Production design is everything that goes into making the world of a film – sets, props and more. But despite its importance, production design is a facet of filmmaking that I think many people take for granted. We often ascribe credit to the writers, directors and stars of a picture rather than the artists working in the shadows. But today, we’re going to honor the great production designers of Hollywood by looking at every Academy Award for Best Production Design winner – then we’ll rank some of the best production designs of all-time. Before we rank the “best” Best Production Design winners, we’ll build a moodboard you can reference when in need of creative inspiration.

Production Design Oscar Moodboard

Best Production Design moodboard

We imported photo stills from all of the 20 best Academy Award for Best Production Design winners into StudioBinder’s storyboard creator software to build moodboard for inspiration. Feel free to reference this moodboard whenever you’re in need of production design inspiration!q

Before we rank the best winners of the Academy Award for Best Production Design, let’s go over a couple things. The Academy Award for Best Production Design used to be called the Academy Award for Art Direction and it was given out to the best black-and-white film and the best color film each year.

Also, what is production design? According to the Academy, production design is just about everything that goes into the making of a film’s world. In 1947, the Academy decided to group set decoration in with art direction – ultimately leading to the change to Best Production Design. 

Production Design Oscar Winners

20. Julius Caesar (1953)

EDWARD CARFAGNO & CEDRIC GIBBONS (ART DIRECTORS), HUGH HUNT & EDWIN B. WILLIS (SET DECORATORS)

Academy Award for Production Design  •  Minimalist Production Design in ‘Julius Caesar’

Cedric Gibbons won more Academy Awards for Best Production Design than any other production designer in history. For his work on Julius Caesar, Gibbons won his 10th of 11 Oscars. Check out the minimalist production design in Julius Caesar this next clip.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar used some of the same sets as the 1951 film Quo Vadis — so it was important that Gibbons and the team tinkered them in such a way to mask the similarities.

Production Design Academy Award

19. Spartacus (1960)

ALEXANDER GOLITZIN & ERIC ORBOM (ART DIRECTORS), RUSSELL A. GAUSMAN & JULIA HERON (SET DECORATORS)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘Spartacus’

One of the best winners for the Academy Award for Best Production Design can be found in one of Stanley Kubrick’s best filmsSpartacus. Full disclosure, if 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange or Eyes Wide Shut had won the Oscar, I’d put it here in Spartacus’s stead – but alas, none of them did. 

Academy Award for Production Design  •  Making of ‘Spartacus’

Spartacus features some of the best production design of any “sword-and-sandal” film. That may not sound like glowing praise, but it absolutely is considering how great the production design was in similar films like
Son of Samson, Ben-Hur, and Gladiator.

Set Design Oscar Winners

18. Phantom of the Opera (1943)

ALEXANDER GOLITZEN & JOHN B. GOODMAN (ART DIRECTORS), RUSSELL A. GAUSMAN & IRA S. WEBB (SET DECORATORS)

Academy Award for Best Production Design  •  The Phantom Stage

If you’ve ever been to Universal Studios before, you’ve probably heard rumblings about soundstage 28; otherwise known as “the phantom stage.” Universal Studios President Carl Laemmle decided to have the soundstage  built in 1925 after a trip to Paris in which he became enamored with the Paris Opera House.

For decades, there were rumors that the phantom stage was haunted, with some alleging that mysterious figures could be seen in the balconies. In 2014, the stage was demolished but its history remains an essential story in Hollywood production design. 

Best Production Design Films

17. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

COLIN GIBSON (PRODUCTION DESIGNER), LISA THOMPSON (SET DECORATOR)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Behind the Scenes

How do you take a desert wasteland and turn it into an apocalyptic playground for 20-foot tall cars? Look to Mad Max: Fury Road for inspiration.
The Mad Max films – particularly The Road Warrior – have always been acclaimed for their production design, but with Fury Road, the series finally got its first Oscar win for Best Production Design. Check out this next video to see the behind the scenes of the film.

Academy Award for Production Design  •  ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Behind the Scenes

Other than inside the cars, there aren’t many interior shots in
Mad Max: Fury Road – but the sets do a great job of always matching the tone of the story.

