Since 2004, Shelley Freeman and Walt Wilkey of the Mannequin Gallery have been quite the stars as Business Members of the Set Decorators Society of America and as the go to place for any and all mannequin needs. Now Shelley and Mannequin Gallery are guest stars on the small screen in an episode of A&E Network’s “SHIPPING WARS”, with Shelley introducing series co-star Dusty Davie to the groom he is to accompany.
The fabled fictional city known as the home of Batman enjoys another small-screen interpretation in Gotham, a new Fox series debuting Monday. The origin story of idealistic rookie detective James Gordon and the rise of supervillains Catwoman, the Joker, the Riddler, and the Penguin is reimagined against the dark backdrop of a decayed and crime-ridden urban decay.
Production designer Doug Kraner (SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY) looked to the Batman film adaptations for their stylized, iconic settings. Kraner—along with director and executive producer, Danny Cannon, and creator and executive producer Bruno Heller—sought to create a timeless universe. "We looked at the best work from all of the earlier [Batman] efforts," Kraner explains, "and then set out with the belief that by telling this new part of the story, we would achieve something not only different but exciting and fun. We wanted Gotham to be its own world. It’s a legend in our collective imagination."
Together with set decorators Regina Graves SDSA (SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY) and Andrew Baseman SDSA (THE AMERICANS), the design team created the spaces inhabited by Gotham’s custodians of justice and the seedy characters they chase.
Click here for a slideshow of sets and below for full article:
In the aftermath of the MIDNIGHT RIDER tragedy, a wide group of filmmakers have found a positive way to address safety issues, and to honor Sarah Jones, by creating a mobile app!
Below is a letter from one of the members of the group. Please read it and then visit the website:pledgetosarah.org
We are making the information available. It is your choice to follow through.
I’m with an organization called Pledge to Sarah. Our website can be found at pledgetosarah.org.
We are a group of filmmakers from across the US that have banded together in a mutual desire to make our sets a safer place to be. We came together as a result of the Midnight Rider tragedy and the death of Sarah Jones. Some of us were lucky enough to know Sarah, and some of us will never get the opportunity. We are members of various locals and guilds. We are represented in multiple cities across the US. We are all volunteers and most of us have financially donated what we can to our cause. We are all donating our time while working full time jobs on set, oftentimes working during our lunch breaks or after a 14-hour day. We keep in constant contact with Sarah’s family to get their feedback and blessing on everything we do.
What we have spent the last few months working on is creating a mobile app. The app is geared towardseveryonein the industry and is free of charge. Anyone can use it, from actors to production assistants, all crew, union and non-union.
What the app does is 3-fold:
1) It allows for submission of time cards showing long or abusive hours that we can then pass on to the unions. This gives them more information when they go into contract negotiations.
2) It puts all of the CSATF safety bulletins at the tip of the user’s fingers. Instant access. No searching, no wondering. Instant access.
...This next one is the most important one to us….
3) It allows the user to call the three major safety hotlines anonymously. Most people don’t call because they validly fear punishment or retribution for placing the call. By allowing the caller’s phone number to be blocked when dialing, it creates a level of anonymity that wasn’t previously there. We hope that more people will call when something that is unsafe is not being properly addressed on set.
We planned to launch on September 22, 2014 — today. This would have been Sarah’s 28th birthday. We're still tweaking the app, so it will not be ready for a week or two but we still need your help.
We would love you to help us spread the word. The more people that know about the app, the more it will be downloaded and used. And we hope that it directly results in safer sets.
Please go to our website, where you will find both the app (once it is ready) and the pledge: pledgetosarah.org
Set Decorator Rand Sagers SDSA collected anecdotes from SDSA members and collaborated with Variety 411 for an interesting inside look at the craft of Set Decoration. This is must read information for anyone interested in Set Dec.
SDSA Emmy Party hosted by Advanced Liquidators Office Furniture, view photos!
The SDSA Emmy Party was held on August 14th hosted by Advanced Liquidators Office Furniture. The event honors the SDSA Members nominated for television's top award. Thank you to Mark, Eric and Jerry Goldman and all the wonderful staff at Advanced Liquidators. Everyone in attendance had a great time and our SDSA Business Members once again pitched in with assistance to make the event a glamorous success.
Photographs from Erik Neldner Photography are available for viewing and purchase. Please click on photo below:
UPTick Wines provided by Hollywood International Placements
Tito's Handmade Vodka provided by Placed4Success Product Placement
M. Lawrence Sparkling Wines provided by Placed4Success Product Placement
Hot Mixology Party Box Mix provided by Placed4Success Product Placement
Fireman's Brew Beverages provided by Placed4Success Product Placement
Seventh Generation Product provided by International Promotions
Lifefactory Gift Items provided by International Promotions
Zippo Rugged Lanterns provided by Front Row Media
W.R. Case & Sons Knife Sets provided by Front Row Media
TapSnap Photo Booth provided by Eclipse Worldwide
H.L. Swensen Mystery Novel Gift Bags provided by Joanne Fluke
Hors d'oeuvres and Dinner by Bruce's Catering
Cupcake Desserts by Eat Dessert First
Photography by Erik Neldner Photography
Tim Stepeck SDSA Set Decorator Member was among the chosen winners of television’s highest honor, the Emmy Award for his work as Set Decorator on the Showtime series HOUSE OF LIES. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which honor the craft and technical merit for television shows, were presented on August 16th at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
Tim shared the award with Production Designer Ray Yamagata and Art Director Chikako Suzuki in the Outstanding Art Direction For A Contemporary Program (half-hour or less) category.
Tim has twice been nominated for the Emmy, in 1999 for X FILES and again in 2005 for COLD CASE, other works include CALIFORNICATION for which Stepeck twice received nominations for the Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Award and DAWSON’S CREEK.
photo: Stepeck (L), Yamagata (R), Suzuki (C) Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America
Modernica hosts a lovely GMM
Modernica Props hosted the SDSA General Membership Meeting on July 24th at their newly opened Silverlake/Atwater location.
Modernica recently moved from Downtown LA to the sprawling former Hostess Bakery on Gilroy Street. The vast historic space allows for all their merchandise of iconic modern furniture to be on view. Owner Franck Novak and Rental Manager Grant Jack entertained the SDSA crowd with a wonderful spread of small bite nibbles from Love Catering. SDSA Emmy Award nominees were announced, and door prizes of sparkling wines from L Mawby Vineyards and Tito’s Vodka, courtesy of Placed4Success Product Placement, and a Case Study, planter courtesy of Modernica, were given out to lucky winners.
Although the heat and humidity was high that day, so was attendance with many SDSA members coming out to support Modernica at their new digs, and to connect with old friends.
Thanks should be extended to Student Member Julia Mickus for her tireless assistance at this event, and to Business Members Sandy Rose Floral Inc and Aah Inspiring Balloons, once again, for their generous contributions.
Congratulations to Set Decorator Lisa K. Nilsson SDSA for a rare double win at the Daytime Emmy Awards!
In the surprise of the evening worthy of a soap opera storyline, there was a tie for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design for a Drama Series. Lisa is the Set Decorator for both award winners ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and shared the awards with Production Designer Tim Goodmanson; Art Director Martin Fahrer and additional Set Decorator Sarah Fredericks.
Among Lisa’s other television credits are LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT and CENTRAL PARK WEST.
The 41st Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards were held June 20th at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Mad Men Style Comes to L.A. SDSA Set Decorator Claudette Didul has twice been nominated for TV’s Emmy Award, and twice been nominated for the Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design award, winning once, for her work on AMC’s MAD MEN. Now Didul’s extraordinary work has twice been highlighted in popular and important design publications. Read these two articles on the period design and decoration of the popular television show, including Season 7’s trip to Los Angeles.
