'Sharp Objects': John Paino on Bringing Gillian Flynn's Novel to Life



the first project I did with John Martha lay was a film called Dallas Partners one I have lived in New York during the AIDS epidemic and I had many friends who passed from it and when I heard that a film was being made I bum-rushed him and said I have to do this movie and I think he was taken with my passion I had never worked with him before and that was first film I didn't expect you the house is not up to par for visitors I'm afraid the biggest challenge was finding the Kremlin mansion a beautiful big Victorian with a large estate in London and there are lots of Victorians in California they used to be on big properties and over time since that period houses have been built on the property so none of them are on biggest States anymore so we hope to find that I never thought that we actually would but we looked and looked and looked our location manager found one on a beautiful piece of property in Redding California which was the right kind of exterior but obviously the inside was not suitable so we use that as our model for our exterior of our stage set and we made up our own interior it is a Dora's world it is her hermetically sealed Glass Menagerie so to speak you know in the tradition of a Southern gothic I didn't want it to be dark and spooky with cobwebs and filled with antiques what it is is a very wealthy woman she's probably you know gone to Charleston or Atlanta and I heard a very posh interior designer to make a flamboyant and expressive interior with vivid poisonous colors which was part of getting into her character what does she do you know what has she been doing with her life one of the first things I came across when I was just doing research was this amazing photograph of helena de Rothschild in her boudoir with this incredible swampy gorgeous decore named silk wallpaper and I use that as the colors and are decorated use that as part of their Chinua array and some antiques from her you know ancestors Edoras a countess she's the matriarch of the town and so there's a great keystone visual thing to base the mansion on work with John mark many years having worked with him I've kind of picked up on what is important to him with me always it's all about atmosphere and with him it's about atmosphere and it's about the mood he's very character oriented as well and he has a voyeuristic kind of outlook on things which is really interesting he's always looking through portals and windows and that really makes for great visual opportunities for the designer for costumes the deeply he never moves walls on a stage he will use what you come up with but the process of getting there and making sure he has the blocking and the angles in the depth of field this is something we work out when we make models and show him the designs of the sets and even in the locations we're thinking the same way we may add window here we may you know add a portal and he also likes to let the actors roam on the sets and in the locations so we always like to make a 360 world for him and lighting John Mark doesn't use movie lights the art department adds a lot of practical lighting into the locations that actually sets the tone and we work a lot with the DP eaves to do that you know we talked to the DP and we always want to you know make it look natural istic and it is actually invigorating to work with the DP so closely because usually it's just we're just going to park some lights but it's really great to be able to integrate that into a set the interesting thing about the dollhouse is that the house had to be designed before the dollhouse we had the plans for the house and we couldn't just use those to make the dog house the doll house I knew would be hard I knew it would be you know a focal point of a lot of things and I knew it would take a lot of time it was amazing how that became a world into itself we actually asked some dollhouse makers how long would it take to make this and they said oh you know a year it was a race against time we made models of different sizes of the doll in different scales the scale that we wanted to use that would work best for the characters not too big not too small was of course the one where nothing was available you couldn't buy a window you can buy any you know just generic furniture so we did end up making everything from scratch our prop master did an incredible job she had people working constantly and she also had to deal with the fact that we're figuring out the set – so Amy Wells our decorator might bring in a couple of couches and say you know I thought that couch would work but you know it doesn't work and then the model makers are like oh geez okay now we got a new couch to make I had never done something so complicated it was an eye opening this is Nathan he just wanted to see the dog I'm really happy when people feel like they can just walk in and it feels right for them the actors have to feel like you know this is my house this is my office that's you know high praise when someone comes up and says this is really working from you

3 thoughts on “'Sharp Objects': John Paino on Bringing Gillian Flynn's Novel to Life

  1. It really was beautifully done. The tone, the atmosphere was absolutely perfect; haunting, creepy then sudden light that so bright that blinds you and tires you rather than refreshing. The show was an experience.

  2. They did a fantastic job on this. Everything was almost exactly as I pictured it in the book.

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