How the set decorator helps tell the story | Warner Bros. Property

How the set decorator helps tell the story | Warner Bros. Property

I think it’s really important. I
think the set decorator has one of the most influential jobs on the set besides costuming. We don’t work directly with the actors but along with the production designer and art director we
create the environment. It is always I think the set decorator’s work is
always important but especially on a sitcom because we only have 22
minutes to tell the story so it really makes a difference what
is in the background what you see in the background as part of what you perceive
about the character or the environment that their in. We create the environment
I always say if you don’t notice what we do then we did a good job. A great production designer and art
director will give you an amazing physical space to work with and they
will give you a direction and a vision but ultimately you know I have to use a
a car term because I’m from Detroit but you know when the rubber hits the road it’s all your idea. When you’re
starting with a blank slate and starting with an empty stage you have to create
the character we talk about who they are what is their background sometimes we
create our own story our own background you know where did they come from you know what are their hobbies what
would they have bought you know what’s their color palette what little things with what objects
would they have in their bookshelves so we have to create their space if it’s
someone’s home to make it look real to make it look lived in. Everything that
you’re putting into that set can tell a back story about that character and
someone may catch it and someone may not now now I work mostly in television but
I still like to push those background details in or I still like to put that
super interesting stuff in especially with HD TV now people get such great detail then go
find that salt shaker you put in the background the one that’s gold and
shaped like a snail. Like Max and Caroline’s house you know we have little pieces of art on
the wall and nothing’s framed we don’t want to frame anything because
it could have been art that Max found on the street and she’s not going to pay to
go take her art to a framer so we put it up with little binder clips and thumbtacks
on the wall and those are things that we thought of no one told us to do that
but we thought let’s hang it up like that so little subtle things like
that that just create the environment because if we had it framed in beautiful
frames like that’s not what they would do. I think it’s important to have
a back story in your head and I think you can tell a lot about the character
and I think that’s important for the story you get to fill in the details
that maybe the words aren’t saying. I try to tell the story you know just with every you know
all the big things but also all the tiniest details for example it tells how
rich a person is how poor they are how organized they are how disorganized they
are just every little thing around them tells you who they are. We just try to put a lot of their
personalities in it and so it’s very important to create the environment.

3 thoughts on “How the set decorator helps tell the story | Warner Bros. Property

  1. Good evening, This is for Ms Ann Shea about Big Bang Theron's Penny's apartment. By the front door of Penny's apartment, there are 3 vertical pictures on the wall. May I see a shot of the middle, red flower picture. Thank you so very much. This is my most favorite show, as even by myself I laugh out loud. the writing, the set, the crew, and the actors are fantastic. thank you so very much, respectfully…Chuck… ps: on you tube here I have a video science short…Charles V. Struse New Theoretical Premise please just take a moment to view, I think you will find it interesting.

  2. Inspiring videos! I really want to do the same job and I am learning everything by myself. This is very helpful for me and it makes me happy to see how other people who were also struggling at the begging now they made it into this lovely interview/video and are doing something that makes them happy. I can see their passion! I hope you will share some of your design process to inspire and help young people like myself. In addition, I do agree when you say that this job is so important, unfortunately lots of young filmmakers that I have been working with do not understand the importance of art department and the thinking and hard work behind it, let's change this view together!!!!! 😀

  3. When everyone jumped at big roles at film school I was left set design. Was the best thing to happen to me! Now looking for videos on set design and set directing and this is great!!! Thank you guys so much.

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