SDSA Annual Awards Luncheon 2014 On Sunday, May 18th, the Set Decorators Society of America hosted the annual SDSA Awards luncheon at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
The gold-draped affair honored SDSA members who have given outstanding service to the organization and to the profession of Set Decoration. Among those recognized were Donald Elmblad SDSA, recipient of the 2014 Earl Cooperman SDSA Lifetime Achievement Award, and SDSA Chair Award honorees: Business Member EC Props, with the trio of Steve Andruszkewicz, John Ford and Paul Andruszkewicz; long-time SDSA supporter Shari Schroder; Business Member Greg Bilson of Independent Studio Services; SET DECOR Editor Karen Burg; and former SDSA President, Set Decorator Ron V. Franco. SDSA Hall of Fame inductee was Set Decorator Regina O’Brien, current Co-Chair of the organization. Business Member of the Year honorees were John Fluke of Placed4Sucess Product Placement and Frank A. Uchalik & Frank Uchalik of The Alpha Companies. The Robert Zilliox Humanitarian Award was presented to Set Decorator Members Inger Christiansen Shapiro and Lynn Woverton Parker for thoughtful and inspiring service to the community. The Community Outreach Committee’s annual silent art auction was once again a great success, benefitting Inner City Arts.
To view the complete slide show of all the images for the 2014 Luncheon
Please CLICK ON THIS LINK
the password is SDSA
And Thank You once again to SDSA Business Members and Industry Guests who helped make the annual SDSA Awards luncheon an Amazing Success!
Thank you to Bassman-Blaine for hosting the SDSA General Membership Meeting April 24th at their large and beautiful showroom stocked with furniture, lighting and accessories ready for you to purchase right off the floor. Roger Morton, Nancy Hoffberg, Anai Velasquez and Alex Lachuga hosted members at their showroom at the LA Mart in Downtown LA.
SDSA Business Members Aah Inspiring Balloons and Mortise and Tenon pitched in décor and door prizes showing the camaraderie among our fine Business Members once again.
Bassman Blaine LA Mart
1933 S. Broadway Suite 1005
Los Angeles, CA 90007
flash gallery photos courtesy of Beth Wooke, SDSA
main photo courtesy of Brandon Contreras, Boyz in the Kitchen
In Memoriam Kate Sheeley Set Decorator Kathryn (Kate) Sheeley SDSA, recipient of the SDSA Chair award, longtime member of the SDSA Board of Directors, Secretary of the Community Outreach Committee, Associate Editor of SET DECOR, former Vice-President of IATSE Local 490, dedicated set decorator and seemingly tireless volunteer, quietly passed away in the early hours of April 11th after a long, courageous and private battle with cancer.
As was her intent, few knew that the disease which she had successfully fought almost a decade ago had returned in 2010. She continued to work as a set decorator, assistant set decorator and buyer, through radiation treatments and several rounds of chemotherapy…in California, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, New Jersey and Atlanta…dedicated and committed.
Sheeley started in the entertainment business as a research archivist for KELO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she established and organized a video library containing over 30 years of broadcast news footage. She also was a researcher for the PBS documentary A CENTURY OF EXCELLENCE.
Moving to Minneapolis, MN, Sheeley worked for seven years as an on-air graphics designer for WCCO-TV (CBS). She left to pursue her Associates Degree, then signed on as an art department PA for the film OVERNIGHT DELIVERY, and discovered that set decoration was the ideal profession for her. She became a stylist for Marshall Fields and Fingerhut catalogs, Target Corporation and SHOP NBC. Set Decorator Cloudia Rebar SDSA hired her to assist on the feature films HERMAN USA and VANILLA SKY, as did Set Decorator Michele Poulik SDSA for the film JOE SOMEBODY. From there, Sheeley was off and running, decorating numerous commercials and several films, including FACTOTUM and JUSTICE. She joined IATSE Local 490 (MN), edited REEL FACTS the union’s quarterly, and served as Vice-President.
Ever the adventurer, Sheeley came to California to assist her friend Dana Reaves Bolla in the accounting department of the CARNIVALE pilot, with Set Decorator Leslie Frankenheimer SDSA. At that point, as Sheeley’s partner Jeffrey Kaufer recalls, “She decided to stay and break into Hollywood at twice the age of a film school grad!”
Sheeley worked in different locations throughout the US, and maintained dual residency in California and Minnesota. In her adopted West coast state, she often worked with Set Decorator/Production Designer Phillip Hoffman SDSA, current Chairman of the SDSA Board of Directors. She was set decorator of several television pilots, reality shows and the Hallmark Channel movie WHAT I DID FOR LOVE. Sensing the tide of migration of work to Atlanta, she burst into yet another new market for her talents, working as Buyer for Set Decorator David Smith SDSA for the 2014 film WELCOME TO YESTERDAY, and with Set Decorator Carol Bayne Kelley SDSA on the current series THE ORIGINALS.
For the History Channel, she delved into still other worlds as a researcher and project organizer for the MONSTER QUEST series. She also served as the editorial consultant on the book VOX AMPLIFIERS, THE JMI YEARS, written by Jim Elyea, co-owner of History for Hire. “Vintage” called to her, whether the Art Deco Society, her hat collection or a fine California wine, especially those produced by her cousins’ coastal winery.
Sheeley was a volunteer extraordinaire. Kaufer, whom she often roped into helping with projects, says, “Kate’s life was a list…even after being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, Kate continued to organize the world.” She was particularly committed to the work of the SDSA Community Outreach Committee, working year after year on their fund-raising art auction and the annual SPARK OF LOVE TOY DRIVE (Partnered between the SDSA COC and the LA Fire Department and ABC as the entertainment industry media partner), often in the background doing the heavy lifting as well as the detail-checking. Even this last Christmas, while battling the final stage of her illness, she packed her SUV to overflowing, delivering load after load of donated toys to the fire houses where they would be distributed. And then, as Kaufer has noted, “Kate quietly stepped off the stage.”
One of the many behind-the-scenes efforts that most people were unaware of was the work Sheeley did with the Motion Picture Television Fund, particularly as set decorator for their in-house television channel and for fund-raising events. She was responsible for updating and styling the foundation’s Media Room, and hoped that support for it would continue. Jennifer Clymer, MPTF Media & Production Manager says, “We are so moved that the media room meant so much to Kate. She had a wonderful impact on all of us who had the honor to know her.”
Sheeley’s family asks that donations be made in her memory to the MPTF Media Room or the donor’s favorite charity. A private service will be held in Sioux Falls, SD.
Donations can be made to:
Click TRIBUTE GIFT
In Comments section, type: Media Room donation in memory of Kate Sheeley
MPTF Foundation 23388 Mulholland Dr M/S 220 Woodland Hills CA 91364
Set Decorator Andrew Baseman SDSA is the author of THE SCARF (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), a classic, illustrated art book chronicling the history of the printed scarf that reflects both his expertise and love of textiles. He also keeps a fascinating blog, Past Imperfect: The Art of Inventive Repair, designed sets for ballet's Peter Martens and has been featured in a cover story in the NEW YORK TIMES Home & Garden section. But could any of this be more interesting than spies and espionage? Baseman is the set decorator for the intriguing television series THE AMERICANS...
Read Andrew’s five points to a well dressed spy home at Esquire.com
See SDSA Set Decorator Cynthia McCormac take celebrity designer Nate Berkus on a tour of COUGAR TOWN.
The fan-favorite sitcom, airing on TBS, styles some of the noted designer's own ‘Nate Berkus at Target’ line in the various settings.
Check out the informative Shop the Look video and slideshow presentation with McCormac giving insight into the craft of Set Decoration and character development. http://www.tbs.com/shows/cougar-town/target/?SR=ShoptheLook
Dunn, along with collaborating Production Designer Catherine Martin, would be honored in the Best Achievement in Production Design category. Their visuals captivated film audiences with the opulence of the "truly-moneyed" highborn, the ostentatious splendor of the nouveau riche, the gritty seedier side of the city, and the clash between the these worlds.
Congratulations to Beverley Dunn, and to Catherine Martin, who garnered a second Oscar statuette for Best Achievement in Costume Design.
Natural Curiosities hosted the SDSA February General Membership Meeting at their oh so arty Echo Park digs. The historic Jensen Recreation Center, built in 1924 now houses this remarkable collective of artists creating pieces both individual and mass-produced. Founder Christopher Wilcox along with Jeff Hughes, Faith Ford and a collective of fine artists threw open the doors of their astonishing, lofty work/party place. Thank you for hosting, and sharing.
Together, they're visited by an average of more than 5 million viewers at 9 p.m. each Wednesday, not counting millions more who visit later via DVR, on-demand, online replay, pirated streams, etc.
The Bravo cooking competition and the FX supernatural drama share a time slot, with "Coven" drawing most of the combined audience total. Recent visits to both spaces revealed they also share links to New Orleans' rich architectural history -- one actually, the other movie-magically.
"...The devil, among other specters, is in the details of the "Coven" set. Local ornamental-plaster craftsman Tommy Lachtin was hired by the production to fabricate ornate ceiling medallions, moldings and fireplace mantels -- a six-week job during pre-production. ("Those kinds of plaster artists are rare and getting rarer every day," Worthington said.)
Doorsills and doorways were dressed and distressed to simulate a century-plus of paint jobs. Light switches are antique push buttons. The plumbing under one upstairs sink leaks, creating a very lifelike stain in the downstairs ceiling directly beneath it, an accident with benefits.
"I saw that and thought, 'Oh, God. There's a stain,'" Worthington said. "Then I thought, 'It's kind of perfect. Let's just leave it.' All those houses have those problems."
Set decorator Ellen Brill added the finishing touches with French-influenced furnishings sometimes selected for their odd silhouettes."
No contest: American Horror Story: Coven is one of creepiest–and most addictive–shows on television. Besides mesmerizing performances by Emma Roberts, Sarah Paulson, and Jessica Lange, it’s the setting of Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies—a boarding school for troubled young witches in New Orleans—that makes Coven so believably eerie.
Set decorator Ellen Brill says the inspiration for the school’s interior came from an image of an actual plantation on The Big Easy, “It was painted all white, with white floors, and had dark outlined furniture and dark artwork. Every time I saw an image of this place I thought it was in black and white, which I really love—like an old noir film.” Together with the show’s co-creator, Ryan Murphy, and production designer, Mark Worthington, Brill created a set with an authentic New Orleans look, that doesn’t go for the same instant terror effect as last season’s Asylum did, but instead sets the stage for scary things to happen, “I didn’t feel like I was going for the scare factor this time. I just tried to be more true to the culture and architecture here. New Orleans is famous for its voodoo and history of magical things, so I wanted it to feel like it was real and would fit in.” From custom paintings modeled after former witches to furniture with haunting silhouettes, Brill created the ultimate backdrop for a show you’re scared to take your eyes off of.
Entertainment: Ob-jects Fine Set Decorations moves from Culver City. By Mark Madler Monday, September 30, 2013
San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Luxe: Principal Fred Arens at Ob-jects Fine Set Decorations’ new warehouse.
Having a seat at Ob-jects Fine Set Decorations could mean relaxing on a sectional covered with silver ultra-suede or pulling up to the dining room table in a polished aluminum chair.
And if that couch or chair looks familiar, maybe you saw it on “Modern Family,” “CSI” or some other television series decked out in Ob-ject’s extensive collection of upscale furniture.
Now, Tom Bugenhagen and Fred Arens, the company’s principals, are bringing their collection to the San Fernando Valley by relocating to Sun Valley from Culver City.
In doing so, they are following the path of other prop houses who have moved in recent years to be closer to studios and production space in Burbank, Glendale and Studio City.
“What we are providing is a location near everyone else,” said Arens, the vice president and general manager.
Objects signed a 10-year lease to move into a 40,000 square-foot former manufacturing building adjacent to the Burbank Bob Hope Airport. With high ceilings and spacious interior, the structure can hold the hundreds of items the firm has obtained during more than 20 years in business.
The move is expected to be completed by mid-October. Ob-jects has 10 employees but has no immediate plans for hiring despite moving into a significantly larger space, Arens said.
Amy Feldman, who handled set decoration for the sitcom “Two Broke Girls” filmed on the Warner Bros Studios, said she is a loyal customer and is glad the shop is closer to the Burbank studio lot.
“The convenience factor is very high on the scale,” she added.
The studios still maintain their own prop departments that are augmented by the independent vendors. Large prop houses can be generalists offering anything needed by a movie or television set decorator.
“A good amount of retail stores will also do rentals of furniture as well,” said Gene Cane, executive director of the Set Decorators Society of America in North Hollywood.
Then there are firms like Ob-jects that specialize in just upscale furniture. Competitors include Nest Studio Rentals and Prop Services West, both in North Hollywood, the latter of which recently moved over the hill to the Valley.
Elizabeth Keenan rented furniture from Ob-jects for the recently completed surf-and-sand feature film “Ride” starring and directed by Helen Hunt, the live action Disney feature “Alice in Wonderland,” and HBO series “Luck.”
“They are constantly adding new items to their collection which is a rarity with most prop houses,” Keenan said of the collection, which includes sofas, ottomans, rugs, chaises, daybeds and armoires.
The Ob-jects collection – which ranges from modern to antique – was sourced from traditional vendors as well as flea markets, eBay, and antique auctions, said Arens, who declined to speculate on its exact size.
Arens and Bugenhagen, president and creative director, also design their own pieces so they have something special to offer their clients.
“We try to come up with original stuff and embellish it with other antiques and high-end items,” Arens said.
The company’s rental policies are common to other prop houses. Items are sent out for a week at a time with discounts offered for one-day rentals. Longer term rents of a month include a final week for free. Rental prices vary depending on the value of the item.
The company declined to disclose revenue.
Arens also declined to give specific pricing but Keenan said the company was flexible with what it charges depending on the length and budget of a project.
The search for a new building actually started two years ago with a goal of finding something in the 30,000 square-foot to 35,000 square-foot range.
The Sun Valley building was looked at several months ago and while bigger than what was needed no better option was found. To prepare the building Ob-jects picked up the cost of new windows and doors, and the landlord, Howard Industrial JV, paid for the cleaning up and painting of the building.
A new doorway has been cut from one wall as an entrance for customers and two 24-foot diameter fans installed on the ceiling as the substitute for the cool ocean winds that keep the Culver City location at a comfortable temperature.
“They are amazing,” Arens said of the fans. “You feel this big breeze come through.”
SDSA Members Heidi Miller and Barbara Munch Cameron were among the talented crafts persons who were honored with Emmy statuettes at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards handed out at ceremonies in Los Angeles on September 15th.
Heidi Miller, the Set Decorator for "MasterChef" won in the Multi Camera category along with Production Designer John Janavs and Art Director Robert Frye. Heidi has been previously nominated with the same team for their work on “Hell’s Kitchen”. MasterChef airs on the Fox Network.
Barbara Munch Cameron, the Set Decorator for the lavish HBO Liberace telefilm "Behind the Candelabra" won in the Mini Series/Movie category. She shared the award with Production Designer Howard Cummings and Art Director Patrick M Sullivan Jr. Barbara has previously been nominated for an Emmy for the “Glee” pilot.
Congratulations to Heidi and Barbara on this incredible honor.
Photos: top Heidi Miller with husband Gabe, bottom Barbara Munch Cameron with husband Peter.
Click below for more on all the nominated emmy shows by SDSA members:
SDSA Set Decorator Beth Kushnick makes history in bringing the first licensed furniture collection in TV history with "The Good Wife Collection”
Beth and CBS partnered Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams on furniture and Interlude Home on lighting and accessories. The Good Wife (TGW) line was introduced at the Fall International Furniture Market in High Point, N.C.
Kushnick is now receiving much press and praise for this one of a kind furniture line influenced by television and designed by a highly respected Set Decorator.
Read more about Beth Kushnick’s work on the show and developing The Good Wife Line.
Fans of Grey’s Anatomy are fanatical about the shows settings as much as they are the lives of the characters who inhabit Grey Sloan Memorial. Enstars gives us a quick chat with SDSA Set Decorator member Nicole Cramer about Meredith and Derek’s season 10 "Dream House”.
SDSA's Barbara Munch glitters with Liberace Bio Pic
Comments for HBO’s upcoming Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra” have described the performances as fearless, astonishing and astounding, but the same can be said for the visuals.
SDSA Set Decorator Barbara Munch along with longtime collaborator Production Designer Howard Cummings and Costume Designer Ellen Mirojnick have brought the telefilm an unbelievable feast for the eyes with the opulent unreal jeweled world of this very real showman.
Click on the link to view a 12 minute ‘making of’ preview with discussion from many of the collaborators including Set Decorator Barbara Munch SDSA.
