WE INTERVIEWED DENNY DUGALLY, THE PRODUCTION DESIGNER FOR BROTHERS & SISTERS. AND BRYAN VENEGAS, THE SET DECORATOR FOR BROTHERS & SISTERS.
Q: Please describe your background, educational and professional.
Denny: My education was in Architecture. I spent 6 years as an apprentice architect working for 3 different firms-both residential and commercial. I have been in the film business for over 20 years. I started out, as a Production Assistant in the Art Department but knew immediately I wanted to be a Production Designer. I worked my way up the ladder to designer by doing every art, construction, set dec and props job I could with the knowledge that it would make me a better designer in the long run and better able to lead my team.
Bryan: I've been in the business for about ten years. I started doing print and catalog work for high fashion magazines and catalogs and eventually found my way to commercial, feature film, and television.
Q: What are your top 3-5 productions that you've enjoyed working on?
Denny: Brothers & Sisters: the design and detail in this show is high end and beautiful. We also get the opportunity to design and build so many great sets-houses, kitchens, restaurants, and a family winery just to name a few.Felicity: I was able to design some really fun environments for the college kids on this show. The girl's apartment was old school New York and very textured. The boy's loft was big and cool with old warehouse windows and doors.America's Sweethearts: we had lots of opportunities in this show to do some wonderful high-end design. I was the Art Director on this show and in charge of the locations in Las Vegas, which was a challenge on some levels.
Bryan: "Brothers and Sisters", is probably my proudest achievement to date. The sheer number of sets and the quality put out by the Set Decoration, Art Department, and Construction Departments has given the show such a wonderful feeling for our actors and characters."American Family-Journey of Dreams", was also a very ambitious project and gave me the opportunity to work on a period mini-series dating back to the Mexican Revolution."The Dead Girl", is a feature film that I am extremely proud of. It gave me the opportunity to work on a variety of different styles, ranging from a crack addict prostitute hotel to a large ranch house on a large orchard. I had the pleasure to work with a top-notch cast who I was able to collaborate first hand with to get each character nuance just right. The ensemble cast included Toni Collette, Giovanni Ribisi, Piper Laurie, James Franco, Kerry Washington, Mary Beth Hurt, and the amazing Marcia Gay Harden.
Q: What do you look for when designing and decorating a kitchen set?
Denny: When designing a kitchen set (or any set) I first determine character traits based on the script and meetings with the director and writer. Who will be living in the space? How many adults? Kids? What is the socio-economic level of the residents? What do they do for a living and how much money do they make? Do they like to cook? Gadgets? Where do they live?
Bryan: When decorating a set, I always keep in mind who the character is and what quirks I need to exploit to sell their personality. With the Walker Kitchen, I wanted to stay true to the architecture and to who Nora (played by Sally Fields) is. The house is a beautiful Spanish home in Pasadena so I wanted to sell the fact that the Walkers were financially well off without making them stuffy or material. I also made sure the house had a sense of history and functionality. Nora is very organized, obsessive, and a mother so I made sure her surroundings told her story.Here are some exclusive behind the scenes images of the Brothers and Sisters set.