I stayed cuz I could stay for free if I, you know, if you, if you dog that right? That’s right. So I, I drove out to Oakland by myself, packed up my car and drove out to Oakland. Dog was dog sitting. and driving back and forth from Lafayette to Oakland, which wasn’t very far. It was probably about 30 minutes [00:19:00] or something.
[00:19:00] And, and sleeping on couches and sitting, walking dogs. And that’s how I got met. Ryan Coogler.
[00:19:07] Rodney Veal: That’s how you met dog sitting. Okay. So necessity truly is a mother of adventure. I’m telling you folks. And, and so you know, this, this podcast, I’m like, this is for people listening. You gotta do whatever you it takes.
[00:19:21] Don’t, that’s right. Yeah. It’s like, come on folks, dog, sit, you know, car wash, whatever. Come on. Make the artwork happen. I, I mean, my first job was a books. I was a book seller. I sold books. I was dancing at night and selling books during the day. I mean, hence all the books by me, right? Yeah. , I mean, it was, was real, very real.
[00:19:40] So, I mean, you, so, so it was, cause it was, other than that article, and I, cause I kinda went and looked at some of these other folks who that were mentioned in the article. And I’m gonna, I hope I don’t say his name wrong. Aquin McKenzie. Mm-hmm. . Oh. Talk about, you talked about that whole notion of black Hollywood, and then the article really did [00:20:00] talk about, you talked about being a black creative in Hollywood, and it’s, and, and, and it’s not necessarily that there’s a lack of black creativity.
[00:20:09] It’s a lack of more people in positions of power to green light, the black creativity. So, that’s right. Let’s talk, let’s talk about that . Let’s, let’s just dive into that one real quick. So, I mean, it’s real, I mean, it’s, and it’s 2023 and we’re still having that conversation. Is it something you still encounter even with the success that you have?
[00:20:30] Hannah Beachler: I do. I think that, you know, I, I love the, the, the projects that I work on. I love the stories that I’ve been a part of. Telling and I will continue in that way. And, and but there’s a lot of things that I don’t get because, because I’m a black woman and I think there’s the thought that I won’t be able to tell that story.
[00:20:54] Outside of like a black story, you know, there’s a sort of pigeonholing, if you [00:21:00] will mm-hmm. into this thing. Cause I would love to explore with, with many directors, I’ve had the opportunity to work, work with many different directors like Soderberg and Todd Haynes and, and Barry Jenkins and whatnot. But, you know, I.
[00:21:14] you know, would love to work with the Coen brothers. I would love to work with, you know Scorsese, I would love to, of course he’s closed the designer. I would love to work with Martin David Fincher. And so, but, you know, I don’t think that they look at me and think like, oh, you can do that type of a film because you do, you know, Ryan Coogler films or, you know, a Moonlight or a, or work with Beyonce.
[00:21:37] So there is that, and then there is the ownership. Right? There is this idea that, you know, while there is many black creatives, like you said in front of the camera, and actors and directors and producers, you don’t have. Black people owning studios and production companies and you know what I mean?
[00:21:59] Like [00:22:00] Right, right. And, you know, you, you do, you, you have that coming up more and more like Ryan and Kugler has proximity now productions and Michael B. Jordan has outlier productions and Isae has a, you know first look development deal with Netflix and Ava has array, but you know, that’s four out of all of them , so.
[00:22:22] Right, right, right. You know, so it’s, it’s, we need more power behind and capital behind Hollywood that is black owned, so you can green light the stories and it’s very political and it’s all, you know what I mean? There’s a whole Right. Lot of things you have to go through. But I think that that is, that is why you, you, you’re not getting the same green light that you’re getting because it’s.
[00:22:49] It’s, it’s the equity and the equality and who owns what is not what, where it should be in this 21st century that we live in, right? Right. [00:23:00] Mm-hmm. . So that’s, that’s a big factor in it. Certainly power. Even when I’m trying to hire it, it is an instant when I wanna bring, you know, black folk in to work in positions like art directors and set designers.
[00:23:15] You know, suddenly we need to do, you know, weeks of vetting. Are they qualified? Well, it says here on this peer piece of paper that they are qualified, but you know, the opposite is true. Mm-hmm. , if it is, say a cis white man, we don’t really have to look that hard. And obviously they’re qualified, but I have to jump through hoops and fight the fight.
[00:23:39] If I wanna bring a black woman into a position, you know, that’s a very well paid position. Mm-hmm. that. People might see us taking away that job from a, from a, from a white man. That’s the truth. Yeah. You know, or, or from the gate, you know, it’s very gate kept,
[00:23:55] you have the people that bring their people with them over and over and over and over, and [00:24:00] over and over again, and those jobs are closed down. Right. But when you get to me as a production designer, I’m like, well, no, I don’t wanna bring all your people. I have people that I wanna bring into the fold because they could use a Black Panther on their resume to get their next 20 jobs.
