Ilana grew up in the artistic haven of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In her youth, she watched classic monster movies with her father, a life-long monster fan. Childhood nightmares from these movies evolved into appreciation and a burning desire to know how films were made. Her involvement in high-school theater turned her curiosity into a passion for building sets and special effects makeup. After earning a BA in Theater with a concentration in Set Construction and Design from Arizona State University, Ilana set out for Los Angeles.

She worked as a PA on feature films, video game commercials, and other productions, and met her future husband working on their award-winning documentary UNCONQUERED, about Native American Indian artist Alan Houser, a resident of Ilana’s Santa Fe hometown. In Los Angeles, Ilana and a group of friends started ACTIVE PITCH, a company that creates marketing materials for Hollywood actors. For several years, Ilana handled many of the day-to-day operations. With top entertainment agencies and management companies as her clients, Ilana drove sales while learning the ins and outs of the industry. She became an experienced video editor, too, but yearned for the creative outlet she had in her earlier theater productions.

At Cinema Makeup School she was exposed to SFX industry veterans and their techniques. Seeking to deepen her knowledge even further, she became a Stan Winston School subscriber and regularly began attending Monsterpalooza, Son of Monsterpalooza and IMATS. She had finally found her people. She joined the Stan Winston School Team as Enterprise Account Executive in 2015. Working alongside the monster-loving staff has brought Ilana full circle, from having monster movie nightmares to helping the next generation of effects artists to create them!