Acclaimed Set Decorator and Longtime SDSA Member Jim Mees Passes at 57.
Jim Mees, the Emmy Award-winning Set Decorator for STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and many other hit television series, passed away on Friday, March 29th, at the age of 57, following a 12-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
"Jim was an inspiration to everyone, handling this deadly disease with his trademark passion, good will, and humor," said his life partner, Dr. Michael Smyth. "Typical of Jim, it was he who comforted the rest of us, showing us how to live and die with courage and grace."
A native of New York, Mees relocated to Los Angeles in the 1970s, where he quickly won acclaim for his work as a designer and decorator on such hit television series as THE JEFFERSONS, ONE DAY AT A TIME, WHO'S THE BOSS, PRIVATE PRACTICE, WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB, LIE TO ME and the aforementioned STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. In all, he lent his talents to more than a dozen shows spanning a 35-year Hollywood career.
For seventeen of those years, he created sets for three successive STAR TREK series: THE NEXT GENRATION, VOYAGER, and ENTERPRISE - breakthrough work for which he received six Emmy Award nominations. In 1990, he won the Emmy for Art Direction/Set Decoration for STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENRATION episode Sins of the Father.
In the LOS ANGELES TIMES obituary (link provided below) for Mees, Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard, remembers the set decorator as particularly good at blending futuristic aspects with contemporary sensibilities. "Jim made you feel hopeful about the future, because you could see that good taste was still present in features of design 400 years from now and hadn't been completely over-whelmed by technology."
Along with his considerable television series credits, Mees decorated several feature films and designed live shows for The Beach Boys, Earth,Wind & Fire,Chicago, and Diana Ross. His work on television commercials, furniture and fabric design, theme park installations, residential interiors, exterior landscapes, runway fashion and multi-media special events is testimony to the breadth and depth of his creative reach.
Mees began his career at the young age of twelve, when he became a protègè to the iconic textile designer Vera, helping create the images that would characterize her scarves, sportswear, tableware, and linens. He went on to study at Carnegie-Mellon University in the School of Drama, graduating with Honors.
In 2008, Mees relocated his primary residence, along with his design studio, from Los Angeles to Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, where he lived with Michael Smyth and their two dogs, Connie and Waldo. Mees is survived by his mother, Helen Mees; his siblings, Sherene Williams, Kathy Gordon, and Dan Mees; and friends and colleagues too numerous to name or count.
Funeral services will be held at Salem Lutheran Church, 899 Salem Road in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania on Monday April 8th, at 11:00AM. (570-374-8755). A reception at the church will follow. Local florist is Rine's Florist (800-993-1953).
Donations may be made in his memory to Lambda Legal (lambdalegal.org), an organization whose mission it is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT individuals and those with HIV through impact litigation, education,and public policy work.
Kim Leonard, Jim Mees' friend and longtime buyer shares her recollections about Jim...
Everyone knew if Jim Mees called you to work, you took the call! We have all heard that many times about a lot of people, but especially about Jim. Even if you didn't know him, you knew who he was. You knew you were going to learn...A LOT. His work was unparalleled, legendary and unsurpassed.
I had been fortunate enough to day-play on a couple of Star Trek shows with him. This type of work is very different - it wasn't rented, it was created - out of Jim's imagination. EVERYTHING was a custom build at the mill, or from a fiberglass mold. It was a really interesting process to watch.
After Star Trek wrapped, Jim started doing shows with a buyer. Luckily, I was his choice. For many years, I had witnessed the undeniable talent that I had seen before, but now creating environments that were present day as opposed to the future. That same magical process happened, day after day, set after set, year after year...with all the grace and confidence that all of us who knew Jim had experienced. We did many projects together outside of the film industry, as well. Nothing ever rattled him. He was never nervous, always confident.
The best part of working with Jim was the friendship we developed. He trusted me, I trusted him, as true friends. That wouldn't ever be taken for granted, by either one of us, ever.
I spent the last weekend before Jim passed with him and his partner Michael, at their beautiful home in Pennsylvania. We shared many laughs, and many tears. As I hovered over him the whole time, trying to be helpful, he laughed and said, 'You are gonna hover over me right to the end, aren't you?' We chuckled together.
My dear Jim, my mentor and friend, it is now your turn to hover over me....
With love and respect, always,
Jim Mees's obituary from his hometown newspaper HERE
2013 marks the 20th Anniversary of the 1993 founding of the Set Decorators Society of America.
To kick off a year of a year of celebration Artspace Warehouse hosted a very special cocktail party on January 24th.
Artspace proprietor and curator Claudia Deutsch opened the doors of the Beverly Boulevard gallery to 200 guests who snacked on sumptuous hors d’oeuvre and sipped iced Tito’s Vodka or cocktails of fresh squeezed lime juice and Cointreau while mingling with friends and colleagues and taking in the remarkable art housed at Artspace Warehouse. The artwork, much from local established artists is available for rental or purchase and all cleared for use in film and television.
The SDSA and Artspace Warehouse would like to thank the SDSA Business Members and industry friends for their contributions to making this party a success;
Garrett Lewis, four time Academy Award nominated set decorator, dancer and actor, died Tuesday, January 29 at the age of 77. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1935 and died at his home in Woodland Hills, California of natural causes.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Garrett Lewis had a long and storied career as a dancer, actor and set decorator. His career began while still in college when he was offered the dance lead for a season at the Kansas City Starlight Theatre. After that one season of summer stock, he went to New York and immediately landed his first Broadway show My Fair Lady. This was followed by numerous roles in Broadway productions including Hello Dolly, Vintage ‘60 and First Impressions.
Lewis played the role of Cornelius in Hello Dolly starring opposite five different leading ladies. First, he went on national tour with Carol Channing. Hello Dolly was the first stage show at the newly opened Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in 1965. He reprised the role with Mary Martin in London. Hello Dolly made its premiere in the West End at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on December 2, 1965, with the Queen Mother in attendance. Lewis also performed this role opposite Carole Cook, Dora Bryan and Patrice Munsel in various productions of the show.
Lewis was a featured performer on The Red Skelton Show and The Julie Andrews Hour. Aside from his television work, which included many major network shows at the time on both coasts, he appeared extensively in clubs across the country, supporting such leading ladies as Anna Maria Alberghetti, Arlene Dahl, Dorothy Provine and others. He was a soloist in The Lido Show in Paris, and appeared as the male lead in Little Mary Sunshine in Paris. Garrett transitioned into film and appeared in both Star! with Julie Andrews and Funny Lady.
By the time Lewis finished Funny Lady in 1975, musicals were becoming rare. Lewis’ friend, agent Sue Mengers and her husband Jean-Claude Tramont, purchased Zsa Zsa Gabor’s house in Bel Air in 1975. They admired the way Lewis had decorated his own home, and asked him to redesign their new one. This lead Lewis to designing private homes for celebrities including Barbra Streisand, Herbert Ross, Barry Diller and many others. He effortlessly segued into a second career.
In the late seventies when Herbert Ross was directing The Turning Point he asked Lewis to decorate several sets. Later while filming California Suite, Ross called him in again to assist with the art direction. While his title was “Pictorial Consultant”, his third career as a set decorator for films was launched.
Lewis worked on 39 films as a set decorator. He was nominated for four Academy Awards for Art Direction – Beaches, Glory, Hook and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy for his work on Gepetto. He created everything from civil war tents for Glory to lavish Bugatti inspired furniture for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a particularly special film for him. His films included Mrs. Doubtfire, Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolias, Backdraft, Against All Odds, as well as countless others. His work as a set decorator took him to Morocco, Canada and all parts of the United States. He loved his work. He proudly served on the Executive Committee for the Art Director’s branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
SDSA spends Day with the Set Decorator in Downtown L.A..
On Saturday January 26th the SDSA held another Day with the Set Decorator educational event, hosted by Los Angeles Center Studios.
After guest registration the began in the Beaudry Theatre for some background on the lot and presentations by SDSA Set Decorator Members Rosemary Brandenburg, William De Biasio and David Smith discussion projects they have done at the studio over the years. A presentation by guest Kevin Funston, a member of the Location Managers Guild of America, on how location managers guide use of the multiple shooting areas of the lot.
