ADG Perspective

July-August 2021

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the community, its specific customs, cultures, flavors, furniture, products, and lifestyles. Making a detailed, crafted and highly curated contemporary movie feel as though the crew just set up cameras and began to film is actually quite difficult. I was fortunate to be surrounded by a crew whom I knew would be just as interested in small details, as well as big builds. Chris Shriver, Supervising Art Director, and set decorator Andrew Baseman, construction coordinator Tommy Yacuk, and charge scenic Leslie Saulter Yacuk, were invaluable, bringing their expertise and talented teams to the mix. Being in the neighborhood and planting the film's flag in one primary intersection was important to establish a visual heart of the story, create geography, and cinematically represent the interweaving of the different cultures of the Heights. But we needed full control over lighting flexibility for the interior environments. Marcy Armory in Brooklyn was secured to serve as the construction mill, paint shop and stage. The Bodega The various incarnations of the bodega interior and exterior were built at the Armory, along with sidewalks, street, trees and the salon interior and exterior, incorporating the facades after filming on location had wrapped. By doing so, we could make sure continuity was seamless for the scenes which cut back-and-forth between location and stage. The bodega transitions through three distinct incarnations over the course of the movie - the bodega as it appears in the opening, the closed bodega with mural and fashions that inspire Usnavi to stay, and the current day bodega with full-on DR beach vibe, incorporating elements of the entire film. In order to make all of transitions, the last version was designed first. The beach structure, with detailing inspired by Dominican structures, needed to fit in the final version. The set was taped out on the floor of the rehearsal hall each day with stand-in shelving and counters to assist the choreography, blocking and development of the space. A B C D A. BODEGA FACADE. SKETCHUP STUDY. B. BODEGA EXTERIOR ON LOCATION. SET PHOTO. C. BODEGA FACADE ON STAGE. SET PHOTO. D. BODEGA INTERIOR. SET PHOTO. E. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC BODEGA MAP COLLAGED WITH BODEGA PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING. SET PHOTO. F. BODEGA MAP DETAIL. SET PHOTO.

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