Best Production Designers of All Time

16. Pan’s Labyrinth (2005)

EUGENIO CABALLERO (ART DIRECTOR), PILAR REVUELTA  (SET DECORATOR)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’

Guillermo Del Toro doesn’t make movies with bad production design – it’s just not part of his M.O. His collaborators on Pan’s Labyrinth included art director Eugenio Caballero who has worked on other acclaimed projects like Roma and Pilar Revuelta who received acclaim for her work on Pedro Almodóvar’s
Bad Education.

For more on the great world-building in Pan’s Labyrinth, check out the video from Crash Course below.

Academy Award for Production Design  •  Crash Course on ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’

Pan’s Labyrinth features one of if not the best production design in any of Guillermo del Toro’s films.

Production Design Oscar Winners

15. Gone With the Wind (1939)

LYLE R. WHEELER (PRODUCTION DESIGNER)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘Gone With the Wind’ 

Production designer William Cameron Menzies didn’t receive the Academy Award for Best Production Design for his supervisory work on
Gone With the Wind; but he was honored in 1929 for The Dove and Tempest.

Academy Award for Production Design  •  ‘Gone With the Wind’ Innovative Production Design

Instead, Lyle R. Wheeler was given solo credit for the production design – winning his first of four Academy Awards. The production design in
Gone With the Wind is more than just iconic – it’s emblematic of the grandeur we associate with the Hollywood Golden Age.

Production Design Academy Award

14. Amadeus (1984)

PATRIZIA VON BRANDENSTEIN (ART DIRECTOR), KAREL CERNY (SET DECORATOR)

Oscar for Set Design Winners  •  Brilliant Production Design in ‘Amadeus’

Amadeus is one of those movies you watch and think “wow that was a visual treat.” Patrizia von Brandenstein and Karel Cerny should be commended for not only recreating 18th-century Vienna, but for adding visual flair to the era with color and neo-baroque detail. 

Set Design Oscar Winners

13. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

JOHN MEEHAN (ART DIRECTOR), EMILE KURI (SET DECORATOR)

Oscar for Set Design Winners  •  Colorful Production Design in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Jules Verne’s 1870 novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea captivated readers for generations before it received a proper movie adaptation in 1954.
Richard Fleischer’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea faced a difficult challenge in making an adaptation that would appease all of those who had read Verne’s novel, but with the help of art director John Meehan and set decorator Emile Kuri, he pulled it off.

Look at the film to see how colorful props, steampunk costumes and beautiful vistas delivered the visual tone. The production design in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea no-doubt inspired countless imitators in the decades after.

Best Production Design Films

12. Titanic (1997)

PETER LAMONT (ART DIRECTOR), MICHAEL FORD (SET DECORATOR)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘Titanic’

You have to give credit where credit is due – I don’t love Titanic, but I can appreciate the film’s production design. According to production designer Peter Lamont, the team used archival photographs and blueprints to match the ship’s interiors to the original. This next video shows how some of those sets came together.

Oscar for Set Design Winners  • ‘Titanic’ Behind the Scenes

Titanic is proof that production design can go a long way in regards to visual quality. Lamont received his only Oscar win for Titanic; Ford also won 15 years prior for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Best Production Designers of All Time

11. The Aviator (2005)

DANTE FERRETTI (ART DIRECTOR), FRANCESCA LO SCHIAVO (SET DECORATORS)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘The Aviator’

Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo did an incredible job of recreating period detail throughout the life of Howard Hughes in The Aviator. This next clip shows side-by-side comparisons of archival footage and the movie.  

Oscar for Set Design Winners  •  ‘The Aviator’ Real Life Comparisons

There’s just so much authenticity to the production design in The Aviator that it’s hard not to marvel at it. Pay attention to color next time you watch
The Aviator – you may notice subliminal tones that brilliantly aid the mood.

Production Design Oscar Winners

10. The Godfather Part II (1974)

DEAN TAVOULARIS & ANGELO P. GRAHAM (ART DIRECTORS), GEORGE R. NELSON (SET DECORATORS)

Oscar for Set Design Winners  •  Great Production Design in ‘The Godfather Part II’

The Godfather Part II is bigger, bolder, and dare I say better than the original. Over the course of 200 minutes, Francis Ford Coppola transports us from Ellis Island to Lake Tahoe to Havana and more in order to tell the story of two generations of Godfathers. Check out the stunning production design in the film in this next clip.

