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Old Settler
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The Design Process
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John Iacovelli: The Production Designer In-Depth


Building the Sets

Stretching the Budget

"We just didn't have enough money to do a period show. That's the plight of public television. So, we called in some favors. We got deals at the Paramount prop shop and at a scene dock that has collected a lot of scenery over the years. We brought things from our houses. If we had built the set new it would have been $200,000. We spent $30,000 or so renting stuff. I think you can't tell that it's a bunch of rented flats put together. We took the odds that were against us to make a really first-class looking production."

"The happiest thing for me was that even though we made many of the walls wild -- making a wall 'wild' means you can pull it out, put a camera there, and shoot into the room -- they hardly pulled any walls.

We had a little bit of trouble in Husband's room, the little pantry room, because it was so small.

Debbie said, 'Don't pull that wall. I want it to feel really cramped in there.' At the end of the day of shooting, she said, 'I just love my little room.'"


Husbands's Room

John Iacovelli in "Husbands's Room" on the set


Making the Set Feel Lived-In
Scene from the set
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The Living Room Set

John Iacovelli gives a guided tour of The Old Settler set


"One of the nicest compliments I got was from Phylicia. She came off the set one day and she said, 'You know, I love working on that set, because it actually feels like people live there.'

That kind of 'lived-in' look is something that Jason [Howard, the set decorator] and I tried to get.

I knew we were going to spend nine days shooting in there. That's a long time on the set. The details really had to hold up."


The Design Process   |   Building the Sets   |   The Look



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