[00:24:16] right? That’s gonna change the trajectory of their career and their movements and how they can rise up in this industry. If they can put Black Panther on their resume and it’s a successful billion dollar franchise, right? Or even Creed or Moonlight or any one of these that have won Oscars or, or have broken a hundred million dollars, that does something for you in your career.
[00:24:40] The reason that you don’t have as many black people then rising is because you don’t have that, you know, you don’t have people that are being let into these coveted positions on these big movies or even movies that are gonna go a a long way. You know, when we did Moon. . Nobody [00:25:00] thought that movie was gonna do anything.
[00:25:01] We were like, maybe it’ll get into a film festival. And that’s all we really want. , you know, interesting, interesting is for is is to have any kind of audience, you know? Right. And then it won best picture for an Oscar. I mean, who thought like that’s, nobody thought that, so, you know, same with Fruitvale, you know, we were just like, I hope Sundance gets it.
[00:25:22] And, and when they’ll accept. and then, you know, it wins awards. So those things that people think like, oh, nobody’s gonna, because there wasn’t a market for black stories, so nobody thought like Moonlight or Fruitvale or any of these stories we’re ever gonna do anything because there’s not, people aren’t interested in that, but we’ve now seen that people are interested in that.
[00:25:42] Rodney Veal: Right, right. I, I mean, let’s, let’s be very real though on Netflix, that a French production about a cat burglar with Omar si was a hit in sometimes. Right? Come on folks, it’s really real. It was because the story was compelling. [00:26:00] He’s magnetic. Yes. I mean, so it really, I, I, I, and I understand the cultural gate keeping speaking from my own perspective of like, of dance, because almost inevitably someone thinks I’m a modern dancer.
[00:26:11] I said, no, no. Ballet dancer. Yeah. I dance in a ballet company. This was not , this was not a no disk to modern. And I can do it, I can do a flat back with the best of them, but it’s just it. But if the perception is that you can only do one thing. Okay. Yes. It just is very limiting and I think our audience needs to hear that, so I’m glad you said that.
[00:26:34] Okay, so we’re gonna take a little break because we’re gonna dive into, you did mention some of these pro other projects and we’re gonna talk about them. So we’re gonna take a break for, for you know, the podcast and then come back and talk to Hannah.
[00:27:14] Rodney Veal: All right, so we’re back. Okay, so you already mentioned the, the, the productions earlier, and this is one of the things that I was talking when I talked to my students about the fact that I was interviewing you and these are dance students and they all went, how is it possible that she was connected to three of the most iconic cultural things in our pop culture, Moonlight, black Panther?
[00:27:38] and Beyonce’s Lemonade. I said, yeah, we all hope for one thing in our lives. Hannah got three . So I was like, so the students wanna know, like, what is it like when you, because I, you talked about it earlier about, you know, that struggle, that first job you were doing, the horror films. I did see that on the I M B D, which I learned.
[00:27:58] I was like, wow, there’s a lot of horror [00:28:00] films here, . I was like, ok. And I mean, I was like, well, we all gotta start somewhere. We do my best dad. You know, I’m in the core in the back, you know, I’m peasant number three. You know? That’s right. I I, I totally get it. So, so you and I love the fact that you talk sat in order to get to Alto to, to Oakland.
[00:28:20] I think that is just mind blows me in many ways. So I, one of the things I pulled up in a, and it was an interview that you did at Harvard. It was Harvard for the Harvard design that turned into, they transcribed the conversation into a book.
[00:28:34] Hannah Beachler: I see it there. Oh yeah, right there. Design. Design in a frame of emotion.
[00:28:38] Rodney Veal: Right. I was, I see. I told you, I went in, I was like, lemme watch. Lemme read . I was like, what? I loved about what, what? And this is, and goes with that conversation. You said when you got the project for Lemonade, you only heard one song. I’m like, oh. I was like, I I, you should have seen my face. I was like, how do you design for an [00:29:00] album that is so one after hearing it in hindsight, so multi-dimensional.
[00:29:05] Yeah, it got robbed for the Grammy, but we, yeah. I’m just going, I’m just gonna say it and I dare anybody to come at me . I’m like, and how do you design for something when you have that small of a nugget of information and what’s it like? I mean, yeah.
[00:29:20] Hannah Beachler: Well, I mean, first I had a nervous breakdown. . You were like, what?
