Ian Gracie & Karen Murphy

Art directors, 'Australia'

It’s no surprise that production designer Catherine Martin tapped Gracie and Murphy as art directors on “Australia.” After all, she described Gracie as “brilliant” when the trio worked together on one of helmer Baz Luhrmann’s earlier films, “Moulin Rouge.” The duo are perhaps better credentialed than any other team in Oz to realize an expansive Australian epic by dint of their experience on both small films and, well, epics Down Under. Pair most recently teamed to art-direct “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Gracie’s career began in the 1980s with directors like Simon Wincer and, memorably, on Wim Wenders’ “Until the End of the World.” Murphy is a beneficiary of Oz’s flourishing offshore sector, having cut her teeth on U.S. sci-fi series “Farscape,” the “Matrix” franchise and “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.” Gracie appreciates the value that Luhrman places on his films’ physical surroundings. “The art department is special on a (Luhrmann) film,” he says. “Image and design dictate the text, and he’ll direct the script around the locations. (The art department is critical) to the filmmaking process. The entire experience is always wonderful with him and with (production designer Martin).

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