From there a walking tour of various studio locations and services brought the group to the stages for Disney Channel hit shows Shake It Up and Good Luck Charlie. The group then had lunch followed by a Q@A with the presenting decorators and docents. The event concluded appropriately with a trip to the morgue.
The SDSA gives thanks to Studio and Production Management: Peter Brosnan, Ken Johnson and Preston Moore, Pixie Wespiser and Frank Pace.
And presenting decorators, docents and volunteers of the day: Daryn Reid Goodall, Natalie Contreras, George Karnoff, Cindy Patino (FIDM), Lauren Lustig, Shari Underwood (Jackson Shrub Co.), Rosemary Brandenburg, Shirley Starks, Gene Cane (SDSA Executive Director), Karen Burg (Setdecor.com Editor in Chief), Robbie Turner, Kevin Funston (LMAG), Gail Brooks, Peter Gursky, William De Biasio, Nicole Case, Amber Bailey, Kerby Solangier, Ashley Leung, Marilyn Lopez, Corri Levelle (Sandy Rose Floral), Richard Walker, Laura Richarz, David Smith, Adrianna Cruz Ocampo (U Frame It Gallery), Amy Feldman, Rhea Rebbe (Asst Art Director, Shake It Up), Sarah Chase and Demittajo Govan.
Check the SDSA website for information on upcoming Day with the Set Decorator events and all SDSA news and information.
Photo: Attending Chapman students Rui Zhao, Rachel Aguirre, "Square" Joa, AFI students Haisu Wang, Yihong Ding, Benji Cox and Sandra Carmola on the Shake It Up set.
The SDSA would like to congratulate our New York Set Decorators and Business Members for a spectacular Holiday Party held at Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams. Robert Reynolds and the entire staff were wonderful and did a marvelous job. We are always grateful to our Business Members for their support at our events. Adding to the festivities were donations from the following:
Patricia Ganguzza and Kathryn Como of AIM Productions Inc, SDSA and their clients; Blue Moon · Peroni · Coors Light · Hershey's Kisses · Kendall Jackson Wines with Michaela Baltasar from Jackson Family Wines.
Thank you to photographers Olga Golden, Sally Morales and Rose Morales-Badlani and SDSA Set Decorators Rich Devine and Kelley Burney for coordinating everything!
SDSA Set Decorator Claire Kaufman has decorated high profile feature films, episodic television, movies of the week, commercials and music video, and along the way she has developed quite the stylish eye. Claire's current project is the long running ABC series CASTLE.
Entertainment website wetpaint.com allows Claire to share behind-the-scenes look at CASTLE's Christmas and some of her own Holiday decorating tips and traditions.
For two seasons of Ryan Murphy's AMERICAN HORROR STORY, SDSA Set Decorator Ellen Brill and Production Designer Mark Worthington have lived crazed lives constructing a haunted house in season 1 and eerie mental institution for current season 2 to give the viewer as much fright as the on screen action of the macabre series.
The Hollywood Reporter takes you through a photo gallery of the "spookiest sets on television"
One could easily wonder why produce yet another big screen adaptation of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" but once you take a look at director Joe Wright's visually stunning take on the ill-fated Russian aristocrat you'll see exactly why. SDSA Set Decorator Katie Spenser, along with Production Designer Sarah Greenwood once again collaborate with Wright to create the extraordinary environments surpassing even the most exquisite splendor of standard period drama films.
Recent articles in the Hollywood Reporter and Cinema Style blog concur with the accolades for the lavish production design and set decoration. Read the articles which include insights from Spenser in creating over 100 unique sets for the Focus Features production of "Anna Karenina"
SDSA Set Decorator Bryan Venegas has been an established set decorator for many years in feature films and television and has recently become known for fine interiors on recent projects such as "Brothers and Sisters" and "GCB". For his current series, the hit Ryan Murphy sitcom "The New Normal" Bryan has taken inspiration for the Spanish Colonial main set from creator Murphy's own Los Angeles digs.
LA Times LA at Home page and influential blog Cinema Style have both reported recently on the sets of the show and the real life interiors that served as inspiration.
The real life events in the world of the fictional Crawly family and their staff of servants inhabiting "Downton Abbey" make historical accuracy and detail even more important for this dramatic series set in post-Edwardian Yorkshire County. British based SDSA Set Decorator member Judy Farr, who is no stranger to historical detail, with films "The King's Speech", "My Week with Marilyn" and underrated "Jude" among her credits, discusses Downton Abbey and her process.
For their remarkable work on the second season of the series, Farr, Production Designer Donal Woods and Art Director Charmain Adams were nominated for television's Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction for a Single Camera Series.
Congrats to SDSA Member Amy Feldman and Production Designer Glenda Rovello on winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction for a Multi Camera Series for work on the show Two Broke Girls. Amy's previous work includes The New Adventures of Old Christine, which did bring her three previous Emmy nominations, Glenda is best known for her seven times nominated (with three wins) work on Will & Grace. Congratulations to Amy Feldman and Glenda Rovello on this tremendous honor. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards were handed out on Saturday September 15th at the Nokia Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. Sharp eyed viewers may notice Rovello dressed in a glammed up version of the series waitress uniform. Two Broke Girls airs Monday nights at 9pm on CBS Network.
Emmy Award winning set decorator Melinda Ritz, SDSA speaks with candor and humor about the craft of set decoration and how a set decorator plans and interacts with others to create the depth and honesty necessary to bring the script, story and characters to life. Melinda also delves into what inspires a set decorator's process and reveals some of her personal stories of various stars she has worked with.
U Frame It Gallery, SDSA Business Member named Best of LA® in Los Angeles Magazine's annual guide of the best available amenities in the city.
Longtime SDSA Business Member, supporter and current Executive Board Member Adrianna Cruz Ocampo and U Frame It Gallery has been chosen Best Shopping - Frames in the compendium of premier goods and services in Los Angeles, which also includes Best Public Drinking Fountain, Best Shandong Style Beef Roll and Best Magic Theory Class among the more esoteric choices to check out.
Congrats To Adrianna and U Frame It Gallery
The August Edition of Los Angeles Magazine is available now!
Local Pittsburgh writer Rob Owen spends some time with Set Decorator Jerie Kelter, SDSA about what it takes to make the “Sullivan & Son” neighborhood bar authentic Pittsburgh on a sound stage in Burbank.
Coincidentally Jerie’s regional expertise can also be seen in another Pennsylvania placed sitcom "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia".
L.A. Times reporter David A. Keeps talks with Production Designer Suzuki Ingerslev and Set Decorator Ron V. Franco, SDSA about the choices and sources in designing the world of the Vampire Authority and other sets for season 5 of the popular HBO series.
Creating a period interior is always a challenge, particularly when you have to design nine countries over several decades. Such was the case for the designers of the HBO film, Hemingway and Gellhorn, starring Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen as the star-crossed lovers.
First, a quick history lesson. While we are all familiar with the life and times of acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn often remains a footnote in history. At a time when women were married and raising families, she became a war correspondent and witness to some of the biggest battles of the past century -- Spanish Civil War, World War II and Vietnam. She was also Hemingway's third wife.
Production designer Geoffrey Kirkland (The Right Stuff) and set decorator Jim Erickson (Water for Elephants) were responsible for the film's 30s and 40s designs that ranged from houses in Key West and Cuba to a war torn hotel turned hospital in Madrid and all shot on location in San Francisco.
You can read more on the period designs for Hemingway and Gellhorn in my article in Architectural Digest. The film premieres Monday, May 28th at 9 PM. Happy Memorial Day and here's to the start of a great summer!
Beth Wooke, Set Decorator and SDSA Board Member has received much press for her work on the Sony Screen Gems box office hit "Think Like A Man". The most recent article of interest on Beth's work is from the Cinema Style blog by well known writer Cathy Whitlock. The post is now available, follow the link for the latest read.
Scott Jacobson, a Miami based SDSA member has had a good amount of ink lately. As the set decorator of the Starz series Magic City, Scott, along with Production Designer Carlos Barbosa, has been getting a lot of press lately for the astounding look of the 50’s Miami Beach resort series. See photos of some remarkable sets and read about the process to bring this part of history to stunning life in articles from Cathy Whitlock and Architectural Digest and Lisa Boone and the Los Angeles Times
An exciting flip page article on how Hollywood sets the style for real living featuring insight from SDSA members Ann Shea, Susan Benjamin and Victor Zolfo along with Production Designers and others in the design community.
