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May 2015

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Page 15 of 51 14 POST MAY 2015 or the past eight seasons, AMC's Mad Men has been bringing view- ers back to the 1960's, maintaining the period's authentic look with, according to Blake McCormick, producer in charge of post production, an almost "obses- sive-compulsive" approach. "I think that whatever you put in front of the camera, whether it's production design, wardrobe, hair, makeup, props, anything that you see, just gets beaten up to a degree that's unimaginable," he explains. "The overarching goal is, if we don't do everything we can to make it as accurate as possible, there's going to be that time when a viewer is going to see something and know that that's not right. And I think the minute that starts to happen, it's like Jenga — it'll fall apart in the viewer's mind. From the ground up, everything is just so carefully vetted." It's this type of dedication to accura- cy that has earned the series a regular spot at the Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe tables (among others) for "Out- standing Drama Series," "Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series," "Sound Mixing," "Writing," "Acting" and more. With a mix of wins and nominations behind it, Mad Men, along with its cast and crew, led by main character Donald Draper (Jon Hamm), is now in its final season and ready to move on from 1960's New York. Here, McCor- mick talks to Post about some of the elements that went into making Mad Men such a huge success. These are the last few episodes of the series; is it going to be hard to say goodbye? "It's funny, I don't know if it's because I work in post production and I must be an eternal optimist, but I rarely look at something and go, 'I can't believe this is going away.' I look at it and go, 'Isn't it amazing that we got to do this for so long?' I always say you're lucky if you have one of three things: if you like the show you work on, if you like the people you work with, and if the viewers like the show you work on. But to get all three of those things, in one process, and have it go on for so long is very unique. It was an incredible experience and [I'm] happy to have lucked into it. It's pretty amazing to get to work in this arena." How much goes into creating an accurate representation of the 1960's and getting the show's look and feel? "I think that one of the most enjoyable moments in one of our [episode plan- ning] meetings, is when people are ar- guing about their recollections or about what their grandparents said. Someone will speak up and say, 'I have an idea, why don't we actually check and see what it really was?' (laughs). "So there's a woman here, head of research, Allison Mann, you would just hear her name shouted out and ask her to check something. But before a word is even written, that goes into it. "And then, that translates into the post production process, that obsessiveness I spoke about earlier never ends. In the premier episode [of this final season], we had a scene that takes place where Don Drapper walks out and he's in front AMC'S MAD MEN BY LINDA ROMANELLO HOW POST HELPS KEEP THE 1960'S REAL F PRIMETIME McCormick: The series is edited with Media Composer.

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