[00:29:26] I was, well, you know, and it’s funny because when they called me about that project, they were like, well, there’s a. You know, hey, I’m, you know, they’re like, I just got done doing moonlight. And like a couple weeks later they’re like, we, you know, we have this project with this pop star. Are you interested?
[00:29:40] And I was like, pop star. I was like, and instantly when they said Pop Star, I was like, it’s Taylor Swift. I was like, I’m not in, I’m not interested. You know, I, you know, and I just got back from Miami and I was home, you know, I wanted to be home for a while and I thought you know, I’m not interested in doing it for like, who could it be?
[00:29:56] Pop star? I’m not interested. Right. And so they called like two weeks [00:30:00] later and I was like, okay, well now they keep calling. I’m like, maybe there’s something about this that I should be doing this. And I thought, okay. I said, fine, I’ll do this pop star thing. It’s gonna be in New Orleans. I’m home. That’s great.
[00:30:11] They’re like, well, we need you to come down. And they kept calling the pop star lemonade. And I was like, oh. They’re like, Lemonade’s gonna meet you at the hotel and you know, you guys can talk about the project and the creative. And I’m like, lemonade, I just, some new pop. I have to ask my, I said to my son, I said, who’s, who’s a pop star named Lemonade?
[00:30:28] Lemonade ? And he was like, nobody. Who are you talking about? And I’m like, I don’t even know. So I go to this hotel and I’m standing there, I’m talking. Producers and the director was there and we’re all talking, and the cinematographer was there. Chase Irving who shot black Klansman and, Mm, okay.
[00:30:44] They’re like, oh, here comes lemonade. And I’m like, oh, I’m gonna see who this lemonade is. And I turn around and it’s Beyonce. And I was like, well, that’s not lemonade, you know? I was like, that’s not limit. I was like, you know, my breath was taken away, my fiance and like, you know, well, and I was a fan. I mean, I like, you know, was [00:31:00] trying to talk to her, but couldn’t stop staring at her face.
[00:31:02] She’s beautiful. And I mean, just like everything is perfect and she’s real tall. And I was like, oh my gosh. I’m just like trying to have a conversation. And it was like, I couldn’t, like, and I’ve had talk, I mean, I’ve talked with so many stars and whatever, and it’s never been like that where I’m just like, I cannot focus
[00:31:18] So I’m like, pull it together, Hannah. Pull it together. Yeah. And she basically was like, you know, here’s the idea, here’s the overarching story of what this is about. Where we wanna go with it and, and, and how we want the feeling to be and what, what this is. And so, and then she was like, okay. And then here go.
[00:31:37] And then I had a nervous breakdown cause I was like, oh, there’s no, cuz there’s no script. Right? It’s not like a movie where you can break it down and start really thinking about, it was sort of this very subje, it was like stream of consciousness, like design, very subjective. And so, yeah, I was like, what do I do?
[00:31:55] And I was just like one step at a time. Like, if you are as good as you think you are, you should be able [00:32:00] to do this. And so it was one step at a time, you know, I was like, get that old metal bathtub and some hay and some candle. You know what I mean? And Right. You said to pull. Yeah. Cuz it was minutes. It was minutes.
[00:32:11] It was like she is we’re, you know, when we started shooting and everything, we had gathered a bunch of stuff and it was all on locations and it was literally like, she’s. landed at the location and walking and I didn’t have a set. And wow. I was having a nervous breakdown for real, cuz I didn’t know what to do.
[00:32:32] And then I, you know, I love her so much and I love Beyonce and I love her music that I kind of like paralyzed. Like, I can’t, this can’t be wrong. And so you, it was, it was having a writer’s block basically in real time only, you only had like five minutes to get it moving and you had no time to sort of get past it, you had to just go.
[00:32:52] So I just sort of forced myself forward and started just create a space that you love and that you think [00:33:00] she would look very beautiful in something natural, something we’re in this one area of this location. And it became really the image. that you see of her in regards to lemonade in that tub with a scarf on her head and Yeah.
[00:33:16] And then once I got past that, it, it became very sim you know, I just knew, I understood like, okay, just move forward with this. And she’s so lovely and kind and giving that it made it even easier, so I didn’t need to be so nervous and, and, and whatnot.
[00:33:30] So yeah, you kind of just one foot in front of the other and take her notes and, and create something. And you know, if she has a change, you make it, you pivot. And, and I’ve been very lucky to where she’s been happy with what I’ve done for her in Black as King and Lemonade. And then on the Run two tour that we shot, shot in Jamaica.
[00:33:51] Yeah. The interstitials for that.
[00:33:54] Rodney Veal: I think that’s a good housekeeping seal of approval. If she says, black is king, come to my tour. I mean, so [00:34:00] that’s, I mean, it was, I mean, that’s what fascinated me. Like you were literally making like improvisational creative design choices. Yes. But yet still maintain, like I, I’m, I’m in awe.
