Mid-Century Television Sets

An interesting introduction to the world of set designing for TV: you get 8500 square feet of space and 8 weeks during which you have to assemble a convincing (and in this case obsessively accurate) reproduction of a 1960’s office. Read more about this project at Dwell Blog - “Mid-Century Madness .” What I find particularly cool:

“All the executive chairs in cast aluminum and leather are original Time-Life chairs that were in the Time-Life building,” she tells me. “We found them at an office surplus store in Gardena called TR Trading.”

So what this is saying: basically, there are giant warehouses with awesome “old school” and authentic furniture in them. All we get here in Minneapolis is small, overpriced boutiques of mismatched mid-century pieces. An overstuffed warehouse would be a refreshing change. Anyway, talk about attention to detail:

“The typewriters are way off. The Selectric didn’t come out until 1961 and we’re in 1960. But we explain it away by saying that what the secretaries have are all prototypes that they got because Sterling Cooper is handling the Selectric advertising account.”

Anyone who calls 1 model year difference (during a period over 40 years ago) “way off” is pretty detail oriented. That said, if this is what a TV show I haven’t yet heard of goes through to make its sets, I can only begin to comprehend what a major motion picture studio brings together in period films such as Pleasantville.

Brief Notes Nearby