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Love of plants leads to career in production

Merritt Sullivan was a trained horticulturalist and loved everything about plants. But few years after college, she was frustrated by the limited opportunities in nurseries and landscaping.

“I thought, ‘If I could do anything with my horticulture degree, it would be in the movies,’” says Merritt, 32, a native of metro Atlanta and graduate of the University of Georgia. “I honestly had no idea that people were needed for plants on shows and movies. I totally thought it was beyond my reach.”

But after a longtime nursery customer introduced her to the idea, Merritt made the switch and has never looked back, five years later.

She started as a greensman and recalls “smiling from ear to ear” on her fist day on set. She’s worked her way up to Key Greens, also known as the department head, in the male-dominated field. The Greens Department is responsible for plants and landscaping and is part of the Art Department. A set might need artificial turf, for example — or a location could need more leaves or a swampier look.

She even built a forest on stage for Season 3 of “Doom Patrol.” She’s also worked on “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” and, in Cedartown and Macon, the “Watchmen” HBO pilot. She’s currently working on the first season of a series called “Queens.”

“The state’s TV and movie industry has totally changed my life – and honestly, my income,” she says. “I didn’t know what I could do with my love of plants. In landscaping and nurseries, I worked really hard but never got to see the impact. And now my work lives forever on film.”



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