[00:34:15] Well, this, in that sense of that collaboration, that it came together in a way that people now still refer. There’s so many people, I go, yeah, you’re trying to do that and you should stop . They got, they got it right the first time. Don’t do that. Don’t, don’t embarrass yourself. It’s, yeah, because it will never have that sense of death.
[00:34:37] Because, because you talked about in that, that conversation you had at Harvard about feelings, and we talked about it in this podcast. You, you can’t fake a feeling. You, you can’t fake it. I mean, you can, you can, you can fake an intellectual discourse. I mean, I’ve, yeah. Study politics. God knows. I know how that works.
[00:34:54] And that’s why I didn’t, I didn’t choose that path, thank God. , it’s, but you can’t fake a feeling. [00:35:00] And it’s the same thing with dance. You either, that movement has to be generated from a source. Yeah. You could place your port or bra, but you can, you, I, I’ve always loved how I’ve approached dance, and I think that’s also set me apart.
[00:35:13] And there’s a, I don’t know if you know of this dancer, Carmen Del Lava, who was Jeffrey Holder’s wife really loved. Yes. And she is, I think she’s in her nineties and she has. Presence that still at this day when the curtain goes, like she’s still performing. Wow. And so when she stands on stage as she just moves her arms, people just stand up and applaud.
[00:35:39] It’s just in that innateness. And so, yes, I was thinking, well, you know, bring the black people in to show you how it’s done. . Mm-hmm. , you know, when it’s just really, we come from that rich culture and Yes. I’m wondering, do you, I mean, because, and it, it just kind of segues us into Black Panther because, and that other thing, it’s like, okay, a 500 page [00:36:00] handbook.
[00:36:00] Okay. . Yeah. Hannah, that’s a lot of research. . That’s, that, that, that, that’s not from rear mortals. Just don’t, you know, I mean, I mean, but with the film, because you did build those, the, the worlds mm-hmm. It took that much, didn’t it?
[00:36:19] Hannah Beachler: I mean, it really did. I mean, you, because where do you start to build an entire civilization society?
[00:36:26] how do you start, you know? Well, I’ll tell you one thing that I really started with was my father who was, was an architect, he’s passed by, adopted father. He, he would say to me, I’d always be like that, could you just, you know, draw, draw me a a house, design me a a house, and one day I’m gonna, you know, build this house that you design.
[00:36:46] He’d say, you know, I can’t do that because I need to know what the land looks like before I can design anything. And I was always like, oh, you just don’t wanna design. But now I understand what he means because I thought, okay, where do you start with Wakanda? [00:37:00] And I went right back to that and I was like, well, I have to know what the land looks like.
[00:37:04] And so that’s how it all started for me was where is it on the continent of Africa? How big is it? What does it look like? What does the topography look like? What does the terrain. , where did everybody migrate from? Why did they migrate there? Then you, the next thing, once you have the land, which is inherently there in the world.
[00:37:25] Mm-hmm. people come to it. That’s the beginning of a society. Right. And so where did they come from and what are they bringing to create this society? So I had to delve into all of that, you know, dating back, well I went. , you know, I went back on the continent like 325,000 years, but you know, for Wakanda it was only 12,000 years back.
[00:37:49] But I had to go back as far as I could. And that would be the in puga empire that they’re still dating, but is about 225,000 [00:38:00] years old, the oldest civilization on earth. Mm. And you know, there basically that’s, that’s, that’s what in PGA is. And so it’s like, okay, so, you know, and, and then fast forwarding it to like, okay, climate was a reason people moved.
[00:38:17] You know, resources is another people move. So I brought everybody to Wakanda and then we started building because they’re going to bring what they know from the environment. that in the climate that they come from, they’re gonna be specialized or be experts in something. And then those parts of Wakanda is where those people settled.
[00:38:37] And then we create a capital, much like a place like New York where all the different tribes would come. Mm-hmm. . And we would have our university there. We have our palace there, we’ve got our records hall there. We’ve got all of the things, our civics and our hospitals and stuff. And then each district that was a tribe evolved into [00:39:00] being a specific thing.
[00:39:01] You know, merchant tribes were the traders. They traded goods and they’re, they’re the ones who kind of oversee all of the goods and the trading. The river tribe is the purveyor of the river. They replenish it, they take care of it. They live on it. They, they use aqueducts that we know existed in Mali in the fourth and fifth century to you know, take water.
[00:39:24] And backwards because that, that exists to their crops. So they were rich in agriculture and they’re slower, so they’re more analog. They have access to technology, but chose to u to do things analog. How did what kind of get technology well, we started to research how a meteor comes into the atmosphere.
