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.


The Hotel Room...

I can't even tell you how gorgeous Mrs. Redwood's (yup I called her that) hotel room was in person.   Soft and neutral but stately.  Even the window treatments and bed canopy are grand and simple at the same time. The only things that aren't blue or ivory are the lamps on either side of the sofa.  Blue and ivory with dark wood and gold accents.  Crystal lamps, crystal chandelier and crystal decanters.  Simple...but elegant.  Here's a quick look:

A few details you didn't see... Right down to the room service cart.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Shopping for Jeannine

The Department Store where Olivia and Quinn take Jeannine to get interview ready was one of our biggest sets in Episode 302.  And yet, it went by so fast. say?  Such is the life of a set we say.  We often don't know whether a set will ultimately become a featured moment or a cut moment or a shuttertone fast paced photoburst moment once it hits the editing room.  We treat all the sets the same.
This set was done on location in a space that was pretty close to being bare.  Truth be told, our heads kind of exploded when we saw the space for the first time.  BUT every episode presents its challenges and we have to move at Scandal Pace through them so there is no time for whining.  We hunted down some upscale mannequins, shoe, accessory and jewelry display fixtures.  The Decorator chose pieces that gave it a very exclusive boutique feel rather than mainstream department store display items.  The clothing and accessories on display include some items our department rented as well as some key items brought in by the fab team over in Costumes.  Collaboration is key.

There are large gold and crystal torchieres for lighting.  A comfy seating area with plush rugs and a few plants give the space some life and comfort.  There's even a grand piano in the background space by the stairs.  My personal fave piece is the huge framed mirror sections that create the fitting area where the women of OPA do their work on Jeannine.  (Can we all get these installed at home?) 

So yes, this set flew by on the screen.  But in the end, we have to do as much work as necessary to give the director and the actors what they need to feel they're in the right space.  It has to feel like they're inside the script...a little Alice in Wonderland if you will.  In this case - it's Olivia in Shondaland.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Bunker...Under Attack

So.  The bunker. 

It feels like this bunker is the most talked about space in Episode 301...and it certainly wasn't because of what I'm sharing here!  You could feel every single word and every single beat of silence in that room.  The air was thick with tension and emotions.  And my goodness - I thought Mellie was gonna start levitating and casting spells at one point.  I get it Mels.  You're tired...and I FELT that girl.  I felt that.

Ok focus.  Not much to say about the bunker but y'all were excited by it so we're happy to share.  So exactly what is this space?

Sterile looking cement and steel bunker.  Everything in the room is military.  A tanker conference table, clear plexi rolling boards for maps and other info, monitors to watch feeds, conference phone equipment on the table and a little cold and utilitarian (but still edgy) seating at the far end.  Government issue.  Secure.  Underground.  Think about where the prez and his peeps are ushered off to quickly so they can continue running things in safety while the world above them is under attack.  That is the premise of the bunker.  We realize the parallels when Olivia says: "We're already under attack."

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Jackie O Room...

We all LOVED how Director/Producer Tom Verica and Director of Photography Oliver Bokelberg shot the scene of Mellie eating chocolate under the Jackie O portrait in Episode 301!  Just brilliant. 

Many of you have asked about the space and the picture... so here it is.  In brilliant color:

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis portrait was scripted.   It was specifically asked that Mellie be sitting under Jackie while shoveling that candy into her mouth.  A poignant moment for her.  We found several different shots and submitted them to Verica for approval.  This is the iconic one he chose. 

 When we do art like this that can't be rented, we have to first find the image from a clearable source (meaning we are legally clear to use the image on tv).  Once we have the file, we have to get it printed on a canvas like material to the dimensions needed.  Sometimes we can print art in house on our own fancy oversize printer.  Sometimes the work goes out to vendors.  Once printed, it's then taken to an artist who can add the look of an old painting.  They can add a coating over the top that adds brush strokes so it looks as if it's been painted by hand.  They can brush on a coloring to make it feel darkened with age and can even give it that crackled, flaking look that many of the White House art pieces have.  Once we get them back from the artist we take them to be framed.  It's a process.  But in many cases we only have two days or so to turn these around!  We work with great vendors who understand our Scandal Pace and come through for us!  We had no idea how the scene was going to be shot ultimately but were really excited to see the amazing results.

Follow @tomverica and @bokelberg on twitter for some great insight into how that scene was shot and more!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Are We There Yet?!?!........ YES!

It's All About to Go Down.

The Secret Is Out.

The Storm Is Coming.


Whatever hashtag you're feeling, there's one thing that's true: There is only one more sleep til you're back in Ms. Pope's world. 
It's time for Olivia to get to work...and this is where her magic happens.

You made it Gladiators...the summer hiatus is officially OVER.  Pat yourselves on the back.  And then pull out your wine and church fans.  You are gonna need 'em. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Socialites of the Office... we're taking a walk over to Abby and Harrison's stomping grounds.  Let's dive right in.

ABBY:  The Girl Has Personality and So Does Her Office

Abby's office is full of Abby spiciness...(is that a word? it is.)  A great shade of orange...bright, hot, but comfortable.  She has a large commanding desk area.  The desk, credenza and side chairs have a danish modern flavor.  In fact, her office is the only space in OPA with light wood furniture...everyone else has heavier, darker pieces.  Her walls are textured plaster with a lovely rusty orange patch directly behind her desk for some depth.

The lively patterned rug adds some pale green/blue and continues more shades of orange.   The art adds some small doses of blues, greens and bright yellow to the mix. 

Can we talk about the chairs please?

That's all I needed to say.  A great retro pattern gives these all the character they need to anchor this side of the room.   Some gold accents in the desk and table lamp and a little bronze in the bookshelf keeps the metals warm along with the fabrics.  Her bookshelf is full of secret fun reading material and just a few nic nacs to keep a clean, uncluttered look.  Secret sidenote:  Anyone notice the amazing pattern at the top of all the OPA windows?  That, my friends, is peel and stick magic.  This is special tv magic stuff but you too could have a similiar look just by cruising your large home improvement store and finding the same thing.  I added some of this to my bathroom windows for privacy!  Don't everyone go crazy now...use in moderation.  Ok...that's all for Miss Abby.

Now let's cross the threshold into her neighbor's office...

HARRISON:  In the Big Office

There hasn't been a huge push to make this office completely different from the Stephen days.  Yet, there have been some subtle Harrison nuances added in to convey the changing of the guard.
Why?  Well no one is dissing Stephen's departure.  And really, this space was kind of a perfect move for Harrison.

Harrison sits behind a stately dark wood executive desk with matching chunky credenzas behind.  To break up the wood there's a little bit of shine with the metal and leather guest chairs and a green glass bankers lamp.  Added is a patina metal shelving unit with some great accessories, books and storage containers.  He's not a guy with a lot of papers stacked around him.  He's got it all clean and pulled together - kinda like his wardrobe.  Hello.

Pause.  Let's all have a moment of silence on that.

 Ok.  Carry on.   Carry on.
The other side of this room has the clean lines of the red leather sofa and armchair that he's kept from Stephen's days.  And really, it's hard to think of it as not being Harrison.  It's so much like his slick, pop of color shirts and expensive leather shoes kinda furniture that he needed to keep it.  The black smoked glass coffee and end table are devoid of clutter and sharp against the neutral rug.  All of the associates have those amazing frosted glass pendant lights overhead add to the character of the office.