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!
The SDSA mourns the passing of our Business Member, stalwart
supporter and friend Rhoda Treibitz, CEO of Hollywood Piano Company who passed Saturday
March 27th due to complications from a rare cancer called leiomyosarcoma. In
addition to be an amazing mother and business woman, Rhoda was an incredible
musical talent and was an accomplished singer, actress, director and
teacher. Read more by clicking on "view PDF".
In lieu of flowers please send your
donations to the National LeioMyoSarcoma Foundation at NLMSF Donations, 18623
County Rd 12 S, Foley, AL. 36535-3738 - go to their website for more info. - http://www.nlmsf.org/index.html
The Charity Art Auction was held 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! Framing discounts were donated from the following SDSA Business Members:
Academy Award nominated, Set Decorator extraordinaire Beth Rubino SDSA sat
down at the Skirted Roundtable to talk about - you got it - Something's
Gotta Give, the popular Nancy Meyers film which starred the beautiful
Southampton beach house as much as any of its Hollywood actors!
(For more on It's Complicated and it's fabulous resources, go to "Hot off the Set"-link here)
Click below to go to blog and hear their recent podcast:
Hollywood has long been a trendsetter in style and taste, particularly in the area of design and interiors. Through the process of film design – known in the industry as production design and set decoration –the backdrop can literally become another character, supporting the actors, developing the story and most importantly, providing the overall visual look...
Set Decor: Nine
Brought by the creative team who gave us the musical Chicago, director Rob Marshall and production designer John Mhyre and set decorator Gordon Sim SDSA, the film has the look and feel of Fellini's 1963 film 8 1/2 (the original story) and La Dolce Vita (1963).
A bedroom transformed by season four winner Antonio Ballatore;photo by Aaron Rappaport.
Designers, are you ready to see your name in lights? Your work broadcast throughout homes across the U.S.? HGTV is on the hunt for a few good interior designers and architects who think they have what it takes to host their own television series. The DIY-shelter network is currently casting for season five of its design-based reality show Design Star.
Where does one find a stuffed cobra in a basket? Set Decorator Amy Wells is responsible for dressing the Mad Men sets and locating the props you see on the show. She talks to AMCtv.com about turning around each episode in seven days, and reveals how she really feels about that fainting couch.
Roland Emmerich's apocalyptic "2012" is a special effects-heavy
thriller starring John Cusack, Danny Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda
Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt and Woody Harrelson. When destroying
the world, it often takes a large crew, equipment and a large blue
screen area to create CGI wonders. David Strick's Hollywood Backlot takes his camera back stage of the filming of "2012" sets decorated by Elizabeth Wilcox, SDSA.
David Strick's Hollywood Backlot takes his camera back stage of the filming of "Community" sets decorated by Denise Pizzini, SDSA. See also: Spotlight article on Denise Pizzini from our archives(Click here)
Brunken (SDSA Member and former Board of Directors) blends Art Deco
interiors and Spanish architecture to create a 'playful' environment.
"Set decorating has changed my approach to interiors of an actual
home," she says. "Because when I'm doing a set, I'm creating the
character, what she would have and what her lifestyle is."
For this modern-day woman, it's a home of glamour and elegance that even Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner would envy.
Click here to see many more photos! Read LA Times Story below:
David Strick's Hollywood Backlot takes his camera back stage of the filming of "Glee" sets decorated by Barbara Munch, SDSA. See also: Hot off the Set Barbara Munch Set Decoration of "Milk" (Click Here)
Footage has been released in advance of the premiere, this time a behind the scene look to the construction of the psychiatric hospital set. Production Designer Jeremy Cassels and Set Decorator Natali Pope, SDSA take viewers into the world of designing from creating the blueprint and the miniature to building the actual set. Click below for link to video:
For Your Consideration! Congratulations Ann Shea, Susan Eschelbach, Amy Feldman, Kimberly Wannop, Ron Franco, Amy Wells, Halina Siwilop, Rusty Libscomb, and James Pearse Connelly on your Nominations for an Emmy! For a Full List of Nominees - click here for EMMYS.com
For the complete story check out "Awards" in our all new SETDECOR online: