...more THE FABELMANS

December 27th, 2022 by Karen Burg


Main Photo
Sammy’s great uncle talks to him about the deep commitment required to follow one’s passion and the personal costs of that path. Gabriel LaBelle, Judd Hirsch. Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022


Set Decorator Karen O'Hara SDSA

Production Designer Rick Carter

Universal

 
Set Decorator Karen O'Hara SDSA and Production Designer Rick Carter join Rosemary Brandenburg SDSA in a fascinating conversation about creating the sets that immerse us in Steven Spielberg’s memories of growing up…the invaluable visuals they provided to take us into Steven's boyhood and the formative years of his cinematic storytelling, the seeds of his artistry in film.
 
Click here for the full conversation!
 

And for a peek of what you will find on the video, here's a small gallery to give you a glimpse of the budding filmmaker's environment, beautifully, evocatively created by Karen & Rick and their teams. The family moved several times, so do check the timescape below put together by Rick's graphics department, which helps chart the key points in Sammy's life.

Photo 3
Sammy’s bedroom/film studio...With his “editing bay” set up near the foot of his bed, Sammy is able to work at all hours on his homemade films. All equipment here is real and practical. Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 4
Sammy’s bedroom/film studio...Spielberg insisted that the filmstrip that be real footage from a scene the boy had previously shot! Gabriel LaBelle. Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 5
Sammy’s bedroom/film studio...For an accurate depiction, Karen asked Steven to do the storyboard sketches that Sammy has pinned to the wall. In the foreground, the model set for the combat scene Sammy is planning to shoot on the desert rocks. Click on the video for the scenes! Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 6
Camera store...Karen smiles. “This location in Whittier was owned by two brothers that still had their father's camera store. Buyer Wendy Weaver and an inspired crew did the research and carefully culled through the brother’s collection to create the Camera Store of our period. It could never have happened without her eye for detail. And of course, we got help from Pam and Jim at History for Hire for this and so many of the other sets.” Click on the video for a fun story about Spielberg and Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski “geeking out” in here! Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 7
Timescape, beginning from when Sammy, at a young age, sees the film THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH and takes an interest in making movies... Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 8
Garage, New Jersey, 1952...After he kept purposely crashing his train sets, to the extreme frustration of his computer scientist father, Sammy’s artistic mother gave him a small movie camera, and the auteur made his first film. A train crash, of course! Click on the video for this entire sequence – it’s rather amazing! Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 9
Haddington Heights, New Jersey, 1952...Behind the scenes – note the signs everywhere reminding crew not to sit or place objects on these set dressing pieces! This is the Fabelman family home, classic post-war. Karen points out, "The colors in this room reflect Steven’s sisters' involvement in capturing the truth of their life growing up. They remembered the deep green walls and a very light colored sofa in this room" Click on the video to learn more! Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 10
The New Jersey house kitchen, early 1950s. Mitzi, Sammy’s mother has more influence here. Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 11
The New Jersey house dining room, early 1950s. Here florals and patterns abound, along with a lighter palette. A central staircase divides the house, as do light and dark hues. Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 12
Phoenix, Arizona, 1954-1962...The move across country has been major, and Mitzi has been able to express her artistic side in this sunbelt home. Another BTS shot, obviously. Note: the green has been carried forward, but with more subtlety. Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 13
Phoenix, Arizona, 1954-1962...Literally mid-century. On the television screen, we can see Mitzi, a concert pianist, in performance. Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

Photo 14
Phoenix, Arizona, 1954-1962...The upright piano in the New Jersey house has been replaced with this baby grand. Note the painting hanging behind it, the jadeite lamp, and through the doorway, the change of dining set. Courtesy of Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment © 2022

And for addtional photos, click below on SHOW MORE PHOTOS!





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