Main Photo
Wilson summer home... Dopplegängers suddenly appear at Adelaide Wilson’s childhood summer home where she and her family are vacationing... Abraham [Winston Duke], Umbrae [Shahadi Wright Joseph], Pluto [Evan Alex], Red [Lupita Nyong’o] Photo by Claudette Barius ©2019 Universal Pictures

US

April 17th, 2019 by Karen Burg


Set Decorator
Florencia Martin SDSA

Production Designer
Ruth de Jong

Universal Pictures

After sending shockwaves across contemporary culture and setting a new standard for provocative, socially conscious horror films with his directorial debut, GET OUT, Academy Award®-winning visionary JORDAN PEELE returns with another original nightmare! Collaborating with Production Designer Ruth de Jong, Set Decorator Florencia Martin SDSA International, Director of Photography Michael Gioulakis, Costume Designer Kym Barrett and their teams, his new film is even more terrifying, and just as psychologically incisive and extraordinarily original.   
Set in present day along the iconic Northern California coastline, Adelaide Wilson [Lupita Nyong’o] returns to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe [Winston Duke], and their two children, Zora [Shahadi Wright Joseph] and Jason [Evan Alex], for an idyllic summer getaway. Haunted by an unexplainable and unresolved trauma from her past and compounded by a string of eerie coincidences, Adelaide feels her paranoia elevate to high alert as she grows increasingly certain that something bad is going to befall her family. After spending a tense day at the beach with their friends, Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home to discover the silhouettes of four figures standing in their driveway. US pits an ordinary American family against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves. 
                                    -Universal Pictures
 
“The idea for this movie came from a deep-seated fear in doppelgängers,” Peele says. “I love doppelgänger mythologies and the movies that have dealt with them, and I wanted to make my offering to that pantheon of ‘evil- double’ films. I was drawn to this idea that we are our own worst enemy. That’s something we all know intrinsically, but it’s a truth we tend to bury. We blame the outsider, we blame ‘the other.’ 
In this movie, the monster has our faces.”
 
In the gallery above, Set Decorator Florencia Martin SDSA International gives us an insider view of the sets and lets us in on some of the creative decisions made for the visual augmentation of Peele’s unique storytelling, keeping a balance of naturalism and elemental details that can take you further, as you will discover each time you look...
 
Here’s the first peek...
 
The Wilson House was the first set we shot on US, and also served as our first introduction to Adelaide and her family in the film. Needing to feel nestled in the redwoods of Santa Cruz, we chose this house for its woodsy interior and huge windows with a great view to the gorgeous oak trees wrapping around the exterior. This location served as my anchor for developing the character and backstory for the Wilsons. I dove into the idea of her parents having an appreciation for the arts and midcentury architecture and design, which lead me to weave midcentury furnishings with an eclectic mix of pieces from the ‘70s and ‘80s, echoing a beachy redwood color theme unique to Santa Cruz. I spent a lot of time looking for African American painters and local Santa Cruz artists from different eras, from the '80s to present, who would be interested in being a part of the film. The specific and dated nature of the decor is important to make the home feel very personal to act as a constant reminder to Adelaide of her past, further expressed by her sheer discomfort of being there, while still looking natural and not giving the story away.”

Omega Cinema Props
 
For more...see gallery above!  
 



Photo 3
Wilson summer home... Set Decorator Florencia Martin SDSA International gives us insights into the creation of the sets... “With the location as anchor, I dove into the idea of her parents having an appreciation for the arts and midcentury architecture and design, which lead me to weave midcentury furnishings with an eclectic mix of pieces from the ‘70s and ‘80s, echoing a beachy redwood color theme unique to Santa Cruz. The specific and dated nature of the decor is important to make the home feel very personal to act as a constant reminder to Adelaide of her past, further expressed by her sheer discomfort of being there, while still looking natural and not giving the story away...” Image ©Universal Pictures 2019

Photo 4
Wilson summer home... “I found this beautiful simple midcentury sofa at Modernica that fit into the space and the family of four perfectly, which was important as Jordan has a very specific shot idea for the first meeting of the mirrored family...” Adelaide [Lupita Nyong’o], Jason [Evan Alex], Zora [Shahadi Wright Joseph], Gabe [Winston Duke] Photo by Claudette Barius ©2019 Universal Pictures

