LAST CHRISTMAS

  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    We meet Kate [Emilia Clarke], during the supposed-to-be happiest time of the year, where she works at a Christmas shop.
    Ironic, as Kate is trying to avoid everything and everyone in her life who causes her to feel...

    Photo by Jonathan Prime ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    “This film is a love letter to anyone who has ever felt confused or lost at times in their lives,”
    says Emilia Clarke, who plays Kate.

    “It lends a hopeful message that it’s alright to feel this way and that you’ll soon come to know yourself.”

    Screen image courtesy Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    Holiday magic, thanks to Set Decorator Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA and her teams...
    “I wanted to create a magic world for whomever was going inside and for the audience who was watching the film...


    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    “I wanted to have the shop full, the walls had to be completely covered...”


    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    “Upstairs, downstairs...we had so much fun!”


    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    “The chandelier was created with 600 silver balls and ribbons!”

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    “Every single piece in the room found the right place.”

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    “Before...when we were just beginning to dress...”

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    “We had decorations with lights and music...
    We had funny and weird pieces, a lot of them manufactured by us as hero pieces.”



    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    “Our amazing graphics department created innumerable items, including shopping bags, labels, tags, boxes, all with the name of the shop.”

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    Tom offers Kate another perspective...

    Henry Golding, Emilia Clarke.
    Photo by Jonathan Prime ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop, backroom...

    Even the backroom is a full dress!

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    The shop owner has dubbed herself Santa and refers to Kate as Elf...

    Michelle Yeoh, Emilia Clarke.
    Photo by Jonathan Prime ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    Vignettes and unique pieces everywhere!

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...

    A sweet moment holiday postcard, complete with flamingos!

    Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding.
    Photo by Jonathan Prime ©2019 Universal Studios



  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    London, backway...

    As the story develops, the turbulent journey that Kate had been through becomes clear.
    Although there were a few boulders along the way, she meets someone who helps her see a new perspective of life.

    Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding.
    Photo by Jonathan Prime ©2019 Universal Studios



  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    St Benedict’s...

    Raffaella imparts,
    “Shooting in London during Christmas time is magic.
    Of course, we used a lot of the existing decorations and Christmas lights, but we also added hundreds and hundreds of lights in every exterior location shot. For example, the exterior of the shelter location didn’t have any lights. We added fairy lights, festoons and Christmas trees around the church, plus fairy lights on the balconies and fences of the houses close by.”


    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Covent Garden...

    “Tom and Kate are like yin and yang,”
    Henry Golding explains.
    “As the story progresses, they come together and see each other within themselves. They both develop a much deeper understanding of one another.”

    Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding.
    Photo by Jonathan Prime ©2019 Universal Studios



  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Covent Garden Market...

    Raffaella smiles,
    “The first shooting day was at the beginning of December, and we had to prep 16 stalls in Covent Garden Market in the heart of London just before Christmas holiday.
    The area where we worked couldn’t be blocked to the market's actual customers, so it was very difficult to dress the set with people around looking to buy presents!
    We kept saying all the time ‘Please, do not touch. It’s not on sale. We are dressing for a film.’!”


    “The ‘Yuletide Wonderful’ Christmas shop was built in a Gallery Arch of the Market.”

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Covent Garden...

    Kate and her mother, an Eastern European émigré, enjoy the flavors of the multicultural market...

    Emilia Clarke, Emma Thompson
    Photo by Jonathan Prime ©2019 Universal Studios




  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Doctor’s office...

    Kate and her mother get some startling news...

    Emilia Clarke, Emma Thompson
    Photo by Jonathan Prime ©2019 Universal Studios



  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Kate’s family’s home...

    “I wanted to give the family home the look of a UK working class house but with a lot of East European influence on the decoration...the rug, the cushions with big flowers, the wooden plates on the wall...”

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios




  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Family home...

    “Kate's mom never forgets her origin...and she wants to keep her past with her.”

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Family home...

    The palette is earth tones, very grounded...

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios



  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Family home, Kate’s room...

    Obviously at a crossroads, at this point, Kate prefers to couch surf at her friend’s flat rather than stay here.

    BTW: This was a stage build, even with ceiling...

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios



  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Jenna and Rufus flat...

    Also built on stage.
    Raffaella says,
    “I wanted to give the flat a fresh, dynamic look. The couple who leave there are cool and young. I played with plants, with orange and yellow colors and with some natural elements, such as wire metal used to manufacture handcrafted sculptures.”

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios



  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Jenna and Rufus flat...

    Lots of creative approach...the hanging woven bottle lamp...the lion painting (on stretched canvas) hung on top of batik...the mix of cultures...repurposing...

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios



  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Jenna and Rufus flat...

    The lamp is an amazing choice!
    We had to zoom in to show you...

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios



  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Jenna and Rufus flat...

    The clock as metaphor...the significance of time...

