Therese DePrez, 'Black Swan' Production Designer, Dies at 52

Thérèse DePrez, an acclaimed production designer on films including Black Swan, Summer of Sam and High Fidelity, has died. She was 52.

DePrez died Tuesday at her home in New York City, Black Swan graphic designer Derrick Kardos, a friend and collaborator, told The Hollywood Reporter.

She was a "production designer that I always wanted to work with," Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky said in a Fox Searchlight featurette for the artistic drama in 2010. "She turned me down film after film after film. She said it was because of schedules, but I didn't believe her. Finally, I got a chance to work with her, and it was a great collaboration."

"As Darren and I started to talk about Swan Lake [the production at the helm of Black Swan] and the stage set and how abstract that we wanted it to be and how modern we wanted it to be, it started moving to a very specified, minimal look," DePrez said.

She worked tirelessly "to make sure there was a little bit of the Swan Lake set in almost every location," she added, and filled the movie with mirrors. She creatively used blacks, silvers, grays, greens and pinks to create the beautiful, yet eerie scenes.

DePrez shared an Art Directors Guild excellence in production design award with four others for their work on Black Swan, a ballet thriller with an Oscar nominee for best picture and winner for best actress (Natalie Portman).

DePrez most recently worked on Premium Rush (2012), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Park Chan-wook's Stoker (2013), starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman; Scott Cooper's Out of the Furnace (2013), starring Christian Bale and Casey Affleck; and the Brooklyn-set crime drama The Drop (2014), starring Tom Hardy.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2015, and Kardos set up a GoFundMe page to assist her with expenses.

"I told her to keep her expectations low. I said we'll get $5,000 or $10,000 if we're lucky," Kardos told THR. "Well, we raised almost $80,000 from hundreds of people. That's how many people she touched in this life. Incredible."

"Thérèse was an artist, a true artist in a world and a business that can be so cold," Kardos said. "She was a goddess who never lost her light."


Photo credit: YouTube / FoxSearchlight