Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Lauren E. Polizzi (born 15 November 1958; age 61) is an Art Director who worked under production designer Scott Chambliss on Star Trek Into Darkness and as Art Director on the 2016 sequel Star Trek Beyond. [1]

On Into Darkness, Polizzi worked on the Daystrom Conference Room set, including the elevator and meeting area and the surface of the planet Nibiru. [2]

Her work on 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness earned her an ADG Excellence in Production Design Award nomination in 2014 in the category Fantasy Film which she shared with Scott Chambliss, Ramsey Avery, James Clyne, Kasra Farahani, Michael E. Goldman, Harry E. Otto, Andrew E.W. Murdock, Jason Baldwin Stewart, Natasha Gerasimova, Steve Christensen, Andrea Dopaso, John Eaves, Nathan Schroeder, Ryan Church, Christopher Ross, Victor Martinez, Steven Messing, Karl Strahlendorf, John Chichester, Tex Kadonaga, Kevin Cross, Andrew Reeder, Anne Porter, Jane Wuu, Richard F. Mays, Allen Coulter, Karl Martin, Scott Schneider, Lorrie Campbell, Easton Smith, Tammy Lee, Tim Croshaw, Clint Schultz, and Karen Manthey.

Personal and early career

Polizzi was born in Los Angeles and was among a group of teenagers who were cast to be extras for a television project while at high school. Impressed by the sets built for this television series she decided to achieve a career in the entertainment industry. She attended the University of California in Los Angeles and graduated with a degree in theater arts.

Since 2000, she has been working as a senior lecturer in Advanced Set Design and Art Direction at the American Film Institute.


Film and television

Polizzi started her career as production assistant in the early 1980s when she worked on the horror film The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1982) and the drama Nickel Mountain (1984, art direction by Nancy Mickelberry).

Her credits as set designer include films such as the music drama Great Balls of Fire! (1989, starring Winona Ryder), the drama Gross Anatomy (1989), the action comedy V.I. Warshawski (1991), the fantasy comedy Death Becomes Her (1992), Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Jurassic Park (1993), the fantasy drama Heart & Souls (1993, with Alfre Woodard), the drama Forrest Gump (1994), the comedy Sgt. Bilko (1996), the science fiction blockbuster Independence Day (1996), the comedy Edtv (1999), the sequel Ocean's Twelve (2004), the fantasy comedy Bedtime Stories (2008, production design by Linda DeScenna), the comedy Date Night (2010), and the biopic J. Edgar (2011).

As assistant art director, Polizzi worked on the drama The Oasis (1984, starring Richard Cox, Ben Slack, and Mark Metcalf), the science fiction horror film Species (1995), the drama Amistad (1997), the action drama Mercury Rising (1998), and the science fiction remake The Time Machine (2002, screenplay by John Logan).

Among her credits as art director are the fantasy sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), the sixth season of The X-Files (1998-1999), the fantasy comedy How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), the crime comedy Be Cool (2005), the sequel Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), the science fiction sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), the comedy Dinner for Schmucks (2010), the science fiction thriller Cowboys & Aliens (2011, screenplay by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof, production design by Scott Chambliss, and set design by Karen Manthey), and the drama Saving Mr. Banks (2013).

More recently, Polizzi worked as Art Director on the television movie Exit Strategy (2014, written and produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci), and the sequels The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015).


Polizzi received her first ADG Excellence in Production Design Award nomination in 1998 for her work on the drama Amistad. The following year she was part of the team which won the award in the category Television Series for her work on The X-Files. Beside her nomination for Into Darkness, Polizzi received four more nominations in 2001 for How the Grinch Stole Christmas, in 2009 for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in 2012 for Cowboys & Aliens, and in 2014 for Saving Mr. Banks.

Other awards include a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 1999 in the category Outstanding Art Direction for a Series for The X-Files, an Online Film & Television Association Award nomination in 2001 in the category Best Production Design for How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and a Satellite Award nomination in the category Best Art Direction & Production Design in 2013 for her work on Saving Mr. Banks.

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