Therese DePrez


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  • Therese Deprez



Thérèse DePrez, the well-regarded production designer on such films as Black Swan, Summer of Sam and High Fidelity, has died. She was 52. Her parents Gene and Patricia live in the Lake Mohawk section of Sparta, NJ where she was a frequent visitor, most recently for the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market.

DePrez passed away at her home in New York City. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2015, and has been fighting related illnesses since.

She earned many awards and was recognized internationally for excellence in film production design. She was nominated for a BAFTA Award by the British Academy of Film & Television; the Award for Excellence in Production Design in Contemporary Film from the Hollywood Art Directors Guild; and nominated for Best Art Direction by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, all for Oscar nominated Black Swan in 2011.

Earlier she was nominated for Best Art Direction for I shot Andy Warhol at the the Gigon International Film Festival (Spain) in 1996, and won Special Recognition for Superb Art Direction for Going All the Way at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. She was selected by David Bowie to do set design for his Reality world concert tour.

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.

DePrez first made a splash on Tom DiCillo's Living in Oblivion (1995), and she went on to partner with other respected directors like Todd Solondz on Happiness (1998), Spike Lee on Summer of Sam (1999), Stephen Frears on High Fidelity (2000), Donald Petrie on How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) and Walter Salles on Dark Water (2005).

She crafted the vivid looks of Mary Harron's I Shot Andy Warhol (1996); American Splendor (2003), about comic book legend Harvey Pekar; John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001); and Zach Helm's Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007).

A native of Rochester, New York, DePrez shared an Art Directors Guild excellence in production design award with four others on her team for their work on the Darren Aronofsky

ballet thriller Black Swan (2010), an Oscar nominee for best picture and winner for best actress (Natalie Portman).

She was a "production designer that I always wanted to work with," Aronofsky said in a Fox Searchlight featurette for the stylish drama. "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."

DePrez's résumé also included No Looking Back (1998), Arlington Road (1999), Antoine Fuqua's Brooklyn's Finest (2009), Dito Montiel's Fighting (2009) and Philip Seymour Hoffman's Jack Goes Boating (2010).

DePrez attended public schools in Rochester and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City designing stage sets for several off-Broadway shows before nabbing her first movie credit with The Refrigerator (1991).

In addition to her parents, she is survived by her brother Mike DePrez, a Los Angeles based film and video editor and cinematographer, uncles, aunts, cousins and many, many friends in the film, theater and arts community.

A funeral mass will be held 11am Monday, January 8, 2017 at St. Kateri Church, 427 Stanhope Rd, Sparta, NJ 07871.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in her name at a later date when a fund will be set up.

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