Thanks to 1st Dibs and Waters Roeck.
See the entire article on your ipad, iphone or any tablet:
Congratulations are in order to Beth Kushnick and CBS for the innovative association with Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to produce a line of furnishings based on Beth's work on The Good Wife. This may be a first! Her work on that series is admired by many viewers who will now have a chance to purchase the look Beth has created for their own home and offices. It is very exciting to show that set decorators can be not only style setters but sources of marketing to publicize their shows. Well done Beth!
CBS sets 'Good Wife' home decor line
Fan response to show's set designs inspires licensing pact
CBS CONSUMER PRODUCTS TO INTRODUCE LINE OF BRANDED HOME DECOR BASED ON THE HIT DRAMA THE GOOD WIFE
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Interlude Home Collaborate to Manufacture Home Furnishings, Home Accessories, Accent Furniture and Lighting That Will Appear On Air and Be Available to the Public This Fall.
CBS Consumer Products has tapped Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Interlude Home to create a home décor line inspired by CBS’s hit drama THE GOOD WIFE. The new line, the first license for the television series, is developed in collaboration with set decorator, Beth Kushnick, and inspired by the actual set decoration ideas seen on the series. Products will debut on the show in the fall during the show’s fourth season. An announcement of the collaboration will be revealed at The High Point Market trade show in High Point, N.C., on April 21-26, 2012.
THE GOOD WIFE’s set decoration has consistently generated positive interest from the show’s viewers, resulting in Kushnick writing a blog called “The Good Look of The Good Wife” at www.cbs.com and tweeting @goodwifesetdec where she answers questions about her work and the series’ aesthetic.
“This opportunity sprouted from fan feedback to Beth’s inspiring decor. We used our merchandising and retail experience to make this line a reality,” said Liz Kalodner, executive vice presdident and general manager of CBS Consumer Products. “The collaboration between Beth and the manufacturers has been seamless resulting in fashionable and sophisticated interiors throughout the set of THE GOOD WIFE. We just can’t wait for fans to see the collection.”
“Needless to say, this is a very exciting and different kind of venture for us, unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” said Mitchell Gold, co-founder and chairman of the 23-year-old home furnishings giant Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. “We’re huge fans of the show not just because we love the story line and the superior acting, but we love Beth’s style sense and her ability to create very realistic and beautiful interiors which we think are very much in sync with the looks resonating with consumers today.”
“We are so excited to team with CBS, Beth Kushnick and THE GOOD WIFE in this groundbreaking creative venture. Enabling viewers to purchase their favorite home décor straight from environments of THE GOOD WIFE is an innovative and inventive new model we are thrilled to be a part of,” said Wendy King Philips, Creative Director of Interlude Home.
“Our situation is unique in that I’ve been communicating with THE GOOD WIFE fans about the home furnishings on the show through my blog and on Twitter,” said Kushnick. “They are interested in literally every piece on the set – from the accessories on a character’s desk to a piece of art on the wall to a floor lamp they see in the background of a room. I’m constantly asked questions such as ‘I want my office to look exactly like Eli Gold’s…where can I get that furniture?’ Now fans will be able to buy many of the pieces. I am so excited to be involved in such a carefully thought out and strategic launch.”
Now in its third season, THE GOOD WIFE averages 11.7 million viewers a week and airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Melinda Ritz is not only a long time member of the Set Decorators Society of America and a highly respected, award winning set decorator, she is a highly sought after designer of private interiors that seem to end up in magazines and on public display. See Melinda’s latest work living the good life with a Hollywood Classic in the May 2012 issue of Elle Decor magazine.
A Hollywood Classic
The creator of Will & Grace updates a 1930s Tudor house in Beverly Hills for his family, mixing eclectic antiques, contemporary ease, and a dash of West Coast glamour
Set decorator for The Hunger Games Larry Dias SDSA was integral in making the film come to life, from the Appalachia-inspired homes seen in District 12 to the opulent palace of President Snow. Dias was nominated for an Oscar for his production design work on Inception, and he's worked on the set design for films including The Village, The Last Airbender, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Keep reading to find out more about the process of designing the look of The Hunger Games.
'Bones': Booth and Brennan's new home, including baby's room
At Fox Studios in Los Angeles, production designer Val Wilt and set
decorator Megan Cannon SDSA produced a two-story, five-room home that
integrates the retro Americana, sports-infused vibe of Booth’s old
apartment with the Asian-inspired look of Brennan’s former loft. In
other words, Buddha meets baseball...
'Mad Men': The story behind Don Draper's new digs "Mad Men" returned after its long hiatus Sunday, earning record
ratings and a host of Midcentury Modern design fans newly obsessed with
Don Draper's new Manhattan home. It's June 1966, and though Draper
(played by Jon Hamm) might be a newlywed, he's traded in his dreary digs
from last season for an Upper East Side spread complete with serious
bachelor pad trappings.
17-B, right, set decorator Claudette Didul SDSA said, is "in a high-rise
that feels like it was built in 1960 with a white-carpeted sunken living
room and a fascinating fireplace and a Case Study-style kitchen with
two pass through windows."
Set decoration: the fashionable world of 'Jane by Design'
The show's emphasis is on high school student Jane (Erica Dasher), an
Anna Wintour-like fashion exec named Gray (Andie MacDowell, pictured
here) and their amazing clothes (and shoes!). But set decorator Richard
C. Walker SDSA said "Jane by Design" creator April Blair was intent on
equally young and fresh interiors. "She was always saying ‘Domino’ to
me," Blair said, referencing the now defunct magazine geared for young do-it-yourself decorators.
You may not see them on the screen, but their influence extends to every set and every scene in your favorite movies. In the last few years Katie Spencer SDSA took the role of set decorator on such wonderful productions as “Pride & Prejudice”, “Atonement”, “Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day” and “Sherlock Holmes”. In this conversation she talks about the craft of set decoration, taking a closer look at the artistic and financial aspects of movie productions, supporting the main story while not drawing too much attention to the set objects and, in particular, her work on the movie “Hanna“.
Our rooms speak volumes about us – and set decorators for television shows specialize in knowing what they can say.
Using colors, accessories and telling details, set decorators help
flesh out a character, whether it's a working-class stiff in a worn-in
apartment or a wealthy doyenne in a slick salon.
For Los Angeles-based set decorator Lynda Burbank, "homey" means
vegetable soup. "I love the soup palette of sage green, burnt orange and
warm beige – these colors are very soothing and make people feel
comfortable in the set," she says.
Photo courtesy of Lynda Burbank shows a set room decorated by Burbank for the sitcom "Mike and Molly" on CBS.
Clutter and collections of things give a room a "lived-in" look, says
Archie D'Amico, set decorator for ABC's "Cougar Town." He also has
worked on "Ugly Betty" and "NYPD Blue."
Set decorators have hundreds of prop houses and stores in Los Angeles
or New York from which to shop. "Very often I'll need something
tomorrow, if not sooner," says Laura Richarz, who has decorated sets on
"Married with Children," "Everybody Loves Chris" and "True Blood."
On Location: ISS prop House going great guns in Hollywood
One of the Southland’s largest prop houses is going great guns in
Hollywood. Over the last decade, Bilson’s family-run operation has
emerged as one of the largest suppliers of arms to the movie and
television industries, building a $20-million-a-year business by
offering a one-stop shop for props, especially the firing kind.
The film — director Martin Scorsese's first geared toward a young audience — was shot on a full-scale train station set built from scratch, directly inspired by Selznick's illustrations.
"It was really as if my drawings had come to life around me, except everything was bigger and more beautiful than I even could have imagined," said Selznick, who was particularly struck by the production, having done theater set design at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
The Oscar winners behind the massive set, built at London's Shepperton Studios, are production designer Dante Ferretti and SDSA set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo, who have each worked on several of Scorsese's films. The Italian husband-wife duo constantly turned to the source material to create the look of the 1930s-era adventure about an orphan who lives in a train station.
