The FADER spoke to Beachler about her methods, motives, and the unique art of production design. Read the part where she talks about Lemonade below.
What were your most memorable experiences during the productions of Lemonade and Moonlight?
With Lemonade, I didn’t have any time to prep. So I did a lot of what I felt: How do I make this look like not just a regular plantation? How do I make this feel like a very beautiful place and we're on a dirt floor surrounded by bricks and an old fort? It hits these ambiguous points and abstractness is what we were going for.
There was one evening that we were at the plantation. We had worked a long day, and everyone was tired. Beyoncé is standing on stage, and we couldn't get the playback for the music to work. She said, "I'm just going to go ahead and sing it. Let's just go. We need to do it." We're all kind of standing there, and she starts to sing “Freedom” acapella. The hairs on everybody just stood up. That moment, being on a plantation in Louisiana with a black woman standing on this stage, only lit by fire, it was the single greatest moment in my life doing this work. In the front of that stage was Oscar Grant's mother, Trayvon Martin's mother, Freddie Gray's mother all sitting there watching. That I got to experience that moment and that her voice filled the air of that plantation, it gave life to the people standing there, predominantly black group. That is something that I will literally never forget as long as I live.