Sarah Greenwood is a production designer. She has been nominated four times for an Academy Award – in 2006 for Pride & Prejudice, in 2008 for Atonement, in 2010 for Sherlock Holmes and in 2012 for Anna Karenina. In 2013, she was elected best production designer for Anna Karenina at the 26th European Film Awards, and won the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Period Film for Anna Karenina as well.
She studied at the Wimbledon College of Art and was production designer in theater for more than three years. However she was not entirely satisfied with the work, so she got a job at the BBC in the early 90s and stayed there for a while. It didn't only get her a better job, but helped in her transformation from theater to TV. She worked on designing sets for television talk show Later... with Jools Holland. Then, in the late 90s, the BBC disappeared the charge of production design,[clarification needed] and she had to work in independent cinema.
In an interview column for the Golden Globe Awards, Greenwood stated that green arsenic was used in the corridors for the film Atonement, but the director, Joe Wright, wanted Irish green for the dress that Keira Knightley was going to use in the movie. Sarah decided to give priority to dress and change the colour she had planned for the corridors, because the dress had a risk of losing visual emphasis. She said, "Sometimes you have to be strong to win battles, and sometimes you have to know when to let go." She was not entirely convinced with the color that the director wanted, but there are decisions that an art director must make to get the message to the viewer.
Another story that she tells, is that when she went to get a production art job on a film to be made, someone said, "This project is very large. Sure you can handle it?" She had worked on huge sets, so she said "if you have the tools and enough supplies to meet the needs with a good production team, anything is possible." When she met the director, he said he was asked the same question, this made clear it was not a gender thing. "They just wanted to make sure that we all can do this," she said.
- 78th Annual Academy Awards. Accessed 23 January 2010.
- 80th Annual Academy Awards. Accessed 23 January 2010.
- "Oscars 2013: Full list of nominees". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
- "Winners 2013". European Film Awards. European Film Academy. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "2012 Winners & Nominees for Feature Film • Television & Commercials". Art Directors Guild. Retrieved September 14, 2016.