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Maya Sigel - Production Designer - "Hello, Tomorrow"

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Marrying Traditional and Future Design: The Vistaville Architecture in "Hello Tomorrow"


On this week's episode, I am speaking with production designer Maya Siegel, and her recent project is "Hello Tomorrow", which is airing on Apple TV. The full season is out. It's a science fiction comedy series that takes place in the near future world, yethas a retro design that Maya created. In addition to her work on "Hello Tomorrow", maya has also worked on several other TV shows and films, including "To the Bone", "The Girlfriend Experience" and "I'm Not Okay With This and More". You can check out her work on MayaSiegel.com. And I was very lucky to get the full season of this ahead of time to watch. And at the time I spoke with Maya, only three I think three episodes hadaired. And I asked her if it was okay if we just talk about the whole season. And I hold this interview till now so that you could hear about allthese fantastic sets that she had to do. This whole the neighborhood and the concept assigned of these vintage tech things. This grocerystore. There's brilliant wallpaper. There's a rocket at the end, but it's all retro. It's all, like, 1950s, but they have cool technology. So I justthought it was really innovative. And I loved the integration of these old pieces with new technology. I thought it was super clever. And I've toldtons of people, I've said it on here many times. Hello Tomorrow on Apple. I really loved it, and I really hope it gets a little recognition in Emmyseason. So I hope you enjoy.






Timecode for the episode:

[00:10:43] Custom-built futuristic consoles and vidicans designed to ground the show in the 50s and mix old and new technology. Practical choices for portability and ubiquity. No script, just looking for opportunities in each set to add new elements.

[00:15:05] Color palettes separate the Earth and the Moon world, and the Vista Motor Lodge combines them with blue and orange colors and curved architecture.

[00:19:30] 1950s-inspired instant food market designed with graphic-covered boxes and freeze-dried, powdered food, executed flawlessly by Settech and Set Decorator George Tatida Jr.

[00:30:55] Collaboration resulted in unique retrofitted cars with covers over wheels. Budget prevented building futuristic cars. Styrofoam covers customized for hero cars, painted chrome.

[00:36:05] The prop master looked for a cute and friendly French or Italian work truck for the show, and they found a teal-colored one that matches the futuristic gadgets used in the show.

[00:53:00] An elevator was built to connect the waiting room, jetway, and interior of the rocket cabin, as it made the most sense for filming scenes. The inspiration was to take creative license rather than consulting a scientist.

[00:57:54] Red felted walls, domed light fixtures, furniture turns to beds, TV screens with controls, flight attendant pod, and unique costumes in a rocket ship cabin.

[00:59:55] Collaboration between Anna Terrazza and Hannah Shea was inventive and seamless in creating a graphic design with minimal patterns, utilizing texture and old-world aesthetics.

[01:03:29] Critique of capitalism and consumerism in society through a character's backstory of being a dehumanized worker in a large corporation.

[01:06:06] The bathroom design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and The Shining, and includes a sink with a car wash feature.


Question Highlights:


1. What was the initial plan for the project, and how did it change?- The initial plan was to create hover vehicles that still used roads, but due to budget and time constraints, they decided to use classic cars instead.


2. How were the hero cars selected, and who chose the paint colors?- The hero cars were purchased, and the editor chose the paint colors.


3. What was the goal regarding the show's design and aesthetic, and how was it achieved?- The goal was to ground the show in the 50s but also have a futuristic element in each set. The mid-century console design was selected for the control panel, and the vidicans were designed to add to the 50s version of what the future might look like.


4. What were some of the design elements discussed regarding a truck on a TV show, and why were they chosen?- The prop master was given references of French and Italian work trucks, which were chosen for their curvier appearance. The teal color was chosen specifically to be close to the futuristic blue-green look used in the show's gadgets and app branding.


5. What were some of the design elements discussed regarding a bathroom build, and what was the inspiration?- The bathroom build was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and the bathroom in The Shining. The sink was designed to look like a car wash, and special effects were rigged to make it work. The speaker scouted different facilities for a long time but decided to build their own, including an elevator and different areas like a waiting room, jetway, and the interior of the rocket cabin. The graphics team created an amazing market scene, featuring retrofuturistic food that is boxed and mostly not fresh.




Quotes...

