Designing sets on sound stages and bringing locations to life in major cities and random villages on every continent is the way Stefania Cella has spent the last 20 years.
Born and raised in Milan Italy, educated in theater and art history, Cella developed a design style highly influenced by the interplay of light, shadow and color. The emotion of lighting and the aesthetic package in which it is presented provides a subtle context that alters reality to enhance a story. These elements also exist in everyday life but instead of enhancing story, they impact the emotional and aesthetic quality of spaces and it is Cella’s sunny studio library, tucked away in the Hollywood Hills, where she has researched, prepared and found inspiration for more than 20 films. Some of those include works with Nick Cassavetes (John Q), Barry Levinson (Man of the Year, What Just Happened) and Paolo Sorrentino, (This Must be the Place, The Great Beauty and Loro). The Great Beauty brought her the highest award in Italy as best designer in 2014, the David di Donatello. In 2015 she collaborated with director Scott Cooper for the Boston based period film, Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger. She followed this achievement with her design for Downsizing, directed by Alexander Payne, and White Boy Rick, directed by Yann Demage. After her third collaboration with Paolo Sorrentino for the Epic four hour feature on Tycoon Silvio Berlusconi’s Loro, she worked with Noah Hawley for the Astronaut’s based story, Lucy in The Sky, starring Natalie Portman. Stefania just wrapped a Sony-Marvel adventure , Morbius, due to hit theaters in 2020.
Cella’s compelling contrast of character probably inspires her consistently curious and collaborative nature. A petite woman with a larger-than life personality, she punctuates her point of view through a heavy-accent under wild hair, offering sharp wit, pointed humor and passionate commitment. This is an unrelenting pursuit of exquisitely authentic and balanced, sometimes delicate, often beautiful and always functional design.