Behind the Scenes
Elizabeth Deane, Executive Producer & WriterPeter Jones, DirectorJill Reurs, Script SupervisorSimon Russell Beale, ActorWigsCostumesResearch & Props
Research & Props
Research & Props

The production designer, prop department, and production assistants research and locate chairs, china, books, and other objects that make a scene look authentic.

''When you learn about a certain president, you're also learning about that time in history.' -- Pam Gaudiano, Production Assistant
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Video Interview (2:15) QuickTime Video

Pamela Gaudiano:

Well, generally, production assistants can have many different roles through a production. For this, in the beginning of the production, I'm mainly doing a lot of research for the project, which means going through a lot of - a lot of history books and things that we can find on Websites of historical societies and that type of thing and gathering all the information about John Adams and his family. And while we're doing that, while a script is being developed by the producer and the director, we're also helping to do research on the actual props and things that would be in the - on the set, such as - he has a lot of letters he wrote, so we want to try to make a - do some research on what a letter would look like in real life, so the actors can have that and what the rooms would look like and just the life of anything that has to do with Colonial times. And so we - so I worked with somebody and we did a lot of research for that.

And then with that, once the shooting starts, my role can be kind of varied day-to-day. And I work closely with a field producer and an associate producer in everything that needs to get done. One of my main roles right now is I worked with the director in picking out the extra talent, meaning, the people that would be in the background, or that would be standing next to our main actors and choosing who they would be and coordinating them and getting them to the set and making sure they're here on time and getting them to wardrobe and getting their hair done and like that. So we have, at any given day, we could have a handful of extras, or we may just have one. And we also have a lot of children in this. We have kids ranging from 2 years old up through 17, who play the different ages of the Adams children. So we have a lot of different children who got to be involved in this.

Behind the Scenes John & Abigail Adams American Experience PBS