ADG Perspective

January-February 2016

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Page 104 of 115

P E R S P E C T I V E | J A N UA RY / F E B R UA RY 2 0 1 6 103 of empty videotape shelves created the offices of Alpern & Heller, a two-walled period 1960s set where a young Bernie (actually played by Dreyfuss' son) first discovers the pyramid scheme technique. As Production Designers, it gives us great joy to sometimes deliver a set to a director that he or she thought had been lost due to time or money or both— one of those canceled sets, scratched off the one-liner, gone. On Madoff, director Raymond De Felitta wanted to show something that most people don't know about: the Madoff family cancer gene that took the life of Bernie's son Andrew and his nephew Rodger. Raymond wanted to film Rodger undergoing radiation, and going into an MRI. One night near the end of shooting, he asked me if there was any way possible to put together the MRI scene by the next morning. He was not ready to give it up. "How tight is the shot?" I asked. "I'll take whatever you can give me," he replied. "OK, I'm working on it," I said. On the way home, we bought some sheets and a blanket at Bed Bath & Beyond. In the morning, the key grip cut a piece of black Sintra and, using a conference table from another scene, taped down the Sintra creating a radiation table. The prop master still had the radiation mask in his prop truck, despite the fact the scene had been canceled. By call time the next morning, there was still one element missing: the MRI machine. About half an hour before Below, left and right: Mr. Sorcio's director's plan of the Madoff Hamptons beach house, filmed in East Atlantic Beach, New York. The different levels of this house played as three distinct sets and provided four straight days of filming without moving the production company. To sell this as a suitable location, Mr. Sorcio created this Photoshop ® presentation image, erasing the un- Hamptonesque houses to the left and right. Carlos Menendez, Production Designer Raphael Sorcio, Art Director Max Bode, Graphic Designer Barbara Matis, Set Designer Susan Bode, Set Decorator shooting, I saw a stainless steel cylindrical trash can out of the corner of my eye. It was like being in the Chopped kitchen, opening a drawer and finding that last ingredient you needed. I turned to the on-set dresser Joe Sacco. "Do you think you can take the bottom out of this trash can?" In about a minute he had the bottom out, and I took it over to cinematographer Frank DeMarco. "Genius," Frank says, and before I know it there were ten camera guys working on it, attaching it to the dolly, rigging it, leveling it, perfecting it, making it part of the movie, making it real. Filmmaking, like life, is a game of taking the disparate ingredients we are given and creating something delicious with What seems to make absolutely no sense changes the minute you slide over an inch and alter your perspective, and a bland collection of pretty ordinary materials and locations turns into a luscious concoction. ADG

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