SPIDER-MAN:HOMECOMING

  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Set Decorator Gene Serdena SDSA gives us an inside look and some great insights into the making of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING...
    Here's a peek into my methodology behind dressing locations. I'll take my own photos of the location and, in a very old-fashioned way, apply a layer of trace paper, onto which I'll draw the set. Although my drawing skills are crude, I find this is the best method to organize the space visually, and it's an effective way to communicate my intentions to my crew and the Production Designer.


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    A finished version of the chemistry class we created...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    In our interview meeting, Director Jon Watts expressed his desire that Peter Parker's high school—for kids who excel in math, science and technology—be the kind of school about which viewers might say, “I wish I'd gone to that school!”


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    All-around specialty
    Set Dresser Mike Garcia (Local 44) created fantastic physics experiment sculptures, which were mechanized and infused with the mad spirit of
    Rube Goldberg contraptions...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Tom Holland as Peter Parker on that set...




    Photo by Chuck Zlotnick
    © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Here's an example of a concept sketch I did for an idea that was quickly abandoned: a high school darkroom...

    Ideas often flare up as vague suggestions, and my way of coping with the anxiety of not having “the answers” is to try to develop an approach for quick problem-solving. If the idea for the scene goes away, I'm often left with its vestige, which can serve a useful future purpose.


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    The transformation from Theatrical Scenery Workshop (in real-life) into Wood and Metal Shop Class required a massive overhaul, and is one of my favorite sets. We got to feature beautiful wooden sculptures that were fashioned from coffee stirrers by local high school students, and a giant 3D head sculpture that was milled by students at a local arts university...

    Image © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    For Peter Parker's detention scene, I thought it would be intimidating to situate him in an English Lit class, surrounded by imposing literary figures staring down at him in stark black and white images.
    The mismatched desktops were intentional, the idea borrowed from Brooklyn Tech School for the Sciences...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    I draw because drawing organizes my thinking. And when my thinking is organized I am a more effective communicator.
    When I communicate effectively, people on my team understand my intention and give the best result.
    Also, I just really like to draw.


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    For the Homecoming Dance, I told the director I wanted to make the most impressive prom scene since Brian DePalma's CARRIE.
    Fortunately we had a happier ending...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Drapery and Upholstery Supervisor Jory Alvarado (Local 44) created magnificent diaphanous streamers that heightened the romance of the scene...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Production Designer Oliver Scholl and I collaborated on the cramped quarters of Peter Parker's bedroom. We had many technical challenges to accommodate, including a spider walk on the ceiling, in addition to creating a room that was rich with character.
    I loved that Oliver embraced my idea of a bunk bed in a room for a single teen.
    [Continued on next photo...]


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    ...I thought the gesture might transmit a subtle idea about a lonely child, longing for connection...a dramatically ironic thing for a boy who possesses extraordinary abilities that he has to keep secret.


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Here's a detail of a quick sketch where I tried to capture the sense of density and layering I wanted to achieve on Peter's bedroom desk...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    I like to challenge my dressers to invent moments that speak to the character. This sublime detail is so evocative, and is one of the wonderful things that happens when you encourage another person’s creativity.
    DVD art courtesy of Set Dresser AJ Austin...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Peter [Tom Holland] tries to keep his Spider-Man identity secret from his aunt, May, whom he lives with in a small apartment in Queens, NY...

    Image © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Sadly, May's Office didn't make the final cut, but I loved how the team transformed this empty space into a cramped, bustling office...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    This home for Liz
    [Laura Harrier], Peter Parker's love interest and captain of the school’s academic decathlon team, was a complete re-do and served as a space for a surprising twist.
    I was relying on the abstract painting in the background to subliminally telegraph a secret...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    I've discovered I can get more done if I'm not supervising every stick of furniture that comes off the truck.
    I make detailed sketches and dress plans for my team, and they often have locations dialed-in well beyond my expectations by the time I've arrived to set.
    They're really, really good.


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    I love that we converted an old bank location in downtown Atlanta into a
    Queens Bodega.
    If I had a dollar for every person who entered the set and tried to order a sandwich or buy a drink...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Head Buyer Katie Childs (Local 44), pauses a moment (a rare occasion) to make a punch list to complete her impressive work on the Bodega set. Her attention to detail is unparalleled...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Growing up I loved disaster flicks like EARTHQUAKE, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, and TOWERING INFERNO,
    so I always jump at the chance when we get to dress a post-destruction phase of something. I'm less enamored of those moments when the ADs quietly ask us to restore it days later...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Spider-Man/Peter Parker [Tom Holland] surveys the damage...

    Image © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved




  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    After his favorite neighborhood bodega is destroyed, Peter Parker [Tom Holland] reluctantly finds another shop...

    Image © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    When you're re-creating a scaled replica of the
    Staten Island Ferry
    (and splitting it in half), you've got to get the details right.
    I marvel at my crews' ability to fabricate complex pipe systems, as well as their remarkably upbeat dispositions, despite the Georgia summer heat...



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Staten Island Ferry...

    Image © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    When I looked at the seating in the Staten Island Ferry,
    I thought, “How on earth are we going to do that?”
    Cue my crackerjack team of fabricators whose engineering minds kick into high gear whenever they're presented with a challenge.
    The results are uncanny and a dead match.


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Salvage crates, bursting with alien technology and poised for an exciting action sequence on a swift-moving truck.


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Spider-Man [Tom Holland]
    in action on that
    swift-moving truck!




    Photo by Chuck Zlotnick
    © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Toomes's Warehouse, which becomes the Vulture's [Michael Keaton] lair, was one of those empty canvas industrial spaces where you could really allow your imagination to take off on a flight of fancy.

