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We had a 5 man crew to build 8 sets for this production, many of which were reconfigurations of previous sets.  We had a few hours after production wrapped for the day to take down one set and move in the next, or use walls from one to make another.  It was quite exhausting to say the least, but it’s important to make things work for the production.

A bathroom shower set was built with removable panels to allow the camera to shoot from any angle within, not just from the curtain side.  That worked out well because the director (John DeBello) wanted to film the shower scene “Psycho” style.

The brainwash room walls was an idea we came up with during a meeting with production designer Robert Brill.  He liked the idea of making the room look padded like an insane asylum, so we went with it.  It’s basically standard flats with fiberglass insulation covered in canvas and buttoned down every foot with screws and big washers.

The look of the sets was cartoonish and campy, and the budget was really small. We built all the castle walls with standard scenic construction techniques and added a one inch thick layer of styrofoam sheeting on the face.  The on set crew liked the fact that the walls were lightweight and easily moved.  That helped them reconfigure the walls into different rooms quickly, saving time between set ups.

We also built a French farmhouse interior, with the walls made from stucco mixed with straw.  The time to built the set was tight, and the weather was so damp that the stucco wasn’t drying fast enough, so we brought in some space heaters.

Other elements we created were wooden spiral staircases, castle and moat style doors with heavy painted woodgrain, and giant beams for the farmhouse.

“This film is part four of the tomato trilogy.”
             - John DeBello / Director
VANMARK Entertainment, LLC

Tags: art director,visual design, propmaster, set design, scenic painting, models, military simulations, exhibits, props, film sets, entertainment, custom props, set decorator, game shows, set dressing, Integrated Media, special events, promotions, previs, casino decor, Jeff Gonka,  3d design, movies, commercials,business theater, san diego, orange county, Van Gonka stage, special effects, magic, illusions, experiential marketing, stylist, creative, media stunts, green screen, video games, new media, breakaways, imagineering, illustration, signs, displays, Jeff Van Gonka, scenic productions

“So sad when good tomatoes go bad.”
                 - John DeBello / Director