Isabelle Guay is a Production Designer and Art Director who developed her film design sensibility working for some of the most innovative and acclaimed filmmakers in the business today. From creating the 17th century world of Barkskins (National Geographic, Fox21 Television; starring David Thewlis and Marcia Gay Harden) to expressing the Cold War tensions played out on a chessboard in Pawn Sacrifice (directed by Ed Zwick; starring Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard) to designing the misanthropic comedy Bad Santa 2 (directed by Mark Waters; starring Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates), Isabelle’s projects are marked by her unique creativity.
As Supervising Art Director, Isabelle’s credits include the Oscar-winner The Revenant (directed by Alejandro Iñàrritu; starring Leonard DiCaprio) which also won 2016 Art Directors’ Guild, Excellence in Production Design, Period Film; Oscar-nominee Arrival (directed by Denis Villeneuve; starring Amy Adams, Forest Whittaker); the celebrated horror film Mother! (directed by Darren Aronofsky; starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem); and the soon-to-be released Midway (directed by Roland Emmerich; starring Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson).
She was also Supervising Art Director on Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The film received the 2005 Art Directors’ Guild Award. George Clooney choose Isabelle as Supervising Art Director on his directorial debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind starring Julia Roberts and Sam Rockwell.
The breadth of her talent is reflected in the scope of her credits which include contemporary, horror, period and fantasy films such as White House Down (Roland Emmerich, director; starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Fox), Mirror Mirror (Tarsem Singh, director; starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins), The Fountain (Darrren Aronofsky, director; starring Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz), Gothika (directed by Mathieu Kassovitz; starring Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz). She has also worked with Oscar-winning production designers Jim Bissell (for Spiderwick Chronicles, 300), and Jeannine Oppewall (for The Sum of All Fears), as well as the highly respected designer Nigel Phelps (for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor).
Isabelle comes from a fine arts background. She received her Baccalaureate in Architecture at the University de Montreal – a rigorous programme with an emphasis on built construction and engineering. This training has given her the skills required to plan and execute a design vision that has informed all of her subsequent film work. Isabelle was accepted into the DGC as Art Director in 1994.
Now, nearly twenty years later, Isabelle has successfully managed to balance her visual creativity and love of design with disciplined attention to logistics, budgets, schedules and crew management. She has the necessary knowledge to realize a great artistic design on time and on budget. She also has a thorough understanding of the visual effects process, critical to filmmaking in contemporary culture.
Isabelle currently resides in Montreal, Canada. In addition to her film work, she has a love of photography, which she combines with a passion for scuba diving in tropical and arctic climes. She is fluent in French, English and Spanish.
Renowned projects and collaborators
Midway . White House Down
Director: Rolland Emmerich
Production Designer: Kirk Petruccelli
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Production Designer: Patrice Vermette
Director: Tarsem Singh
Production Designer: Tom Foden
The Fountain . Mother
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Production Designer: James Chinlund
Cinematographer: Matthew Libatique
Renowned Production Designers
300 . Spiderwick Chronicles . Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Production Designer: Jim Bissell, Oscar winner
The Sum of all Fears
Production Designer: Jeannine Oppewall
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Production Designer: Nigel Phelps
Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki, 3 times Oscar winner
Cinematographer: Caleb Deschanel
Cinematographer: Janusz Kaminski
Art Directors Guild
Excellence in Production Design
Revenant 2015 . Terminal 2004