    Photo courtesy RG/Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios


  • set decorator
    Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA

    production designer
    Gary Freeman

    Universal Pictures


    Yuletide Wonderful shop...
    It was a bit of life imitating art for Clarke when she learned of LAST CHRISTMAS’s message.
    When she was a child, her grandfather reminded her to “look up and see the world so many of us take for granted.”
    She shares,

    “One of the central themes of this film is the idea of ‘looking up’.
    It speaks to the importance of opening up, being aware of your surroundings and taking a moment to smell the roses of the world you’re living in...”


    Emilia Clarke. Screen image courtesy Universal Pictures ©2019 Universal Studios



Here’s a holiday gift for everyone!
This inside look of the world of LAST CHRISTMAS was provided by Universal Pictures. Seldom do the studios remember to include recognition of the set decorator and team in their campaigns. We were so delighted, we’re showcasing the whole section, with extra notes from Set Decorator Raffaella Giovannetti SDSA in the captions above.
Happy Holidays from all of us at SET DECOR and the SDSA!
Enjoy!

Karen Burg, Editor
 
 
 
A Winter London-Land
Production Designer Gary Freeman and his long-time collaborator, Set Decorator Raffaella Giovannetti, were tasked by Director Paul Feig to showcase Jolly Old London as both an exciting fairyland and deeply intimate. As Tom’s [Henry Golding] mantra “Look Up!” is a call for those around him to experience the wonders they are ignoring, the director hoped to create a setting that gave life to Santa’s catchphrase: “Time to sparkle!”
 
Freeman was duly impressed with what Feig and Writer/Actor Emma Thompson aimed to accomplish. 
“In these troubled times, it’s quite nice to do something positive, and Emma’s energy is intoxicating,” Freeman says. 
 
“Also, it was interesting that we were shooting in London. We tend to shoot other places for London all the time, so it was nice to highlight what is so great about the city. We shot the whole spectrum. 
As a Londoner, you are often walking from A to B, head down, and you never really take in your surroundings. During Christmastime especially, it is stunning.”
 
“Paul wanted to show London as the beautiful city that it is, and we spent a lot of time finding places that would look spectacular,” Freeman continues. “He wanted to give London a slightly fairy-tale look. He loves fairy lights, sparkle and shimmer. Wherever we went, we were always looking for beauty.”
 
The designer recalls preparing the exterior of the Yuletide Wonderful set in the center of Covent Garden two weeks before Christmas. “The biggest challenge for our department was prepping that shop set in Covent Garden,” Freeman reveals, “...with the public trying to buy all the props and dressing. Part of the deal with Covent Garden was that we didn’t shut them down, especially given the time of year. We had one weekend to get the set together before the crew started filming on Sunday night. It was quite brutal, but the team did really well.”
 
Set Decoration
Raffaella Giovannetti, an Italian-based set decorator whose skill set is shown in her work alongside Freeman on TOMB RAIDER, ALLIED and EVEREST, served in this role for director Feig. Bringing the lush sensibilities that she provided to the look of EAT PRAY LOVE, Giovannetti immersed herself in all things Christmas, even if that meant shooing away would-be buyers to her gorgeous shop throughout the production.
 
The set decorator introduces us to her process. “When I started to prep the film in September 2018, I began with the shop that was the last set to be shot, even though the entrance of the shop was shot at the beginning of the film,” Giovannetti says. “Luckily, I started shopping for it immediately. Even if it seems unusual to look for Christmas decorations at that time of the year, it was almost late!”
As she contacted various companies that sell holiday fare and visited showrooms across Europe, the designer was as astonished as Santa herself [Michelle Yeoh plays the shop owner who has dubbed herself Santa] to see the limitless options available to her. 
 
“It was amazing to see the Christmas showrooms,” Giovannetti says. “It felt like entering into a fairy tale, as there were some beautiful pieces and some other very weird ones. From that moment, I had in mind the shop that I wanted: one full of colors, baubles, Santa Clauses, elves and weird decorations. I wanted to have the shop completely full of items, where not even a piece of a wall of the two-floor shop was visible.”
 
Dressing the Yuletide Wonderful shop was the most delightful set she’s crafted in her career. “I felt like a child,” Giovannetti says. “Besides all of the decorations, we created shopping bags with the shop name, small personalized presents, boxes, tags and shop labels. Everything was real and very funny. I’ve done numerous Christmas scenes, but have never bought so many decorations and fairy lights as I did for LAST CHRISTMAS.”
 
For key scenes in which mother and daughter Petra [Emma Thompson] and Kate [Emilia Clarke] bond over a day of shopping and eating in Covent Garden, the crew dressed 16 market stalls all related to Christmas. “We used actual stalls in the market and replaced all the dressing in those,” Giovannetti says. “Covent Garden Market is an open area, and we had to work around people who were shopping for Christmas.” 
 
Although they began dressing sets very early in the morning, around 4:00 a.m., the square was packed with people. “Everybody was asking the price or touching and moving the dressing,” Giovannetti says. “It was a continuous reply of, ‘Sorry! It’s not for sale! We are doing a film. Please don’t touch it.” She laughs, “It was a nightmare!”
 
