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Design Trade


On the Set


What was your inspiration for the Reyes house? The gorgeous Spanish villas we looked at while designing the set inspired Esteban Reyes’ house. Joe scouted many for research and we looked at endless photos from magazines and books for ideas. Then we combined all our favorite ideas and it came out beautifully. It’s a little dark and moody, and the furniture is strong, much like the character. When I chose the pieces, I asked, “Would he have this in his house?” In my mind, he had an interior designer, but he personally chose every piece. So everything, down to the glassware, represents him. Esteban’s furnishings are high quality and sophisticated. They suit


him well. It feels wonderful to be in the great room of the villa. There is a strength to that room that seems to attract people. It is power- ful and masculine, yet comfortable. His bed was custom made for us and is just beautiful. It’s solid and massive with finely detailed carved wood that makes you want to run your hands over it.


Are the more lived-in sets, such as the Ren Mar beach house,


more or less difficult to decorate than the more austere sets? Lived-in sets can be more difficult to decorate. To make them look


real there has to be layer upon layer of items that look like they were accumulated over time. These sets take the most attention to detail to get right. There has to be a lot of shopping in many different places to find all the little bits that say just the right thing about the character. We’ll get a room dressed, then I’ll sit in it and just feel it for a while. I’ll look at it from all angles, ask my guys if they notice anything that might be missing. One set dresser might sit at a desk for hours just making it look authentic, not staged as a display. Tiny notes, paper- clips linked together in a chain, inside of drawers dressed with junk someone might collect — these little details make it believable and give the actor something to work with. And let’s not forget the fine layer of dust that collects on everything in the real world. Some sets we wipe it away, some sets we let it be, or even add our own.


What additional challenges arise from filming on location? Shooting on location can definitely be tricky. Usually the property


is occupied — either someone is living there or it’s a business with specific hours. Let’s say we’re filming at someone’s house. Typically, my crew and I arrive the day before filming, carefully photograph the location as we find it and take everything out of the house that doesn’t suit our character or the scene. Then we bring in our own set dress- ing, everything from the rugs to the window treatments. The company comes in and shoots, wraps and then my team comes back in and restores the space to its original condition.


Do you have a favorite “Weeds” set or piece on a set? My favorite sets to create are the challenging ones, the sets for


which we have to research and find new resources. It doesn’t matter if it’s gritty and dirty like the rebel camp or high-end and beautiful like Esteban’s Tijuana apartment — it’s the challenge that makes it fun! We do so many unusual things for every episode; it’s hard to pick


just one that I like best. I’d really have to say my favorite set is the one we happen to be working on that day. I love it that Andy has a ping-pong table in the dining room of the beach house and a jukebox upstairs. They suit his personality!


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