Last night, I was sorting through some old emails I had filed away when I stumbled upon this email my former boss, production designer, Rocco Matteo had sent a while back about some production design details I had long forgotten. He sent it to all the creative departments involved with one of the biggest sets we had just finished in our studio parking lot of all places and I was quite moved. See email below, published with permission.
The Production Design Details Email
“So a funny thing happened on our last night of shooting, up at the military base set:
As people were shaking hands before wrap one of the U.S military advisors came over to me and started asking me about my role on the show and making the set… I was bracing myself for the worst– did they notice something wrong? Well instead he shook my hand and started reciting a solemn sounding speech.
He had served with a soldier named Leroy Petry in Iraq. This soldier was one of only three soldiers to have received the Congressional Medal of Honour for Valor [the highest military award] since the Vietnam war. Our military consultant, a major by rank, had been commissioned by Mr Petry to commend any persons who represent the Iraq veterans in a true and honourable fashion. So he presented a medallion to me on behalf of the efforts of my crew. He said he was moved to tears by details that he saw in our set that brought him back to the base in Iraq– signage, murals, details, materials. How often have we been told that those little details don’t matter– that nobody sees them?
He wanted me to know that all the vets will notice. I thought all of you should know. GOOD JOB GANG!”
Have you ever noticed the details on a film or television set that moved you in some way or allowed you to tap into a memory? For those who work in film and television, have you ever had the production design details in one of your sets recognized in a similar way? As always, I’d love to read about your experiences in the comments below.