    [Keaton’s response...]“The first day I walked onto the salvage company set, I was really impressed with the size and scope... It really exceeded what I had envisioned in my head – it was such a great visceral environment to work within and was perfect for the creation of the Vulture
    and his suit.”



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Again, my team of extraordinary dressers never fail to inspire me with their ability to create beautiful, purposeful settings, replete with intention and character...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    I wanted to repurpose an old industrial relic and use it as a multi media console to illustrate Adrian Toomes/The Vulture's ingenious method of using salvaged technologies to wreak havoc on mankind...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Adrian Toomes/The Vulture [Michael Keaton] and his lead weapon maker,
    Phineas Mason/Tinkerer [Michael Chernus], who repurposes bits of alien technology...

    Photo by Chuck Zlotnick
    © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    I'm a big fan of light boxes and layers of transparency, and the Warehouse set gave rise to countless opportunities for experimentation.



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Tom Holland, who plays Spider-Man, and
    Michael Keaton
    [Adrian Toomes/Vulture], discuss a scene with
    Director Jon Watts in a corner of the huge warehouse set...


    Photo by Chuck Zlotnick
    © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
    Set Dec crew, partial*, on the Warehouse set (L to R):
    Katie Childs, Head Buyer;
    Grant Samson, Leadman, one of the most decent, thoughtful, trustworthy persons I know—this guy makes it all happen;
    Mike Garcia, Gang Boss; Gene Serdena, Furniture Guy; Jenn Sandel, Buyer; Frank Lawrence, Set Dec Driver; Blade Ladish, Set Dresser

    *Not everyone pictured, see below for complete list...




  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Production Designer
    Oliver Scholl (R), said,
    “We're going to make
    a cargo plane...”


    I knew there
    would be a twist...

    “...and the walls need to be upholstered...”

    Set Dresser AJ Austin (L), works with a team of folks who specialize in bending pipe, conduit and tubing to match the contours
    of this behemoth...



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    I have a job where we get to create furniture for superheroes to sit.
    It's pretty cool.


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    In the Avenger's New Compound, we were vexed to find a centerpiece that played off the existing architecture and made a dramatic statement.
    I challenged
    Production Designer
    Oliver Scholl to design an iconic piece that might be the coolest seat in a
    Marvel movie.
    He sketched what became this lovely lobby bench, which impressed the heck out of everybody...



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    At the Avenger's New Compound, mentor
    Tony Stark a.k.a. Ironman
    [Robert Downey Jr] leads Peter [Tom Holland] past that bench!



    Photo by Chuck Zlotnick
    © 2017 CTMG, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved



  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Special Effects Supervisor Extraordinaire, Dan Sudick, also managed a Set Dec fabrication shop for me, on-site at Pinewood Studios Atlanta. Here, Dan just finished testing the sturdiness of one of many “marble” benches his team created for the Washington Monument sequence we shot at Pinewood. Dan is one of the behind-the-scenes heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    Set Dresser
    Patrick Steven Johnson dresses alien technology in close quarters with assistance from Gang Bosses Mike Garcia and Mark Kwiatkowski


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    A great team of very fine folks, our core Set Dec Crew. [Front LtoR] Set Dressers John Day, Blade Ladish, AJ Austin [Middle] Gang Boss Dana Corbett [Rear LtoR ]
    Set Dressers Patrick Steven Johnson, Bam Hughes, AJ Caulfield, Matthew Townsend, Jacob Kee; Driver Larry Railey; Set Dresser Brad Terry; Gang Boss Mark Kwiatkowski; Set Dresser Patrick Dalen; Leadman Grant Samson; Driver John Scott; Gang Bosses Josh Moceri and Mike Garcia
    *Not everyone pictured, see below for complete list...


  • set decorator
    Gene Serdena SDSA

    production designer
    Oliver Scholl

    Marvel/Sony


    When tensions were running high, we relied on our mascot Igby (who belongs to Set Dec Coordinator Amy Lehman)
    to offer unconditional support... and hilarity.


Set Decorator Gene Serdena SDSA takes us behind the scenes and through his methodology for the sets of the standout hit SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING!
 
SET DECOR is stepping out of the box for this special edition album, which Serdena narrates through the captions.
 
Per Serdena’s request, because several of his crew members, all of which were vital to the production, were not included in the film’s official credits, we are providing their names here, as a special acknowledgement from the set decorator.
He also gives a shout out to several of his key resources, many are SDSA Business members.
 
Enjoy the album above!
 
And, along with the set decorator, give a nod to those listed below...
 
Keys:
Grant Samson, Leadman
Jory Alvarado, Drapery and Upholstery Supervisor
Katie Childs, Head Buyer
Jenn Sandel, Buyer
Kemper Harris, On-Set Dresser
Jaime Rosegren, 2nd Unit On-Set Dresser
Amy Lehman, Set Dec Coordinator
Aram Paparian, Set Dec P.A.
 
Gang Bosses:
Mike Garcia
Josh Moceri
Mark Kwiatkowski
Dana Corbett
 
Set Dressers:
John Day
AJ Austin
AJ Caulfield
Robbie Sammons
Beth Wheeler
Bam Hughes
Jacob Kee
Patrick Dalen
Patrick Steven Johnson
Blade Ladish
Scott Johnson
Brad Terry
 
Resources:
LCW (L.A.) — A major contributor!
Dazian
Alpha Medical Atlanta
Warner Bros Property (Atlanta and L.A.)
Bridge Props (Atlanta)
Prop Source a.k.a. Georgia Prop Source(Atlanta)
Georgia Film Art (Atlanta)
Universal Property (L.A.)
Sony Property (L.A.)
Hollywood Studio Gallery (L.A.)
Studio Art and Technology (SAT)/ Independent Studio Services (ISS)
Central Atlanta Prop Service
RJR Props (Atlanta)
Rose Brand
 
 



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