As fastidious as she was about the Covent Garden-based set dressings, Giovannetti was just as painstaking throughout production.
“The other sets were easier to prepare, even as I wanted to be very specific with all of them,” Giovannetti says.
The Jenna and Rufus flat set was young, fresh, alternative....a lot of green plants, as well as yellow and red colors against greys. 
Kate’s family house had an eastern European touch to it, keeping the color more monochromatic and with some classic style.
The homeless shelter was full of art. I wanted to offer that residents created some of the paintings.
The streets outside were full of fairy lights and festoons.
It was a film full of joy.”




 
A Million Drops
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



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television decor archives

LAST CHRISTMAS 2019-12-02
FORD V FERRARI 2019-11-21
DOCTOR SLEEP 2019-11-13
DOWNTON ABBEY 2019-10-10
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME 2019-07-26
THE HIGHWAYMEN 2019-07-19
ROCKETMAN 2019-07-08
ALADDIN 2019-06-30
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM 2019-05-28
AVENGERS: END GAME 2019-05-20
US 2019-04-17
CAPTAIN MARVEL 2019-03-18
OUTLAW KING 2019-02-01
MARY POPPINS RETURNS 2019-01-18
VICE 2019-01-11
WIDOWS 2018-12-18
THE HATE U GIVE 2018-11-02
HOCUS POCUS 2018-10-30
CRAZY RICH ASIANS 2018-08-27
BLACKKKLANSMAN 2018-08-16
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP 2018-07-16
DEADPOOL 2 2018-07-11
WOMAN WALKS AHEAD 2018-06-30
BOOK CLUB 2018-06-25
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR 2018-05-29
ANNIHILATION 2018-04-02
A WRINKLE IN TIME 2018-03-26
TOMB RAIDER 2018-03-20
BLACK PANTHER 2018-03-13
BLADE RUNNER 2049 2018-03-01
PHANTOM THREAD 2018-01-31
THE POST 2017-12-31
MOLLY'S GAME 2017-12-18
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS 2017-11-12
NOVITIATE 2017-10-25
KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE 2017-10-17
AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING 2017-10-09
AMERICAN MADE 2017-09-30
TULIP FEVER 2017-08-31
SPIDER-MAN:HOMECOMING 2017-07-17
THE BEGUILED 2017-07-14
BABY DRIVER 2017-06-27
ALIEN: COVENANT 2017-05-19
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2 2017-05-11
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 2017-03-31
LOGAN 2017-03-03
FIFTY SHADES DARKER 2017-02-23
ARRIVAL 2017-02-15
LA LA LAND 2017-02-14
20th CENTURY WOMEN 2017-01-23
HAIL, CAESAR! 2017-01-20
ALLIED 2017-01-11
THE FOUNDER 2017-01-02
PASSENGERS 2016-12-21
JACKIE 2016-12-18
HACKSAW RIDGE 2016-11-22
MOONLIGHT 2016-11-14
THE DRESSMAKER 2016-10-31
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN 2016-10-21
MASTERMINDS 2016-09-30
MASTERMINDS 2016-09-30
THE BFG 2016-08-27
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS 2016-06-05
BATMAN v SUPERMAN: Dawn of Justice 2016-05-09
MILES AHEAD 2016-04-11
THE BIG SHORT 2016-04-04
THE MARTIAN 2016-02-15
BRIDGE OF SPIES 2016-01-22
TRUMBO 2015-12-19
SECRET IN THEIR EYES 2015-12-06
SPY 2015-08-02
TERMINATOR: GENISYS 2015-07-20
JUPITER ASCENDING 2015-02-24
SEVENTH SON 2015-02-24
BIRDMAN 2015-02-01
SELMA 2015-01-21
A MOST VIOLENT YEAR 2015-01-09
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE 5 ARMIES 2014-12-31
WHIPLASH 2014-12-21
GET ON UP 2014-08-05
CHEF 2014-06-28
x-men: days of future past 2014-06-13
the amazing spider-man 2 2014-05-03
nebraska 2014-02-25
lovelace 2014-01-08
inside llewyn davis 2013-12-21
saving mr. banks 2013-12-12
rush 2013-10-07
prisoners 2013-10-01
world war z 2013-07-15
star trek into darkness 2013-06-06
lincoln 2013-01-03
the master 2012-11-17
cloud atlas 2012-11-11
the bourne legacy 2012-10-11
lawless 2012-09-24
the amazing spider-man 2012-09-08
the avengers 2012-05-22
good deeds 2012-03-28
hugo 2012-01-27
the help 2011-12-18
twilight: breaking dawn, part 1 2011-12-13
my week with marilyn 2011-12-04
the ides of march 2011-10-20
what's your number? 2011-10-11
contagion 2011-10-03
cowboys & aliens 2011-08-14
super 8 2011-06-21
the conspirator 2011-05-15
limitless 2011-03-26
little fockers 2011-01-14
the next three days 2011-01-05
the social network 2011-01-04
agora 2010-08-28
knight & day 2010-07-02
sex & the city 2 2010-06-02
sherlock holmes 2010-02-08
the lovely bones 2010-01-26
inglourious basterds 2010-01-10
cirque du freak 2009-11-12


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