Production Designer: Patrizia Von Brandenstein
After having worked on so many shows with futuristic and/or alien landscapes, plus heavy VFX and stunt work, this was a refreshing show for me to work on. Period 1930's Hollywood? - so much fun!
We erected The Brady American Office Suite from the pilot, and built many new stage sets for the series, including the Int. Brady Mansion Bedroom and Study, which had been shot on location at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. As we would be featuring many scenes in this space during the season, it made sense to recreate it on stage rather than travel the crew, set dressing, lighting, etc. to the location each time.
Many scenes in the pilot that featured the Ext. Brady American Studio Lot were shot at Paramount Studios. Our show's offices and stages were at The Lot, which is near Paramount. But as with the Brady Mansion, it made more financial sense to use the backlot we were on. And so we recreated the featured exterior staircase leading up to the Writer's Offices at Paramount. (The Int. Writer's Office sets were inside the soundstage). As many of the surrounding buildings on The Lot still had a predominantly period look, we used, and enhanced it, and formed a nice intersection of streets and buildings to shoot our action around. There was a nice line of sight from the Writer's Office staircase right into one of our soundstage. We also used the mill at The Lot as several different backlot locations, such as the Wardrobe Department. To get as much variety as possible, and when timing and budget allowed, we did go back to the Paramount Lot for some exterior backlot scenes.
For our show's movie sets that revealed behind-the-scenes areas, we were fortunate to have stages that still contained most of their original structure. As with many locations we used, we covered more modern signage and lighting with period versions. (It's amazing how much there is to cover when you work on a period show like this - modern light switches, motion detectors, security cameras, satellite dishes, parking meters, even lane striping in the streets, etc., are EVERYWHERE!)
We also used many famed locations around town, such as Musso & Franks's - a piece of classic Hollywood, and The Biltmore Hotel, in downtown LA, for the Oscar party scene.
For every stage set and location, we combed tough as much period research as we could find to best represent what Hollywood looked like in the 1930's.