Tavoularis, Graham and Nelson would go on to work with Ford Coppola again for Apocalypse Now – and the trio received an Academy Award nomination for Best Production Design for their work.

Production Design Academy Award

9. Doctor Zhivago (1977)

JOHN BOX & TERENCE MARSH (ART DIRECTORS), DARIO SIMONI (SET DECORATOR)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘Doctor Zhivago’

There’s no denying that period piece movies have a better chance of winning the Academy Award for Best Production design than non-period piece movies do. But rather than recreate a contrived period, such as Victorian England, director David Lean often recreated obscure settings, such as the Burma Railway in The Bridge on the River Kwai, British Raj India in A Passage to India, and the Russian Revolution in Doctor Zhivago.

Let’s go behind the camera on the set of Doctor Zhivago to see how the production design came together.

Academy Award for Best Production Design  •  Behind the Camera on ‘Doctor Zhivago’

Art director John Box won his second Oscar for Best Production Design for Doctor Zhivago; his first win was for another David Lean collaboration – Lawrence of Arabia.

Set Design Oscar Winners

8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

GRANT MAJOR (ART DIRECTOR), DAN HENNAH & ALAN LEE (SET DECORATORS)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘The Return of the King’

Good production design can be the difference between a great film and an average film – a point proven by comparing The Lord of the Rings and
The Hobbit movies; the former have excellent production design, while the latter struggle to build a world that’s either immersive or realistic. Check out this next video to see how Peter Jackson and the production designers used miniatures to expert effect in Return of the King.

Academy Award for Best Production Design  •  Production Design in ‘The Return of the King’

The big “miniatures” in The Return of the King are so finely detailed that they’re near indistinguishable from real sets.

Best Production Design Films

7. The Last Emperor (1987)

FERDINANDO SCARFIOTTI (ART DIRECTOR), BRUNO CESARI & OSVALDO DESIDERI (SET DECORATORS)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘The Last Emperor’

Perhaps it’s unfair to praise the production design in The Last Emperor too feverishly considering that some of the film was shot in The Forbidden City in Beijing, China – which would admittedly be hard to make look not magnificent.

Academy Award for Best Production Design  •  ‘The Last Emperor’ Behind the Scenes

The Last Emperor cleaned up at the Academy Awards in 1988, winning an Oscar in all nine categories it was nominated.

Best Production Designers of All Time

6. Lost Horizon (1937)

STEPHEN GOOSSON (ART DIRECTOR)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘Lost Horizon’

At the time of its production, Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon was the most expensive film ever made – and it’s clear that a lot of the budget went to the film’s extravagant production design, which was headed by Stephen Goosson. 

Let’s listen to Capra explain the process of making Lost Horizon in this clip.

Academy Award for Best Production Design  •  Frank Capra Talks About ‘Lost Horizon

Lost Horizon isn’t just famous for its brilliant production design though; as Capra explains in the clip above, he had to cut the film’s first two reels after a catastrophic first showing. Oh, and Capra’s first pick for the project, A.E. Anson died from a heart-attack after learning he got the part.

Production Design Oscar Winners

5. Batman (1989)

ANTON FURST (ART DIRECTOR) & PETER YOUNG (SET DECORATOR)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in Batman

I think most people would agree that the production design in the 1989 Batman is the probably the best production design of any superhero movie ever made. This next video takes a tour through the original set and shows what it looked like without cast and crew.

Production Design Oscar Winners  •  Gotham City Tour of ‘Batman’ (1989)

I mean, come on – the Batman set is just really cool. There are monolithic buildings, gothic staircases, and captivating statues/gargoyles all over the place – not to mention how great the rest of the production design was too.

Production Design Academy Award

4. La La Land (2016)

DAVID WASCO (PRODUCTION DESIGNER), SANDY REYNOLDS-WASCO (SET DECORATOR)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘La La Land’

I went back and forth between putting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and
La La Land here – both are stylistic renderings of Los Angeles and both feature some excellent production design – but I decided to go with the latter because of its brilliant use of color.

This video explains how production designer extraordinaires David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco built the “look of love” we see throughout La La Land.

