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 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!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Blue Room...and a bit of rambling 'bout Arlington

Oh....Lordy be.  This room tried to kill us all.  This room and Arlington National Cemetery (in a golf course).  You have no idea. I say time and time again, there is no time for cry babies at this pace and we made it through this one too.  I bring up the cemetery scene because I just have to say it one more time for the record - Bokelberg's directing and the camera work in that  Speechless.  Those shots of the soldiers, the folding of the flag, the slow mo salutes and the bugler on the hillside.... sigh.  I just watched the scene again.  And I teared up AGAIN.  Somehow I'm transported out of a tv show and right there next to that widow into the scene.  Just tremendous. 

So.  Now The Blue Room is an actual space in The White House.  It's Oval shaped just like The Oval Office and is used for receiving guests, receptions and sometimes dinners.  The team researched it at great lengths when it popped up in a script last season actually.  It ended up not being used back then...but here it is now.  A transformation of a space.  We started with this:

And we brought in all the blue that makes it The Blue Room.  Blue and gold upholstered furniture, blue and gold drapery and of course lots of dead president art.  I mean...lovely stately art pieces all certain to be amazing enough to have been chosen from The White House Art Collection.  (More about the art in episodes to come.)

After all of the fuss and dust settled, we ended up with this.  Ladies and gentlemen I give you The Grant Administrations Blue Room.  This is the space where we saw all those adorable children and reporters and Mellie's speech went off without a hitch...until she rambled on in the hall nearly giving poor Cy another heart attack.