Thursday, November 6, 2008

Saigon Bar Set built inside the living room on sound stage

I I I      Ithink this was my favorite set ever built on the stage.  Well, maybe a tie with Agatha's!  Again, you experts can supply me with the episode and plot, I'll supply the set photo.  Amazingly this was built inside the living room set and actually used the same walls.  I really lucked out in finding this bar and the art department built me the back bar.  I think that painting behind the bar might still exist at the studio--no you can't buy it!  I can't believe all the set dressing that was available back then here in Honolulu.  This is another impossible set to create today unless it was all shipped from L.A.

This was supposed to be a once grand hotel in Saigon.  Today you could pull 27 pages of research off the internet of authentic places--back then we faked it.  Not too bad even if I say so myself!  The front desk area was built for this set.  I think this was the final setting up before filming as there appears to be 2 extras behind the desk.  I used existing light so unfortunately the color is a bit off, but you can see all the practicals on (visible light fixtures on the set).  I really wonder what happened to all that rental furniture--from Consignment Center and Eurasian Antiques.  Coincidently, both owners died in 1990 right when I went to L.A. for 2 years on "Jake in the Fatman."  Nothing ever replaced them--personally or commercially.  

You can really see the old catwalks in some of the photos.  Because the roof of the warehouse / soundstage was angled, there was more catwalk headroom in the center than near the walls.  The way up to the catwalk system (other than ladders) was the curved staircase in the entry hall.  It was kind of an abrupt transition from civility to dangerous practicality.  A couple of series later some (before the new soundstage opened), someone ordered the removal of all the catwalks with the idea they could be replaced.  OSHA did not allow it.  Lighting the set became much more difficult but at least you could built a set wherever you wanted rather than where the catwalks were.  A mixed blessing.

Ok, keep those cards and letters coming!


1 comment:

SelleckLover said...

Wow! Fascinating! I think you did a wonderful job "faking it" with your foreign sets. But even if the sets weren't authentic, someone like me would have never known, having never been out of the United States in my life! (Now, my husband has traveled around the world 4 times!)

Mahalo for your blog and all the great pictures! Keep 'em coming.