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.