[00:39:47] How big does it have to be to create enough vibranium for them to subsist on for hundreds of thousands of years without destroying the. Earth. So, you [00:40:00] know, we had to have a white star and a, a, a giant red star explode at certain points and times as the meteor was entering the atmosphere and hitting at a certain place, which also created craters from the fall off of the meteor, which also created some of the topography.
[00:40:17] That’s why we have Jabari Mountain okay. Is treated very differently. When it comes to vibranium, the vibranium dusted over that area, so went into the soil and affected the floor and fauna. So the Jabari, you’ll see, have a lot of wood. Our influence for that is the Dogan and Molly you know, their master craftsmen with wood.
[00:40:38] So their wood, as it grew out of the ground that had been saturated with vibranium, when you bring it to a certain burn point, it becomes like steel. So you’ll see notice, you know, they have what looks like burnt wood a lot of the time around in their buildings. And that’s, and so you just keep logically kind of going [00:41:00] through it.
[00:41:00] And then you get the 500 pages because you have to explain, like in the first one, , you know, the border tribe. What was their specialization? What was their job and why do they have rhinos? How do they have rhinos? Well, when they’re young and they’re coming of age, the baby rhinos choose the person that they, their keeper, basically.
[00:41:21] Oh wow. You know, so then there’s a whole ceremony about the baby rhino choosing their person. That’s why Daniel Kalus character Waka was so close to that specific one that, you know, ends up licking a koe up the face. That’s why there’s that relationship with that animal. So I had to write about sort of why that exists and how that exists and how they raise and grow and.
[00:41:44] Learning about, you know herd animals in the Big Five on the continent, and some of the shelters that do take care of these animals and what are the types of things that they would’ve had to do. So there was that 500 pages. There was 400 pages of just [00:42:00] what the countryside looks like, what the land looks like, and then there was another 414 pages for telecon and an additional 500 pages for Wakanda bringing that to a thousand pages.
[00:42:13] Rodney Veal: Okay. So that basically tells me that David Fincher should be calling you right now. . . It’s like, if you don’t think that Hannah Beachler could design your world, , you’re sadly mistaken. and Well, and, and I and what, what, you know, it’s really funny because I, I, at the time when Black Panther came out, I was still teaching in high schools and there were students who really did think Wakanda existed, and we had to talk them off the ledge, like, you know, It’s fictional, but a lot of work went into making it seem real.
[00:42:46] So it was like, so kids, I mean, and, and I, and I even posed the question cuz one of the things I, I took away from how you pulled all this together cuz it was the biggest speculative fiction of a what if there is no colonization? [00:43:00] None. And look what we ended up with. Yeah. A thousand pages and a fully realized world that has people believing that they’re gonna get on a plane and go there.
[00:43:11] And I’m thinking, wow. I was like, that was a lot, that was a lot to do. And I just think that just that speaks volumes. That just speaks volumes today. Is that typical of production design to be that detailed or is that just. The Hanna Beachler effect. .
[00:43:24] Hannah Beachler: I mean, I, I, I’ve had people say I might do too. I might do too much.
[00:43:28] I don’t know that that’s typical. And, but I, you know, often, you know, times for I, in, in movies that you see a whole worlds are built. I’m not, I can’t say what every designer’s process is. It certainly is mine. I know it’s probably not the average. That amount of research and, and that amount of detail.
[00:43:45] And, you know, creating a, a history and using critical ululation in that way for both telecom and the Wakas. Like a film. Yeah. And the funny saw, funny yes, and a funny anecdote on the [00:44:00] first film, when we filmed a lot of the built sets in. Atlanta. So I’d be walking, you know, scouting and, and, and, and out and about in Atlanta.
[00:44:08] And people would be like, so where are you f where are you from? And I would always be like, oh, I, I’m an architect in wa in Wakanda. I’m from Wakanda. And they’d be like, well, where’s Wakanda at? And I was like, it’s on the continent. I Sun, it’s in Africa. Oh, but where is Wakanda in Africa? I was like, well, it’s on the border of, you know, it’s by Lake Kivu on the border of drc.
[00:44:30] You know, Uganda’s right there. And, and Burundi were like kind of in between all of that, like by the impenetrable force. Oh. Okay. Be like, yep, born and raised in Wakanda. And people would be like, okay, I’ll have to visit. That sounds inspiring. , . So I, you know, I kinda had to become a Wakanda architect. .
[00:44:53] Rodney Veal: There you go.
