Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Olivia's Holding Cell

As most of you know, we pretty much made the move over to Instagram last season so I could bring you more action on the fly. We are on the roll all the time around  here...Not much time to sit still for blogging.  But I love this set.  And you loved this set and wanted to see the pictures. So, here we are. This was a monster. A big beast. Not Truman Balcony big...but pretty darn big. The concept was that it had to appear even to Olivia's heightened spidey senses that she was somewhere far, far outside of her normal surroundings. A remote, dangerous, hand crafted building maybe even in a different country. And so the research began.

A few details to get you thinking before you check out all the photos...
Construction worked about 5 days building, plastering and painting. Set Dec took over after that. It is usually Set Dec's responsibility to get all of the things you see on the walls and ceilings - alarm boxes, wiring, pipes...all of the fixtures in that lovely bathroom...the lighting. It all gets picked out, approved, picked up, aged down appropriately by the painters and installed in a matter of days. The aging is very important in our world so things don't appear too new, too shiny, too reflective or too clean - like that toilet. (I've deliberately spared you from looking at it again.) Our paint department does a spectacular job here as always.

Earlier in the build...

The beginnings of the now famous bathroom.
These are the bones...this is what's underneath all of that plaster and paint.

The finished living spaces complete with dusty cobwebs on the ceiling fixtures

We had rooms you didn't see behind those doors Liv passed each day in the hallway...

Finished details in the hallway include pipes, electrical boxes, old wiring strung across the ceiling and of course, the red door.  All making for a very long dramatic hallway with lots of doors, turns and openings for visual interest. 

FUN FACT:  Upon seeing a photo of the early hallway, our fearless leader, Ms. Shonda Rhimes promptly asked if I had tested it out by sprinting down the hallway towards the red door like Liv does in the script.  

Uhhmmm...this is long. Mad props to KW on this one.
How many of you think I ran down this hallway? 
My friends here in the Art Department would probably say that if they see me running somewhere... it probably means they should start running too. You feel me?
So maybe.  Maybe not. That will remain a set secret.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Grant Vermeil Room

The Vermeil Room came into play when the Episode 312 script called for the First Ladies portraits.  Jackie Kennedy's iconic White House portrait that the Mellie and Andrew scene centers around resides in this room along with many other First Ladies.  The room gets its name from the items it houses.  On display is a very significant collection of vermeil tableware (silver gilt) from the 1700's and 1800's.  Ok...that's enough of the history lesson.  But I am going try to give you a little fancy talk about these White House rooms whenever I can.  Thank you to the Twitterbug who requested that!

Speaking of Twitter...the question often comes up when we do actual White House spaces if we try to re-create the room.  Yes, but no.  The rooms are all well researched to get the reality of the space and what it is used for, but because each President and First Lady have the option to redecorate spaces there are always many versions of each room from over the years.  What we do is The Grant Administration version of the spaces.

Let's get to the main point - the art.  Those First Ladies.

The First Ladies were hunted down (well, not them, but their portraits were) and rented from several great prop houses around town.  There are a few prop houses that have "White House Collections".  They keep reproductions of the furniture, art, dishes, etc. for shows, movies, etc. to rent.   Remember the Blue Room that we did?  You'll find all of that blue and gold furniture with embroidered eagles in either current or previous versions of the Blue Room (or now other rooms) in The White House.   ANYWHO...First Ladies.  Check.  EXCEPT....for the one we needed.  No Jackie Kennedy portrait.

In comes an artist who can render us something pretty enough to add to our very own White House Collection.

Here is the space:

I included these pictures of the reds to show another point we talk about often.  Look at how bright the reds become once the stage lighting is cranked up.  When you love the paint or wallpaper color or a certain fabric you should remember that what you're seeing reflects the changes brought about by the super warm or dark and moody, or even colored lighting.  The red in these pictures looks vastly different from the same furniture in the first couple pictures above.  Still beautiful.  Just different.

The piano is still on its stand so the crew can move it "to camera" as we say.  Once everyone gets set up to shoot, the Director or Director of Photography will sometimes need things moved to work better with the camera's placement.  Sometimes things just have to be moved to make room for the camera equipment.   Larger pieces of furniture are on wheels so the crew can push them all over the room (and many times out of the room) as needed.

I hope you've enjoyed a quick peek into this beautiful space.  The usual White House golds mixed with reds, a little green and of course the classic white trim.  As usual, we pump it up with some crystal bling and florals and then....the rest is up to the amazing actors. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Josie's Place

Well hello from hiatus land!  Episodes 307 & 308 rocked the Scandalverse.  Along with the tweets about storylines, y'all have been asking for a little blog action.  Many asking about Josie's Place.  And so, here ya go.  No commentary...we're doing this hiatus style.  Just pictures.

Josie Marcus...land of neutrals, fainting couches and zodiac fixtures.  Neutral, but all bold, interesting pieces. 

***Hiatus Style is code for: I am enjoying my sweatpants and baseball cap and do not intend to call on the brain cells necessary for formatting this to be all cute.  Also, I do not have access to the fancy shots with pretty lighting on my computer at work.  So just HAVE FUN oogling and we'll get back to business in a few weeks!