Hey! Thanks for stopping by:)
Whew!! Thanks so much for having me!
Thank you Marie! You’ve been so helpful!
Not really. I have a number that is what I think is reasonable for most budgets and makes me feel valued. I adjust it depending on the project and if it’s something I want to do even if it means making a lower rate.
cool. thanks again!
Depends. I usually read the script, meet the director and then feel out the color palette. Often the characters, themes, time period and location will reveal the overall look. Sometimes the locations (ie where we can afford to shoot) determine the palette, so we just work with what we’ve got. Other times, if there’s no specific vision. I just throw things out and see what sticks… like, “I’m really into peachy browns with teal and gold accents right now. What if the main character’s room was that?” And the director may be impressed or make a barfing face and we just go from there.
One time I had a set builder working on a set, who pushed back on almost everything I asked him to do. Big, small, didn’t matter… he just undermined me. We were installing a big piece of plexi in this flat and the guys were talking about how to do it. So I drew a picture and said, “Here’s how. Go to Home Depot, get those things and do it this way. It’ll be the most cost effective and structurally stable.” Ten minutes later, they were still arguing about how they were going to do it, so finally I said. “Is there something wrong with the way I’ve asked you to do it?” He said, “No.” So I said. “Will it work if you do it my way?” and he said “Yes.” I simply told him, “Then please stop discussing it, and do what I asked.” And I never hired that guy again. Yes, my heart was racing, and I felt like crying, but at the end of the day, I felt better knowing that I was doing my job instead of letting someone else undermine me. And now, I only hire men who can handle having a female boss and everything is great. It’s a little harder when the disrespect is coming from above, but I usually deal with it in a similar way. It’s mostly about having the confidence to say, “This is my job and here’s how I’m going to do it and I’m awesome.” Usually if you give off that vibe right away, in the first meeting, people won’t mess with you.
My kit is so many things, and it’s divided into smaller kits from which I pick and choose, depending on the job. If it’s a build, I’ll bring all the tools and hardware and so on. If it’s a smaller gig, I’ll just bring hand tools, cleaning kit and a little on set kit with things I think we’ll need, like a tape leash and blades and a greeking book and dulling spray. That kind of thing. But I also have an adhesives kit and a hanging hardware kit and an aging kit and a paint kit… I’ve built it up over the years and the goal is to accumulate things so that you’re always prepared for anything. A lot of people have a standard set dressing kit with frames and fake plants and curtains etc. I used to do a similar thing, and it’s nice when you can add that little kit rental fee, but I found that it just took up space in my garage and I got so sick of looking at those things that I didn’t ever want to put them on camera. So now I just choose set dressing per the individual job (which, if you’re carefully considering the design of a space, how could you use a bunch of stuff you bought before you even read the script?)
Hmm. When I was first starting out, I feel like I spent a lot of time on the craigslist free section and in goodwills… and sort of shopping my own apartment, and I’ve definitely picked up a tv off the side of the road. More than once. But you know, sometimes you have to just be honest with production and say, “Look, things cost money. If you want things, you have to pay money.” I spent a little too long bending over backwards to make a lot out of absolutely nothing and being dissatisfied with my work. So there’s a middle ground, right? A good designer will be able to distinguish between “sure, it’s possible if we get scrappy” and “if this is the art budget, no way am I letting you put my name in those credits”. If you draw that line, everyone will be better off in the end.