“The genesis for this film was something I felt was missing...a movie that didn’t exist: the big UFO horror film,” says Director/Creator Jordan Peele. And like his other forays on screen, this would be like no other.
Set Decorator Gene Serdena SDSA and Production Designer Ruth de Jong talk with Jan Pascale SDSA about the intensely collaborative and joyful experience of bringing this film about despite scorching desert temperatures in practically inaccessible remote areas, animal and wind dancer wrangling, creating an “old” farmhouse, an oversized sitcom, and a theme park, all interrelated!
This is such a unique project, we asked Gene about the collaboration with Ruth and Jordan Peele...in the video, he describes the fantastic process Jordan has established. Be sure to click on the video for that and so much more!
Gene, re: working with Ruth de Jong...
“Ruth has a wonderful sensibility that lent a poetic beauty to the story of NOPE.”
“She developed a rich canvas that allowed for me and my team to come and sketch in a lot of the details.”
“She’s also a bit of a Jordan Peele whisperer in that they have an artistically intimate rapport and vision that enables and invites the rest of us to build and contribute in ways that are deeply rewarding. She has a sure hand and a way with crew that challenges us to bring our best game, but also a winning personality that makes everyone feel like their contribution is valued.”
Gene, re: working with Jordan Peele...
“Jordan is one of the most exciting and original filmmakers working, and I was delighted for the opportunity to get into his movie world.”
“He has a strong point of view, but not to the exclusion of good ideas that help tell his stories. He’s deeply respectful of peoples’ crafts and constantly challenges his team to dig deeper for new layers of reality.”
“As an added bonus he and his creative producing partner, Ian Cooper, are deeply decent humans who also happen to be hilarious conversationalists. I can only hope I get another chance to work with them down the road”
So many vendors made it possible for us to create the settings for NOPE. Here are some of the SDSA Business Members whose services were invaluable:
· Warner Brother Property (especially Drapery and Upholstery)
· Universal Property
· Omega Cinema Props
· Alpha Medical
· Hollywood Studio Gallery
· Hollywood Cinema Arts
· Faux Library
· Astek Wallcoverings
Crew member acknowledgements
· Grant Samson, Leadperson
· Allison Isenberg, Assistant Set Decorator
· Jory Alvarado, Drapery Foreman
· Will Lynch, Set Dec Office Assistant
· Whitney Lowdermilk, Set Dec Coordinator
· Sally Baxter, Buyer
· Gang Bosses: Kristen Granados, Carl Studebaker and David Agajanian
· Set Dressers: Chad Davis, Derek Dean, Nick Higgins, Kory Friedman, Chris Progar
· Nikolai Loveikis, On-Set Dresser
· Mondi Wannamaker, Trainee
Special shout out to J Michael Glynn, Prop Master
Editor's note: We're avoiding spoilers, but click on SHOW MORE PHOTOS below to get a glimpse of the theme park & sitcom.
And click on the video above where Gene and Ruth give in-depth stories and descriptions of them!
SHOW MORE PHOTOS
Jupiter’s Claim theme park, created and owned by “Jupe” Park, known as “Ricky” when he was a child actor. The theme park details are phenomenal. Courtesy Universal Studios 2022
A “Ricky Park” poster in Jupe’s office in the theme park. And check the video for the complete story and images of the trauma young Ricky experienced working on a sitcom! Courtesy Universal Studios 2022
Jupe’s office. Steven Yuen as Jupe. The details were so fabulous, Jordan was inspired to have the storefronts become fully stocked shops and fun spaces for the theme park, where actors could go in and out instead of just walk by! So a candy store front became a full-fledged candy store!
More stories in the video above! Courtesy Universal Studios 2022
Jupiter’s Claim theme park by drone. Note this is a behind the scenes shot of the park and stadium. In the video, Gene explains how he pulled together that much special seating for the stadium, and Ruth talks about Jupiter’s Claim becoming a part of the Universal Studios Theme Park experience! Courtesy Universal Studios 2022