In a city with so many different ideas about architecture and so many generations of design, it's easy to draw inspiration. "Of course LA has amazing mid-century design and it has only made me love that aesthetic more. The style of home where we live just doesn't exist in very many places. It was designed by the architect Cliff May and is one of 700 similar atomic rancho homes in the area...
Every decorator’s favorite treasure trove, Newel, gets a
high-style makeover that gives its elegant goods the surroundings they
If many of the antiques at Newel’s
Manhattan shop look familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen them
before, on the big screen. Newel is one of the world’s largest high-end
prop-rental houses, and furniture and decorative objects from its
collection have starred in such movies as Julie & Julia, The Departed, and You’ve Got Mail, as well as television shows like Boardwalk Empire and Gossip Girl.
Now, with a new, 5,000-square-foot showroom on East 53rd Street,
designed by James Aman and John Meeks and featuring soaring,
13-foot-high ceilings and Venetian-plaster walls, it’s easier than ever
to spot and buy those pieces—or at least admire them.
Welcome to the jet age and the early 1960s—the world of Jacqueline Jacobson Scarfo, set decorator for the new ABC period
drama "Pan Am" that premieres Sunday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m.
“Pan Am," about employees and customers of the now-defunct Pan American
World Airways, is supposed to have a bit of a "Mad Men" flavor, a
stylish thriller featuring passion, jealousy, and espionage—all at
30,000 feet in the air.
Q) What's been the biggest challenge with set decoration for "Pan Am"? What was the hardest thing you've had to track down?
A) I love the concept of "Pan Am" ... the dawn of the jet age ...
the glamour ... the 60s. My first decade was the 60s and I grew up
with a very glamorous grandmother and family. Their homes were
designer decorated. They always had their hair coiffed (lol) ... and of
course had closets filled with designer clothes. My first plane trip
was to Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico and I remember getting all dressed
up to travel. We had our wardrobe picked out for every night of our
trip. My grandmother traveled all over the world and wherever she was I
followed her. I love to travel and continue to travel every chance I
get. So I was very excited to revisit the 60s and world travel.
The challenges of a show like "Pan Am" are budgeting and spending
money very carefully. Everything can be hard to track down 50 years
later, but we rely on research as a guide and if we can't find it we
have it made up. Most importantly everything needs to pass the
Glamourtron test. We have a fantastic crew working on "Pan Am" and day
in and day out we pull off little and mostly big miracles of design!
Designer Dad: On location "The Good Wife"
Celebrity home and style designer for the everyday family, Stephen Saint-Onge is DESIGNER DAD. "...I recently went behind-the-scenes at the CBS hit show "The Good Wife" and spoke with the amazingly multi-talented Set Decorator for the series Beth Kushnick. Beth made me feel instantly at home in the midst of the sets that she
is a part of everyday with her wonderful creative team..." "I love this shot because you feel like you are in a real home - until
you see the opening to the backstage area beyond the dining room set"
Check out more photos of "The Good Wife" (and prop houses Beth shops in) on Family-Focused Designer Stephen Saint-Onge's Creative Home and Lifestyle Studio Blog:
The Smurfs had enough charm to attract Harry Pottered-out kids. For
adults, however, the cool Manhattan apartment sets might have held the
"We came up with the idea that perhaps in the 1960s the building once
housed many artists and musicians and had a crazy history of artistic
renovations, leaving a patchwork of mismatched cabinets and vibrant
colored linoleum tile in the kitchen," he said.
Set Decorator Regina Graves SDSA took this cue in creating the look of the
other rooms, including a bathroom that dated to 1912 and was outfitted
with tiles from Subway Ceramics and a pull-chain toilet from Historic House Parts
"We wanted the apartment to feel a little cluttered but lived in and
well loved," Graves said. "We did this using multiple layers of old, new
and found items. Grace and Patrick are a quintessential New York couple
that goes to thrift stores and flea markets on the weekends and aren’t
embarrassed to bring home that great metal step stool they found on the
sidewalk ready for the trash."
Active Business Member Adrianna Cruz of U Frame It Gallery was interviewed by L.A. Times writer Richard Verrier about the film and TV industry sustaining the business through these tough times. Thanks Adrainna for highlighting the plight of local businesses and the importance of the film industry to all Southern California business and residents.
Oscar-nominated Inception set decorator Larry Dias SDSA is a long
way from the dairy farm he grew up on with his six siblings in
California’s Central Valley. The Hollywood mega talent, who has brought
sets to life for films such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the upcoming Battleship, lives on a peaceful Laurel Canyon street in a 2,400-square-foot home that resembles a modern cabin from the exterior.
Hilton died at home on Sunday, May 8, of brain cancer. He leaves behind and brokenhearted his partner, Philippa King, and their two daughters, Chloe (Adam) and Astrid (Andrew). Dear son of Anne Rosemarin and brother of Freya Schnitzler (Larry) and Arno Rosemarin. Predeceased by his father Samson, his father-in-law Robert King, his brother-in-law Matthew King and sister-in-law Brenda King.
He was much loved and will be terribly missed by his extended family of aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, his brother-in-law, Andrew King and sister-in-law, Jennifer King, as well as Maaret Koskinen.
Hilton studied music and theatre in Montreal, where he was born on June 16, 1952, and studied technical theatre at Ryerson University in Toronto. He worked around the world as a Set Decorator on more than fifty motion pictures. He has received the Set Decorators Society of America’s Outstanding Career Achievement Award (click here to read Spotlight story on his award). A complete list of his credits is available on the IMDB website.
He faced terminal illness with courage, peace and equanimity. He has led the way for all of us.
We thank our friends and family, the Palliative Care team and caregivers for all of their love, care and support, without which we would not have been able to care for Hilton at home as he wished.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 13 at 2 p.m. at the Mount Pleasant Visitation Centre, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, East Gate Entrance (416-485-5572). It will be webcast for the benefit of his many friends living all over the world who would like to share it with us. Log-in information will be posted at www.caringbridge.org/visit/hiltonrosemarin
In lieu of flowers, please give generously to the Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Tumor Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
Interview with Iron Man 2 and THOR Set Decorator, Lauri Gaffin SDSA Having worked as the Set Decorator on huge movies such as Mission: Impossible II, Zathura: A Space Adventure, The Pursuit of Happyness and more recently, Iron Man and Iron Man 2, Lauri Gaffin was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to talk to comic book fansite about her work on Thor.
For those of you who may not be all that familiar with the duties of a set decorator or don't understand their importance, Lauri also takes us through the responsibilities of such a job.
Bob Payne, 68 originally from Nebraska passed away peacefully at his
home in Altadena on Monday Feb. 14th.
He was a principal owner of Debbies Book, an on-line entertainment
industry online resource.
With his wife Debbie Hemela he was instrumental in bringing Debbies
Book from a published 300 page book to an internet resource.
Bob began his career as principal software engineer and networking
consultant at Digital Equip. Corp. He later became a software architect
and laid the ground work for the development of special purposed
computer products and complex computer networks for use in commerce and
He is survived by his wife of 11 years. There will be no service. In lieu of flowers remembrances
may be made in his name to:
28720 Roadside Drive, Suite 200
Agoura Hills, CA. 91301
announces the passing of beloved colleague Edward J. McDonald on February 2nd.
Eddie McDonald had
a long and distinguished career as a Set Decorator. An SDSA member prior to
retirement, Eddie was the recipient of four Emmy Award nominations, taking home
the trophy in 1988 for the period piece telefilm “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”.
Other works include feature films "Escape from Alcatraz" and "Indiana Jones and
the Last Crusade", TV films "Mrs. Sundance" and "Studs Lonigan" (Emmy nomination),
and TV series"Barney Miller", "Beyond Westworld"
(Emmy Nomination), "Night Court" and The Drew Carey Show, ending his career with another Emmy nomination.. A favorite among
vendors, Eddie was as kind and thoughtful as he was professional, he was known
for taking personal interest in the well-being of staff members of the
businesses he frequented. Mr. McDonald will be missed by a great many people.
SDSA Decorator Member Robin Peyton has passed away in the
early morning hours of July 1st 2010.
Robin succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest brought on in
part by chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD) at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica.