Production Design Oscar Winners  •  Designing the Look of ‘La La Land’

La La Land is rooted in a deep reverence for cinema and the Hollywood Golden Age. We see this reverence throughout the film, like in Mia’s bedroom where her wall is adorned with a mural of Ingrid Bergman, and in the epilogue which was clearly inspired by director Damien Chazelle’s favorite musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Set Design Oscar Winners

3. Star Wars (1977)

JOHN BARRY, NORMAN REYNOLDS & LESLIE DILLEY (ART DIRECTORS), ROGER CHRISTIAN (SET DECORATOR)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘Star Wars’

George Lucas certainly deserves credit for being the visionary behind Star Wars, but he may have never been able to pull it off without the help of production designers like Barry, Reynolds, Dilley and Christian.

Let’s listen to Norman Reynolds explain the process of working on Star Wars in an interview with BBC.

Production Design Oscar Winners  •  Norman Reynolds Talks About Production Design in ‘Star Wars’

Lightsabers, blasters and X-wings are some of the most famous pieces of production design that have ever been made – and they were all introduced in the original Star Wars.

Best Production Design Films

2. Cleopatra (1963)

JOHN DECUIR, JACK MARTIN SMITH, HILYARD M. BROWN, HERMAN A. BLUMENTHAL, ELVEN WEBB, MAURICE PELLING & BORIS JURAGA (ART DIRECTORS), WALTER M. SCOTT, PAUL S. FOX & RAY MOYER (SET DECORATORS)

Production Design Oscar Winners  •  Elizabeth Taylor Entrance in ‘Cleopatra’

Ah, they just don’t make movie sets like they used to. Forgive my diatribe, but it’s true – there’s no way a studio today would “okay” a massive set piece like the Roman square in Cleopatra. And why would they? It’s much cheaper to use CGI to fill a crowd than it is to use actual people.

The elaborate Roman square had to be built twice because Elizabeth Taylor fell ill during the first attempt at production. As a result, filming was moved from England to Cinecitta in Rome.

Production Design Oscar Winners

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

ANTON FURST (LEAD PRODUCTION DESIGNER) & ANNA PINNOCK (SET DECORATOR)

Academy Award for Best Production Design in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the most visually splendorous films of the 21st century – so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock were honored by the Academy for their work on the film’s production design. If you want to build beautifully expressive and colorful film sets like those in The Grand Budapest Hotel, check out our video below.

Production Design Oscar Winners  •  How ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ Was Made on a Budget

Stockhausen has collaborated with director Wes Anderson on four films; including The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Isle of Dogs and The French Dispatch. Pinnock has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Production Design five times but her only win was this one for Budapest.

All Academy Award for Production Design Winners

Every production design Oscar winner

  • 1927/28: William Cameron Menzies, The Dove and Tempest
  • 1928/29: Cedric Gibbons, The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • 1929/30: Herman Rosse, King of Jazz
  • 1930/31: Max Rée, Cimarron
  • 1931/32: Gordon Wiles, Transatlantic
  • 1932/33: William S. Darling, Cavalcade
  • 1934: Cedric Gibbons and Fredric Hope, The Merry Widow
  • 1935: Richard Day, The Dark Angel
  • 1936: Richard Day, Dodsworth
  • 1937: Stephen Goosson, Lost Horizon
  • 1938: Carl Jules Weyl, The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • 1939: Lyle R. Wheeler, Gone with the Wind

