– [Narrator] John Shaffner
designed the most famous New York City apartment of all time. Except it only had three walls and no ceiling. And it wasn’t actually in New York. – This is my apartment, and I like it! – [Narrator] John Shaffner
designed the set of Friends. John is a production designer, and John has worked on a lot of shows. – I’ve done 44 series, and 68 pilots. “Dharma and Greg,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Big Bang Theory.” – [Narrator] And most notably, “Friends.” – When I get assigned a new show, I do what is called a
sketch model in white paper. And you hold it up and you
close one eye, and you squint. And you can see just what
the camera is gonna see. – Hello. – When we were presenting “Friends,” I presented a white model, and the producer looked at it and said, “Well, now what are we
going to do about color?” – What do you want to do? – And I said, “I think we
should paint the set purple.” – Ooh.
– Uh oh. – [John] Everybody was
really anxious about. – Nobody like change. – Until I painted the little model purple. – It’s purple! – [John] Color’s really important
in terms of establishing the show identity. – Hey, ooh, slow down! – When you switch to “Friends,” you saw that it was purple,
and you stayed tuned. One of the responsibilities
of a production designer is to look into the future, if you can. (screaming) We put a door all the way up this hallway and we really didn’t say where it went to. I said, “Why don’t we just wait and see “where the stories take us.” So all of a sudden, years into the show, we’ve never seen this door open. – I wasn’t trying to open your closet, I wasn’t trying to open
your closet, I swear! – [John] They do an entire episode about this was Monica’s messy closet. – Oh my God! (laughter) – (gasps) – [John] I definitely think
that the coffee house on Friends sort of influenced our culture of where people like to meet and hang around. – Thank you. – [John] And now, of
course, 25 years later, there’s a coffee house on every corner. I’m surprised how many of
them have overstuffed chairs. – What am I going to do? – In the pilot, the moment when Rachel walks through the door
in her wedding dress is a pivotable moment. We made a decision to put the
door up here on a diagonal. She walks, pow, through those doors and straight to the camera and everybody had to, like,
physically turn and look. – This is everybody. This is Chandler, and Phoebe, and Joey. And you remember my brother, Ross? – Sure! – Hey.
– Hi. Oh!
(laughter) – Who knew that that was
going to be the beginning of 10 years of a number
one show on television? Audiences relate to sitcoms
because once you get to know the characters, you
become invested in their story. So it’s easy to turn on and
watch an episode of Friends. It’s a comfort coming back to
visit with these characters and be with them for that half hour. I’m so lucky I got to design Friends.