Growing up watching the classic Disney movies like “Lady and the Tramp” and now seeing them in live action is beyond belief. When I was invited as press by Disney to a private tour of the set and the opportunity to interview the cast, I was over the moon. I mean, on one had I’m like… of course there’s a live action version of “Lady and the Tramp” but on the other hand it is quite fascinating to see how far we’ve come.
In Disney+’s “Lady and the Tramp,” a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home.
INTERVIEW WITH JOHN MYHRE
As we walked the set of “Lady and the Tramp” with Production Designer, John Myhre we were blown away. They were able to make the set look as if we were in the 1900’s. John shared that the set was inspired by Walt Disney’s live action films in the 50’s.
“Our film is set in 1910 and it’s at a time period that we feel that Walt Disney really loved because a lot of his live action films from the Fifties were kind of American Victorian times and Disneyland that we all love. The first thing you see when you walk in is Main Street USA which is this kind of 1910 period, so we’ve been using Walt Disney’s love of the period and how he used it in live action films in the Fifties and Disneyland as sort of a little bit of an inspiration for our design.” – John
THE SET DESIGN
I was quite intrigued by the attention to detail and how the house looked and felt real. The lace drapes, wallpaper and furniture were upholstered and felt unified with the historic time. You can see the Victorian styled porch and green doors. That was actually part of making the house look organic. John said, “It’s all very organic and the outside of the house we painted and used a lot of green and stained glass.”
Production design is such a great job! I am always interested in the “why” of someone’s story. We asked John to share how did he get started in production design. John shared an amazing story about his love for movies since he was a kid. He had taken architectural classes and made short films. However, he always said he wanted to be a film director or architect. At the time he did not realize that there was a such a thing as a production designer.
Once he found out that there was a job that combined architect and film directing, he said, “I quit everything I was doing in Seattle and I drove down to L.A. and banged on doors for three months until I got a job.”
THE PRODUCTION DESIGNER ROLE
In film and television, a production designer is the person responsible for the overall visual look of the production. I’ve gotten more into prepping for the holidays and designing our home to be festive and beautiful. It’s hard finding the right décor to fit the idea in your mind. That’s why I thought it was pretty special when we asked John, “was there anything you really wanted to find original that you couldn’t and had to make it?” He said,
“we kept a little bit of an open mind and no, I think we really got what we needed. It’s unusual that we’re using all of these original pieces. Even in the scene where Tramp chases Ratso around, it’s all very controlled what breaks and doesn’t break, so there’s toys and things that break that we had to make copies of, so we had the original. We copied pieces so we had some that would break away and all.”
Are you ready for “Lady and the Tramp”? I know I am. We had a great time touring the set of “Lay and the Tramp” and interviewing John Myhre. I highly suggest you saving the date for the premiere. “Lady and the Tramp” premieres on November 12, 2019, streaming only on Disney+. Please be sure and tune on the 12th and share your thoughts.