Wright State grad Hannah Beachler, the production designer for the blockbuster film "Black Panther," has been inducted into the Dayton Region's Walk of Fame.

Wright State grad goes from ‘single mom working two jobs’ to Oscar winner for ‘Black Panther’

6 things you should know about Hannah Beachler, the first African-American female Oscar winner for best production design for her work on ‘Black Panther’ 

A Wright State graduate can add an Oscar to her trophy case. 

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Hannah Beachler won the Oscar for Production Design for her work on Marvel’s “Black Panther” during the 91st Annual Academy Awards. She is the first African-American female to earn this distinction. She was raised in Centerville and graduated from the film and production design program at Wright State University.

>> COMPLETE STORY: Hannah Beachler’s historic Oscar win

>> PHOTOS: Hannah Beachler’s Hollywood night

She shares the award with Jay Hart.

 

Beachler managed a reported $30 million budget for “Black Panther” and was the first woman to work for Marvel as a production designer. 

 

Beachler and Hart won the Critics Choice Award in the Best Production Design on Jan. 13.

 

HERE ARE FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HANNAH BEACHLER:

1) SHE’S WORKED VERY HARD TO GET WHERE SHE IS TODAY.

Hannah Beachler (second from right) talks with Wright State students in the lobby of The Neon movie theater in downtown Dayton Submitted photo.
Photo: HANDOUT

Long before the “Black Panther,” Beachler was a single mother in her late 20s studying film at Wright State. 

“I was a single mom. I worked two jobs, and I went to school full time. If it weren’t for help from others, I would not have been able to so that,” she told us during a recent podcast interview. “I was a commuter student. There was a lot of that at Wright State, where people have families and they are going back to school and you need all the help you can get, especially nowadays.”

Beachler talked to us about her life-changing experience at Wright State; hanging with the skater kids and overcoming bullies as a kid in Centerville; the example her father set,  her grindhouse girl gang movie and how advice from Madonna changed everything forever. The What Had Happened Was podcast with Beachler, hosted by Amelia Robinson, is available here.

 

2) SHE WAS ON THE GRIND.

Beachler went to great lengths to work her craft, and had more than a few setbacks and rejections along the way. 

For the 2013 critically acclaimed independent film “Fruitville Station” — her first job with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler — Beachler told us she drove alone from New Orleans to work on the film in California. 

Beachler took a pet-sitting job for a place to stay.  

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“It was really people I knew who had neighbors who were going out of town who needed their dogs watched... I became like the little town dog watcher, and I had a place to stay,” Beachler said. “That’s how that worked. They didn’t have the money to put me up, and I didn’t have a place to go, but I was still going to go whether it was me sleeping in the car or office or something like that.”

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3) HER RESUME IS IMPRESSIVE. 

Ryan Coogler with some of his "Black Panther" department heads: from left, the cinematographer Rachel Morrison, the costume designer Ruth E. Carter, and the production designer Hannah Beachler, in Beverly Hills, Calif., Nov. 3, 2018. The crew of “Black Panther” is unusual among blockbusters for its large number of female department heads. (Rozette Rago/The New York Times)
Photo: ROZETTE RAGO/NYT

In addition to “Black Panther,” Beachler has received mega praise for her work on “Fruitvale Station” “Moonlight,” “Miles Ahead,” “Creed” and Beyonce’s “Lemonade.” 

> RELATED: Local film insider to talk ‘Moonlight,’ Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ 

She was recently featured in the New York Times along with Coogler and his two other female “Black Panther” department heads. 

>> Oscar glory for ‘Black Panther’? Centerville grad who worked on film featured in the New York Times

4) SHE WANTS TO HELP OTHERS. 

Beachler still has strong ties to Dayton. 

Her father, the late Mark Beachler of Mark Beachler & Associates, lives in Kettering while her mother, Marsha, resides in Centerville. Her sisters are also still in the area. 

She has given several talks at Wright State and the Neon movie theater in downtown Dayton, offering encouragement to local students, filmmakers and film lovers.  

In August, Hannah Beachler announced that she would establish a scholarship fund for Wright State University and Dayton-area high school students interested in careers in communications, media, film and entertainment fields.

>> Woman behind ‘Black Panther’ launches large scholarship fund for Dayton-area students 

5) SHE IS ON THE DAYTON WALK OF FAME. 

Filmmakers Julia Reichert and Hannah Beachler at the 2018 Dayton Region's Walk of Fame Luncheon.
Photo: Amelia Robinson

In September 2018, Beachler was inducted into the Dayton Walk of Fame along with a class that included Oscar-nominated filmmaker Julia Reichert, one of Beachler’s professors at Wright State. 

>> RELATED: Local professor, student inducted into Dayton Walk of Fame on same day

Beachler dedicated her award to her father.

6) SHE IS FOLLOWING A TREND. 

This Oscar nomination makes Beachler the third person with Miami Valley roots in recent years recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

Oakwood-raised actress Allison Janney earned the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role last year at the 90th annual Academy Awards for “I, Tonya.”

>> RELATED: Allison Janney wins Oscar glory  
Springfield native John Legend won the 2015 Oscar for Best Original Song for “Glory”. 

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>> Daytonians who’ve made us proud at the big Hollywood award shows

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