I Was in Bliss: Steve Sakland on Re-Creating 1970 for Are You There God? It is Me, Margaret. | Interviews

I do know we’re right here to speak about “Margaret,” however I’ve to inform you how a lot I like your designs for “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.” 

It was bliss, and in my thoughts, it was a pure musical.

And on this film, we obtained to do 4 theater scenes. I obtained to do one other musical! I am educated in theater, so theater is my background. And I labored in New York in musical theater on Broadway for ten years earlier than I moved out west and began doing motion pictures.

The place did you develop up, and what did you research?

I grew up within the Japanese seaboard, in suburban Connecticut and suburban Pennsylvania, and I went to Yale Drama College for theater design. So, you research costume units and lights. Got here to New York in 1981, so about ten years after our story on this movie takes place. And I labored most of that point aiding the premier designers of Broadway reveals, Broadway performs, and musicals. The outlet in my coronary heart is that I am not in New York now designing theatre. I like what I do, however any present like “Barb and Star” or “Margaret” that may give me an opportunity to design theatre within the film, oh, I am in heaven. It is every little thing I used to be educated to do.

One element from the ’70s I particularly beloved on this film was the rec room with that sliding accordion door. I keep in mind these!

We did set up that. That wasn’t there. And Kelly Fremon Craig, our director, used it so nicely as a result of it meant a lot when that door creaked open or closed. I used to be 14 in 1970 when this movie takes place. So, I had this visceral reminiscence. And we have been residing in Pennsylvania at that time. However we might come as much as New York a few times a yr. And driving into Greenwich Village and seeing the form of hippie folks singers on the sidewalks and stuff is one thing I will always remember. It was not fairly prefer it ever reveals up within the motion pictures. There was this form of bizarre, small-town feeling in Greenwich Village that I remembered. And it wasn’t massive and glossy and company or costly like it’s at this time. And so, I felt just like the Greenwich Village that the Simon household begins in has to really feel heat and particular and grubby however lively, stuffed with creativity. So, that was one of many first units to unravel was that avenue scene, when the household is transferring to New Jersey initially of the story.

We see it from Margaret’s bed room, after which we see it down on the road once they say goodbye to Sylvia and drive away. It was [originally] a for much longer scene, the scene with Sylvia. We lastly discovered a fantastic piece of the road half hour exterior of Charlotte, North Carolina. And so, we remodeled six facades into what we would have liked. And between the extras and the vehicles and the ice cream distributors on the road and every little thing else, it became the factor that was the closest to my reminiscence. 

We obtained a lot of Sylvia’s character from her house.