[00:44:55] Wow. Okay. So you, you, you totally, yeah. Good call. That was, [00:45:00] that’s lovely. You should come talk to my high school students. They’d be like, oh, . It’s like, she, see you lied to us, Mr. Rodney. There is a Wakanda. I’m like, okay, okay, .
[00:45:09] Hannah Beachler: But you never know. There might be .
[00:45:12] Rodney Veal: There might be, there should be. Let’s put it that way.
[00:45:14] There be, and, and, and so then with the second film, and, and I mean, I, and I love the fact that, not that you just create one world, but you cut it a second world that had the same kind of detail in the history and it came through. Like I was sitting there just going. Wow. How does what , how that’s just, I’m in awe.
[00:45:35] That’s why I’m a fanboy. I was like, I’m in awe of that kind of detailed research. I was just like, yes. Yes. So, I I I, my curiosity is cuz, and I pulled this up, so I’m asking this and I don’t know if you could talk about it. Your name is associated with doing a, a theater production. That’s right.
[00:45:53] Hannah Beachler: Cause you really, you were like three, three things that I was associated.
[00:45:56] I was like, it’s about to be four. Oh, it was about to
[00:45:59] Rodney Veal: be four , [00:46:00] four to hyper talk about I iconic in the Black World, the Wiz. That’s right.
[00:46:05] Hannah Beachler: Yeah. So, okay. So we’re currently designing the Broadway revival. Yeah.
[00:46:10] Rodney Veal: Yes, I have. Oh, . Is that like a, is that like a dream come true? I mean,
[00:46:17] Hannah Beachler: that’s right. It really is.
[00:46:19] Because I can tell you that when it was touring with Stephanie Mills in the seven, it had to be late seventies. I saw it with my parents, my adopted parents took me to Victoria Theater to see The Wiz. Wow. And I was probably seven, eight years old. And I can remember like being in awe of like this world.
[00:46:44] Like there’s, first of all, there’s people that look like me in this fantasy world. Mm-hmm. full circle, right? Mm-hmm. in this place that’s beautiful and dreamy and there’s challenges, but they make it through and they look [00:47:00] like me, and they’re okay. And they’re singing and they’re happy, and there’s joy, and there’s these beautiful sets that keep coming in and out.
[00:47:07] And how did they do that? Yeah. Like my eyes were this big, they were huge. They were like saucers looking at all of that. And. , you know, those were the theater. Magic of theater. Magic of theater. And so when this came to me, I mean, I screamed, yes. I was like, this , this is a full circle back to my childhood.
[00:47:28] How can I not, you know, it’s iconic black theater. It changed everything for black creatives, the way we saw the way black stories are told. So it means everything to be a part of it. And so, yeah, it’s like, I gotta do right. I gotta do right by this. And so of course I’m gonna, I’m going all in.
[00:47:50] Rodney Veal: Well, yeah, I, I, yeah, you have to, there’s a choice. I mean, because, and we all know it. He’s on down. We all, we, you know,
[00:47:56] Hannah Beachler: he’s on down. He’s on down
[00:47:58] Rodney Veal: the road. [00:48:00] Don’t, don’t, don’t nobody bring me no bad news. I mean, it’s like, you know what I’m saying? We all, we like. That album probably is in every Black House
[00:48:09] That’s right. You know, you know, it’s kinda like the Dreamgirls album. It’s like that Dreamgirls album. That’s right. And a and a VHS tape of the Color Purple. So , you know? That’s right, that’s right. You know, you know, that’s such a real thing. And I, and I love the fact that you talk about like representation because it’s really important because especially in fantasy, because I think about.
[00:48:31] Because you, you, you self-identified as a nerd. I as a black nerd. Yes. So do I, because I, I guess sci-fi was my world. I lived in it. Octavia Butler is the jam. Yeah, she’s the jam. Always Arthur C. Clark. I mean, I was all about big worlds and expensive world’s Dune. I was like, you know, 10 years old reading Dune.
[00:48:52] Yeah. I mean, my parents were like, Hmm, I don’t know about you . I don’t, I dunno about you. And it was a, cuz it’s, it’s, it’s [00:49:00] how that’s important. I mean, it’s like to, we are, we do have rich, vibrant lives and the fantasy, can’t we have some fun , can we have fun too in the fantasy world of the specul?
[00:49:11] Hannah Beachler: You know, for me it’s like I would look at things like, and things that I loved.
[00:49:15] I think things that we all love because, could relate in a way that it wasn’t about looking and having to see us, but we could relate to the feeling that was happening. Mm-hmm. , like, I understand pain or happiness or joy or celebration. So we could relate in that way. They didn’t ha people don’t have to look like us.
[00:49:32] And it’s, it’s something that I think you find more in the black community, you know, of being able to, and having to understand really the, the world as it. according to whiteness, right? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . But I feel like, and I might have gotten lost in the question a little bit cause I’m just like, now where was I going?