A private fellow and proper gentleman Robin was born 60
years ago January 25 in England and spent his formative years in Kenya. His
education and original vocation was as an architect but through events the lure
of Hollywood brought him into the studio system where he worked as set dresser
and lead man before taking on Set Decorating for such films as ‘Sweet Hearts
Dance” cult favorites “Bill & Ted’s
Bogus Journey” & “Meet the Deedles” and “D3:The Mighty Ducks.Robin was particularly proud of his work and association
with the T.V. films “Lakota Woman: Siege
at Wounded Knee” and “Love Can Build a Bridge” a telefilm about the famous
Judds singing duo.
Robin, a long time
practitioner of Easter Meditation spent much time at the SYDA Foundation’s
Siddah Yoga Meditation Center in West Los Angeles.Not only did Robin partake of the attributes
and teachings of the Siddah Community, being known as a “profoundly” talented
landscape designer Robin also put his skills to work on the grounds at the
Robin Peyton will be
missed by a great many people including Set Decorator colleagues, many local friends both in the
industry and in the real world, members of the SYDA Foundation and good mates
from around the globe. He is remembered for his dignity, charm and hearty
A memorial was held
in Robin honor at the Siddah Center. He is survived by a bother and a sister in
Set Decor: The Last Airbender
Visual-effects supervisor Pablo Helman ("War of the Worlds") and set decorator Larry Dias, SDSA ("Transformers") walked MTV News through the creation of these various features to give us the inside scoop about five cool weapons and powers. Photo: Paramount Pictures
Set Decor: 24
Set Decorator Cloudia Rebar, SDSA put together a mix of production pieces and custom designs. But when you're working on as many as eight scenes per day, as she does, it occasionally helps to get lucky. "A funny thing happens in this business," she says. "We're required to find so many objects, so fast, with such specific requirements, that we almost manufacture them out of thin air."
Read more about the sets within the pages of Interior Design Magazine:
The SDSA would like to thank with our greatest gratitude the following sponsors whom without their donations this 2010 Awards Luncheon could not have been possible. For more information go to Decorator Resources for photos and website links!
20th Century Fox Studios, Aah- Inspiring Balloons, ABC Casket Company, Advanced Liquidators, AIR Designs, Alpha Medical Props, Apropos Interiors, Art Pic, Astek Wallcoverings, Cinema Paper Rental, Charles & Charles, Dozar, E.C. Prop Rentals, Eclipse-Worldwide, Farrow and Ball, Faux Library, Green Set Inc, Heaven or Las Vegas, History for Hire, Hollywood Cinema Arts, Hollywood Piano Company, Hollywood Studio Gallery, House of Props, Hand Prop Room, Icommunications, Independent Studio Services, Jackson Shrub Supply, LCW Props, LDC Design Studio, Lennie Marvin Prop Heaven, Local 44, Loft Appeal, Motion Picture Health and Wellness, NBC Universal Property, Drapery, Sign, Staff and Moulding Shops, Omega Cinema Props, Pinocoteca Picture Props, Playback Technologies Inc., Prop Services West, RC Vintage, Sandy Rose Floral Designs, Sony Pictures Studio, Skinny Dog Design Group, Square Deal Plumbing, The Vista Group, Tic-Tock Floral, U Frame It, Warner Bros Studio Services.
The Charity Art Auction was held also Sunday, March 7th at the SDSA Luncheon and the Community Outreach Committee raised over $7000! We sold sculptures, paintings, photography, printmaking, collage and pottery all created by SDSA members!
Proceeds benefited the charity organization Inner-City Arts. We love to see just how creative our members are while helping those in need.
...Nearly every single piece required by Griff's set-decorating team, Balfour's prop department and Hooper's armory crew was made in massive workshops in the Marrakesh industrial zone. Items like King Sharaman's ornate horse-drawn hearse and the overweight Mughal's palanquin were created and constructed by Stuart Rose.
"Visiting the set-decoration and props warehouses was one of the most amazing experiences I've had on any location of any of our movies," says executive producer Chad Oman. "They were gigantic warehouses filled floor to ceiling with props and production-design elements, from lamps to swords to saddles to all sorts of elaborate weaponry-all of it made right there on the spot, by hand, by local artisans. Really, I can't think of any other place in the world where you can get this kind of craftsmanship and artistry." ...
Set Decor: Sex and the City 2 "We had to work with the city and close down part of Fifth Ave. to pull it off," says producer John Melfi. "And to really sell it, we brought in dozens of period cars and hundreds of extras in '80s costumes." Add to that a hundred-person crew, an army of trucks carrying tons of
equipment, swarms of paparazzi and hundreds of onlookers, and you get
the challenge of filming on the streets of Manhattan.
"The palette in this closet is very different from the palette in Carrie's old closet," adds set decorator Lydia Marks SDSA "It's really about Carrie's grownup clothes. There are no tutus here."
Shooting in 3D doesn't seem to be much more intensive than shooting in 2D -- except for the set dressing. Sure, you have to attack a set with a critical eye in 2D, but in 3D it's absolutely crucial. The wrong colors can actually wipe out an entire image; improper depth management can scramble your brain. On the set of the upcoming Resident Evil: Afterlife, set decorator Cal Loucks, SDSA talks about how she balances an apocalyptic atmosphere with today's technology. Read what Loucks had to say...
Norman Balos, the quintessential gentleman behind House of Props, died Tuesday April 20th at his home in Marina del Rey.
Prior to establishing House of Props with then owner Al Torf in 1952, Norm worked in the auctioning of antiques and fine art. Those of us that knew Norm through House of Props know how extensive that knowledge was. Norm was a font of invaluable information, and his expertise was called upon daily for the 56 years that Norm ran House of Props. Norm was akin to having your own personal “Antiques Roadshow” at your fingertips. Decorated sets since the 1950’s were often more historically accurate due to Norm’s remarkable knowledge in the decorative arts of specific eras. With Norm’s passing we’ve lost an irreplaceable entertainment industry icon.
Read more about this admired man by clicking on "view pdf" below:
Legends of La Cienega: Celebrate Hollywood
Check back often as we post all the blogs that are talking about SDSA Set Decorators who participated at the Elle Decor sponsored "Legends of La Cienega" 2010 event.
Here is Melissa Levander's tribute to the musical comedies of the fifties and sixties at Dragonette. Photos by Victoria Amado
Read the full post at Cinema Style by clicking link below:
"Legends of La Cienega "
is a design-district open house, in which the public is invited to
showrooms normally open only to the trade. The showrooms collaborate to
create themed display windows; this year's motif is Hollywood.
Jean de Merry's showroom windows have been dressed by set
decorators David Smith, fresh off a Steve Carrell film, and Laura
Richarz, of True Blood. Their inspiration was 1940s Hollywood film noir, incorporating pieces from de Merry's showroom.
Set Decor: The Blind Side Set decorator Susan Benjamin, SDSA visited the family and studied Leigh Anne's decorating in order to capture it on film. I read in an interview with Leigh Anne that when asked what she thought of the movie, she said she'd have to see it again, as she spent the first viewing paying attention only to how they portrayed her home. And, that she didn't like the window treatments! I actually love the window treatments in the set - better than much of the furniture! Read more...
Set Decor: Cougartown
Bloggers everywhere are fascinated with the fresh looking Florida sets of "Cougartown". Set Decorator Archie D'Amico, SDSA does his best job to answer the flood of questions about his choices with pictures to match! Omega Cinema Props is one of the many resources mentioned below.
(Red) Designed to help eliminate AIDS in Africa Each time you buy a (RED) product or service, at no extra cost to you, the company who makes that product will give 50% of it's profit to buy and distribute antiretroviral medicine to our brothers and sisters dying of AIDS in Africa. Artist and former SDSA Business member Len Davis has created this one of a kind T-shirt sold in all Gap Stores available now. For more information on (RED) click on image above.
Beth Kushnick, Set Decorator, is here to answer your questions about
the look and set decoration on The Good Wife. Beth has worked in the
film and television industry for over 25 years on such projects as
Reversal of Fortune, Rounders, Law and Order Trial By Jury, and Fringe.
She is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and The Set Decorators Society of America. Read her Blog on CBS.com and more in our own Set Decor Online feature!