Split to Best Production Design B&W and Best Production Design Color

  • 1940: Cedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse, Pride and Prejudice
  • 1940: Vincent Korda, The Thief of Bagdad
  • 1941: Richard Day, Nathan Juran and Thomas Little, How Green Was My Valley
  • 1941: Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary and Edwin B. Willis, Blossoms in the Dust
  • 1942: Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright and Thomas Little, This Above All
  • 1942: Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright and Thomas Little, My Gal Sal
  • 1943: James Basevi, William S. Darling and Thomas Little,
    The Song of Bernadette
  • 1943: Alexander Golitzen, John B. Goodman, Russell A. Gausman and Ira S. Webb, Phantom of the Opera
  • 1944: Cedric Gibbons, William Ferrari, Paul Huldschinsky and Edwin B. Willis, Gaslight
  • 1944: Wiard Inhen and Thomas Little, Wilson
  • 1945: Wiard Inhen and A. Roland Fields, Blood on the Sun
  • 1945: Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegté and Samuel M. Comer, Frenchman’s Creek
  • 1946: William S. Darling, Lyle R. Wheeler, Thomas Little and Frank E. Hughes, Anna and the King of Siam
  • 1946: Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse and Edwin B. Willis, The Yearling
  • 1947: Wilfred Shingleton and John Bryan, Great Expectations
  • 1947: Alfred Junge, Black Narcissus
  • 1948: Roger K. Furse and Carmen Dillon, Hamlet
  • 1948: Hein Heckroth and Arthur Lawson, The Red Shoes
  • 1949: Harry Horner, John Meehan and Emile Kuri, The Heiress
  • 1949: Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis and Jack D. Moore,
    Little Women
  • 1950: Hans Dreier, John Meehan, Samuel M. Comer and Ray Moyer,
    Sunset Boulevard
  • 1950: Hans Dreier, Walter H. Tyler, Samuel M. Comer and Ray Moyer,
    Samson and Delilah
  • 1951: Richard Day and George James Hopkins, A Streetcar Named Desire
  • 1951: E. Preston Ames, Cedric Gibbons, Edwin B. Willis and F. Keogh Gleason, An American in Paris
  • 1952: Edward Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons, F. Keogh Gleason and Edwin B. Willis, The Bad and Beautiful
  • 1952: Paul Sheriff and Marcel Vertès, Moulin Rouge
  • 1953: Edward Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons, Hugh Hunt and Edwin B. Willis, Julius Caesar
  • 1953: George Davis, Lyle R. Wheeler, Paul S. Fox and Walter M. Scott,
    The Robe
  • 1954: Richard Day, On the Waterfront
  • 1954: John Meehan and Emile Kuri, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • 1955: Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen, Samuel M. Comer and Arthur Krams,
    The Rose Tattoo
  • 1955: William Flannery, Jo Mielziner and Robert Priestley, Picnic
  • 1956: Cedric Gibbons, Malcolm Brown, Edwing B. Willis and F. Keogh Gleason, Somebody Up There Likes Me
  • 1956: Lyle R. Wheeler, John DeCuir, Walter M. Scott and Paul S. Fox,
    The King and I
  • 1957: Ted Haworth and Robert Priestley, Sayonara
  • 1958: William A. Horning, E. Preston Ames, Henry Grace and F. Keogh Gleason, Gigi
  • 1959: Lyle R. Wheeler, George Davis, Walter M. Scott and Stuart A. Reiss,
    The Diary of Anne Frank
  • 1959: William A. Horning, Edward Carfagno and Hugh Hunt, Ben-Hur
  • 1960: Alexandre Trauner and Edward G. Boyle, The Apartment
  • 1960: Alexander Golitzen, Eric Orbom, Russell A. Gausman and Julia Heron, Spartacus
  • 1961: Harry Horner and Gene Callahan, The Hustler 
  • 1961: Boris Leven, Victor A. Gangelin, West Side Story
  • 1962: Alexander Golitzen, Henry Bumstead and Oliver Emert,
    To Kill a Mockingbird
  • 1962: John Box, John Stoll and Dario Simoni, Lawrence of Arabia
  • 1963: Gene Callahan, America America
  • 1963: John DeCuir, Jack Martin Smith, Hilyard M. Brown, Herman A. Blumenthal, Elven Webb, Maurice Pelling, Boris Juraga, Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox and Ray Moyer, Cleopatra
  • 1964: Vassilis Photopoulous, Zorba the Greek
  • 1964: Gene Allen, Cecil Beaton and George James Hopkins, My Fair Lady
  • 1965: Robert Clatworthy, Joseph Kish, Ship of Fools
  • 1965: John Box, Terence Marsh, Dario Simoni, Doctor Zhivago
  • 1966: Richard Sylbert, George James Hopkins, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • 1966: Jack Martin Smith, Dale Hennesy, Walter M. Scott and Stuart A. Reiss, Fantastic Voyage