Photo 5
Wilson summer home... “I loved the idea of Red having a throne-like position during her introduction monologue. It is so important that she had the power and center focus in this moment. Jordan agreed and we both loved this natural rattan chair that would be classic for Santa Cruz...” Lupita Nyong’o. Photo by Claudette Barius ©2019 Universal Pictures

Photo 6
Wilson summer home... “I spent a lot of time with my incredibly talented team researching African American culture in Santa Cruz in the ‘70s/'80s, as the script dictated that is when Adelaide grows up there as a little girl. I tried to give the house a backstory of music culture, imaging that Adelaide’s parents had moved to Santa Cruz for the arts, thus choosing ballet as a therapeutic device. I found the gourd wrapped lamp at Wertz Furniture...it originally belonged to the Gene Hackman estate. I loved how each piece was unique and became part of a collection through time...” Image ©Universal Pictures 2019

Photo 7
Wilson summer home... “All the Ikat and Mudcloth throws, I collected over time from Etsy and local markets. The small paintings are by a local Santa Cruz artist. Buyer Allison Isenberg contacted about a dozen artists that were interested in working with us. We removed all the location homeowners’ belongings and filled the room with books about art and culture and an extensive record, CD and tape collection that showed the background of Adelaide’s life. Our set dressing team did a beautiful job of making this look natural, as if it had been there for a long time...” Shahadi Wright Joseph.Photo by Claudette Barius ©2019 Universal Pictures

Photo 8
Wilson summer home... “It was very important for Jordan to have a sense of Adelaide’s family in the home. I worked with my buyers, Allison Isenberg and Katie Childs, to find vintage frames and create 'Grandma’s' collection of photos. The actors graciously allowed us to use their personal photos, which we collaged with ‘family’ photos we took on set. I especially loved receiving the ones of Jason’s shadows, which mirrors the next scene when the Wilson family are walking on the beach...” Image ©Universal Pictures 2019

Photo 9
Wilson summer home... “Our first time seeing the interior of the Wilson House in the film is the dining room. I wanted to use a lot of natural materials and colors to set us in Santa Cruz. Early on, we found the round cage-like wicker lamp, which I thought would look great for our night shots. The majority of the house takes place in the dark, so I looked for pieces that had a lot of shape and texture...” Image ©Universal Pictures 2019

Photo 10
Wilson summer home... “This is one of my favorite corners of the house. I was very inspired from an African American interior designer book from the ‘80s I had discovered on eBay. I found the sectional and the perfect period pillows at Omega Cinema Props. This painting is by the same artist as the piece over the mantel. I liked that the family would have had various pieces by the same artist, collecting them from an art fair or gallery show...” Image ©Universal Pictures 2019

Photo 11
Wilson summer home... “This hallway was inspired by the homes of many of my friends’ parents who were interested in the arts. It had such a nostalgia for me...the carpeted floor and the picture gallery. I was very drawn to these art works for both not being too precious and for their symbolism, although I did not set out with that goal! I was interested in the pieces based on color and composition. We added the ‘80s style track lighting to date the home and not make things feel too architecturally modern...” Image ©Universal Pictures 2019

Photo 12
Wilson summer home... “The Master Bedroom was originally Adelaide’s parents' room. I especially wanted this room to feel slightly old-fashioned and stopped in time. It is a pinnacle scene when Adelaide explains her past, and I wanted the nostalgia of her parents to also be suffocating her...” Image ©Universal Pictures 2019

Photo 13
Wilson summer home... “We embraced the built-ins here and Omega Cinema Props had the most incredible collection of beauty period-accurate pillows. The curtains are an Ikat plaid from Scalamandre (and no longer in stock, so we had to be creative!) One of my favorite pieces is the modular side chair found at Modernica...” Image ©Universal Pictures 2019

Photo 14
Wilson summer home... “I wanted the bedrooms to feel like you were visiting Grandma’s house. Simple and a bit mildewy, with an eclectic collection of furniture. The watercolor is of Steamers Lane in Santa Cruz...” Image ©Universal Pictures 2019



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