[00:49:55] Were you saying ?
[00:49:57] Rodney Veal: Were you talking about like our, our at our, our work, our, our [00:50:00] presence in Thats right.
[00:50:01] Hannah Beachler: And I would watch something like Star Wars when I was young, the original Star Wars that came out and they’re in the saloon, the famous saloon. Mm-hmm. . And I’m like, well now I’m seeing a slug that can talk and a walking, talking elephant in a, in a space outfit, a lobster that actually has his own aircraft.
[00:50:21] I’m looking at a rat, I think, and, and some other alien bobble, and they’re in no black people.
[00:50:29] Rodney Veal: Ah, okay. Yes.
[00:50:30] Hannah Beachler: I can see they, people can imagine. An elephant that has a whole civilization and world and is like talking in a human like alien thing. Right? But you can’t imagine a black person in
[00:50:46] Rodney Veal: space, in, in another planet space.
[00:50:48] In the future. In the future. Exactly.
[00:50:50] Hannah Beachler: Because what we are seeing is what the look this is, this is somebody said, this is what I see the future looks like, and it’s without black people. [00:51:00]
[00:51:00] Rodney Veal: And which, which is really bizarre because Ray Bradbury, no, not Ray Barry. Barry star Trek thought, I thought answered that question like, you know what I’m saying?
[00:51:09] Come on. I mean, Lieutenant Aurora. I mean, so it’s like, it’s almost like le they keep ignoring the answers. Right? And we, to your point, and so that’s what I loved about. I think they were, I think most people, including Hollywood, were, were shocked how the world responded. Mm-hmm. to what you have created and not just with, with Black Panther, it’s like lemonade and moonlight.
[00:51:34] I mean, audiences did respond. Yes. Moved. I mean, Arab people were weeping and moonlight. Yes. I, I cried. I was, I just thought, oh wow, wow. Okay. I could see the story continuing and I was satisfied. So, I mean, so for, okay, so I gotta, you know, I’m Okay done with the fanboy. We telling people, okay. Hollywood fantasy worlds do ahead collude black people.
[00:51:59] [00:52:00] They do what they do. What would be your advice? Cuz I, cuz we talked about, we, we talked briefly about it, but there are those who still want to be the black creative. Knowing what you know now, what would you tell someone who is a black creative wanting to come into this industry? Like one other than the two pieces of nugget of information from when, what would you tell them that they should think about before they embark on the journey?
[00:52:25] Hannah Beachler: I think before you embark in the journey you know, some of the things that you need to think about are what specifically is it that I, I’m seeking? You know, do I wanna direct, do I wanna produce, try to find the place you wanna. I think it as a whole, that makes it easier entering the film industry.
[00:52:44] You know, sometimes it takes a little bit to figure out where you wanna be and you gotta kind of try jobs and like the, okay, this isn’t really what I wanna do, but if there’s a passion that you have music or, or costume design or making props or building or designing or architecture and you [00:53:00] wanna apply it to the film world, know what that, what that is.
[00:53:04] Okay. I wanna be in the art department. I’m not quite sure what position, but I’m gonna be in the art department. I think that that is an advantage if, you know, going in and then you can focus purely on what is the path to. to the place in that department that I wanna be. If I wanna be a director, what are the steps that I possibly need to take to be that, you know, what is my path?
[00:53:30] Instead of doing 800 different things? Because when department heads are looking at your resume, or looking at what you’re doing as a PA even, or when you’re first starting, they’re gonna wanna see that you wanna be in their depart department. You know, when I look at people’s resumes, I’m like, oh, you know, it doesn’t seem like this is where they wanna be.
[00:53:49] Rather, this is just a job, because when you come into my department, I want to teach you. I want to take you under my wing and bring you up, but I don’t wanna exclude someone else who [00:54:00] really wants it because you’re not sure if you do, you know? Oh. So it’s like I’m looking for people that I can move into position, right?
[00:54:11] I’m looking for people who then can become, observe. Do and become. Those are my three steps you have to do and become. So tho that’s also something that you can take know when you’re going into the film industry that you’re learning, you know? Everything is a lesson. My horror movies that I did awful, all of them, you know, really tiny little throwing blood everywhere.
[00:54:38] Yeah. But what I learned was how to manage, how to manage department. I learned how to do a budget. I learned how to have meetings with producers. Mm-hmm. , I learned how to do my own site plans and what it means to build and how to cost things. So while these movies didn’t become, you know, the thing, these great [00:55:00] works of art, but That’s right.
[00:55:02] They’re not going down in any history, however, , I learned a great deal that I wasn’t going to learn in any school. And that’s the hands-on aspect. Mm-hmm. and also dealing with all the different personalities and who am I going to be in this industry? What type of you know, department head or, and, and leader am I going to be?
[00:55:23] As I go through this industry, I, I was able to figure out like, all right, I, I am the one who, you know, I say it like it is, I might not be the easiest. I’m the loyalist. I’m going to bring you with me. I’m going to teach you and I’m going to be hard on you because I know you’re good. And anything that comes from me is from love, cuz I want to see you succeed.
[00:55:47] That’s the type of person that I decided in my learning journey, in my, in my becoming part of my journey. You know, from all of the things I learned on these small films, like I don’t wanna be that type of designer on, [00:56:00] Ooh, I don’t like the way they treated me, or I don’t like the way they spoke to their crew.
[00:56:04] That’s not, that isn’t of benefit, that didn’t make the job go easier. Or anyone have fun or them work harder or me work harder. It just kind of made me feel sad and it made me feel like, why? What was the purpose? Mm. You didn’t even get what you wanted. So I could learn how to become what I am right now from all the jobs that I was observing.
[00:56:30] Mm. See. So I would say, do that take a chance. An opportunity is all around you. It’s not as if you have to wait for the golden ring. You have to grab the golden ring. Mm-hmm. And to, to be outside of your comfort place to go into a place that you are. New to don’t know. And, and it could be a little scary.
[00:56:55] Bravery is doing the thing you’re afraid to do, but doing it anyways. And that’s [00:57:00] the dog sitting in Oakland. I didn’t know any of these people, . I just was like, I’m gonna watch these two corgis, but I’m also gonna get to do, you’re gonna get to do, I’m going to get to do this film. And I look back at Fruitvale station between prep and shooting.
[00:57:17] I was in Oakland for five weeks. Wow. I was on Wakanda forever for two years. Wow. You know? Wow. And I thought that that was like five weeks. Oh my gosh. You know, so long. But I was able to be, start becoming in that moment. Mm-hmm. And find the people who speak your aesthetic language. Find the people that are facing forward with you.
[00:57:46] Right. I found Ryan Kugler. And we spoke the same language of research and understanding and place is important and color is important. And [00:58:00] everything has a story. And it goes well deep beyond the story that you’re telling on the surface. I learned that from Ryan and then I evolved it for myself. So that’s how we work together.
[00:58:14] He’s like a grio to me, right? He tells me a story about the people and the place, and I go back and I designed the place for the people that he’s told me about. Hmm. And that’s, I found my person, you know, he’s my work person, my friend. , my confidant, you know, he is seen me at my best. He’s seen me at my worst
[00:58:37] And he still loves me dearly. And that says a lot. , .
[00:58:41] Rodney Veal: So we all, we all need that, right? Yeah. We all need that. We need that.
[00:58:44] Hannah Beachler: That’s right. Find those people, they’re out there. Find those people. And if it’s not someone that you feel like is in the line of work, that you wanna go in a professional and if it feeds your creative soul, they’re necessary to what you wanna do.
[00:58:58] Mm. Right. So [00:59:00] that’s the best advice I would say. Don’t ever give up on yourself. Understand that no one, no one can keep you from what you want. No one can take the light that’s inside of you that’s guiding you. They cannot dim that. It doesn’t matter what names are called what, da da da da da. What’s happening, how you feel That light shines bright, and the only way that it dims is because you let it.
[00:59:26] You know your self-awareness is your golden nugget. Pick it up off the ground, dust off the dirt and hold tight to it. Mm-hmm. Reputation is everything. Choose that over money or fame. Choose your reputation over that cuz it will take you further. Right. Give a man a fish, they’ll eat good for a day. Teach ’em to fish.
[00:59:49] They’ll fish for life. That’s your reputation is that fish is learning to fish. You’re gonna have it forever. So that’s what I have to say.
[00:59:59] Rodney Veal: [01:00:00] You have just said everything. I tell every student that I am teaching. I was like, We are separated by birth. It’s scary.
[01:00:08] Hannah Beachler: We might be ,
[01:00:10] Rodney Veal: we might be. I, so I, Hannah, that is, that is the best, that’s the best mic drop you could ever have for an interview.
[01:00:19] So thank you so much for taking time in your day to spend Thank you. And have this conversation.
[01:00:24] Hannah Beachler: It was lovely. I had a wonderful time. Thank you for having me. I have to thank Anne Rote for reaching out to me and having me come and, and do this conversation and have this conversation with you. I really appreciate it.
[01:00:37] Rodney Veal: I ditto, likewise. It’s a pure pure thing. Oh, that’s a thing. Thanks so much.