Exclusively Best Production Design With Color

  • 1967: John Truscott, Edward Carrere and John W. Brown, Camelot
  • 1968: John Box, Terence Marsh, Vernon Dixon and Ken Muggleston, Oliver!
  • 1969: John DeCuir, Jack Martin Smith, Herman A. Blumenthal, Walter M. Scott, George James Hopkins and Raphaël Bretton, Hello, Dolly!
  • 1970: Urie McCleary, Gil Parrondo, Antonio Mateos and Pierre-Louis Thévenet, Patton
  • 1971: John Box, Ernest Archer, Jack Maxstead, Gil Parrondo and Vernon Dixon, Nicholas and Alexandra
  • 1972: Rolf Zehetbauer, Hans Jürgen Kiebach and Herbert Strabel, Cabaret
  • 1973: Henry Bumstead and James W. Payne, The Sting
  • 1974: Dean Tavoularis, Angelo P. Graham and George R. Nelson,
    The Godfather Part II
  • 1975: Ken Adam, Roy Walker and Vernon Dixon, Barry Lyndon
  • 1976: George Jenkins and George Gaines, All the President’s Men
  • 1977: John Barry, Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley and Roger Christian,
    Star Wars
  • 1978: Paul Sylbert, Edwin O’Donovan and George Gaines, Heaven Can Wait
  • 1979: Philip Rosenberg, Tony Walton, Edward Stewart and Gary J. Brink,
    All That Jazz
  • 1980: Pierre Guffroy and Jack Stephens, Tess
  • 1981: Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley and Michael D. Ford,
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • 1982: Stuart Craig, Robert W. Laing and Michael Seirton, Gandhi
  • 1983: Anna Asp and Susanne Lingheim, Fanny and Alexander
  • 1984: Patrizia von Brandenstein and Karel Černý, Amadeus
  • 1985: Stephen B. Grimes and Josie MacAvin, Out of Africa
  • 1986: Gianni Quaranta, Brian Ackland-Snow, Brian Savegar and Elio Altramura, A Room with a View
  • 1987: Ferdinando Scarfiotti, Bruno Cesari and Osvaldo Desideri, The Last Emperor
  • 1988: Stuart Craig and Gérard James, Dangerous Liaisons
  • 1989: Anton Furst and Peter Young, Batman
  • 1990: Richard Sylbert and Rick Simpson, Dick Tracy
  • 1991: Dennis Gassner and Nancy Haigh, Bugsy
  • 1992: Luciana Arrighi and Ian Whittaker, Howards End
  • 1993: Allan Starski and Ewa Braun, Schindler’s List
  • 1994: Ken Adam and Carolyn Scott, The Madness of King George
  • 1995: Eugenio Zanetti, Restoration
  • 1996: Stuart Craig and Stephenie McMillan, The English Patient
  • 1997: Peter Lamont and Michael D. Ford, Titanic
  • 1998: Martin Childs and Jill Quertier, Shakespeare in Love
  • 1999: Rich Heinrichs and Peter Young, Sleepy Hollow
  • 2000: Timmy Yip, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • 2001: Catherine Martin and Brigitte Broch, Moulin Rouge!
  • 2002: John Myhre and Gordon Sim, Chicago
  • 2003: Grant Major, Dan Hennah and Alan Lee, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • 2004: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo, The Aviator
  • 2005: John Myhre and Gretchen Rau, Memoirs of a Geisha
  • 2006: Eugenio Caballero and Pilar Revuelta, Pan’s Labyrinth
  • 2007: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • 2008: Donald Graham Burt and Victor J. Zolfo, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • 2009: Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg and Kim Sinclair, Avatar
  • 2010: Robert Stromberg and Karen O’Hara, Alice in Wonderland
  • 2011: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo, Hugo
  • 2012: Rick Carter and Jim Erickson, Lincoln
  • 2013: Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn, The Great Gatsby
  • 2014: Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • 2015: Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • 2016: David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, La La Land
  • 2017: Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin,
    The Shape of Water
  • 2018: Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart, Black Panther
  • 2019: Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • 2020: Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale, Mank 

UP NEXT

Oscar-winning cinematography

Well-constructed production design means very little without proper camera-framing. That’s why cinematography plays an important role in showcasing excellent production design. But cinematography is its own craft too. In our next article, we break down every winner of the Academy Award for Best Cinematography – and we rank the best winners of all-time too!

Up Next: Best Cinematography Winners →
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