Creating the Future in the 50s: "I kept trying to take away my present day lens as much as possible and kind of mixing the old technology with the new."— Maya Sige


Designing the World of Vistaville: "I organized the world into these two color palettes that kind of come together. And that was the Earth and then the moon and the future and so vistaville and the world that we're in in this town is all earth tones."— Maya Sigel


Creating a Realistic Set for a Show: "So we built the elevator, which is inside the gantry, which was the VFX shot, seeing the gantry and the rocket, of course. And then we built that waiting room area and then the jetway and the interior of the rocket cabin so you could walk from the elevator to the waiting room, down the jetway and straight into the rocket ship cabin, which I thought would really help with shooting those scenes and the blocking and everything."— Maya Sigel



Transcript

Kim Wannop [00:00:07]:


Decorating Pages is a podcast dedicated to taking you behind the scenes of the.


Kim Wannop [00:00:12]:


Designs of your favorite TV shows and films.


Kim Wannop [00:00:15]:


Each episode, I'll be sharing design stories from some of Hollywood's most famous sets. Interviews from set decorators, production designers, directors, and actors are about creating the look of TV and films about their design inspiration and stories that take steps from page to screen. Hello, and welcome to Decorating Pages. I'm your host, Kim Wanup. What's up, people? It's been the holiday weekend. I hope everybody had a very nice holiday. I'm actually recording this a little early because I went back to Philly, South Jersey, to see my family over the Easter weekend. And I haven't been back east for Easter in, like, forever, ever. So that should be nice. And the boys get to meet new cousins and traveling. And I'm going to assume that on my American Airlines flight that the WiFi doesn't work. And so I don't get any of those movies to watch because the last, I think, four or six flights we've taken, the WiFi never works and you never get anything. So just going to assume that. Even got my little crystal ball here. So the boys have downloaded many Netflix cartoons and I get to rest. Maybe we'll see.


Maya Sigel [00:01:43]:


Doubt it.


Kim Wannop [00:01:45]:


But I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend. I know kids are off from school and fun, fun. Everyone seems to have enjoyed last week's episode with production designer John L. Manahi of Spinning Gold, the film Spinning Gold. So I'm glad that you enjoyed that. I had a nice bump in downloads for that. So thank you very much. I haven't watched much since I last recorded because it's only been two days. I'm watching a lot. I'm watching a little. I'm watching everything. Definitely keeping up on my housewives. I've dug deeper into the David Milch autobiography, and man, oh, man, is it kind of depressing. He was like a heroin addict so far. He was at Yale at the time, Jim at the time. John Kerry was there. And he was also in the same side, beta Cap or whatever. Fraternity brothers with George W. Bush. How crazy is that? I think it's crazy. And his roommate was Richard Lewis. I mean, it's kind of crazy. And then one of his first writing gig was on Hill Street Blues with Bochko. It's crazy, but I am enjoying it. A little depressing, but I am enjoying it. So let's talk a little bit about what I know about the writers potential strike. They are setting up a vote strike, I believe, between April 11 and April 17. So if they choose to strike, that will give them a little leverage, I think, in their negotiations. I'm not sure that's how I would play it. And I haven't heard anything about, oh, yeah, we got this and now we're happy, or we didn't get that and strike. So that's the only thing I've really read about it. I did hear that someone gave me a theory of why. Also, the industry is slow right now is because of the COVID regulations. So SAG after DGA Ayah, we got an email last week that the safety agreement of the protocols will expire on May 11. However, projects that are already in production can keep their established protocols of testing and everything. So the theory is maybe some producers are waiting to start their show after May 11 so that they don't have to pay all that money into COVID testing. And I completely understand that I get that one. So maybe it's not all about the strike or it's not all about streaming. Maybe it's the COVID money, too, I guess. Let's see. On this week's episode, I am speaking with production designer Maya Siegel, and her recent project is Hello Tomorrow, which is airing on Apple TV. The full season is out. It's a science fiction comedy series that takes place in the near future world, yet has a retro design that Maya created. In addition to her work on Hello Tomorrow, maya has also worked on several other TV shows and films, including to the Bone, The Girlfriend Experience and I'm Not Okay With this and more. You can check out her work on Maya Siegel.com. And I was very lucky to get the full season of this ahead of time to watch. And at the time I spoke with Maya, only three I think three episodes had aired. And I asked her if it was okay if we just talk about the whole season. And I hold this interview till now so that you could hear about all these fantastic sets that she had to do. This whole the neighborhood and the concept assigned of these vintage tech things. This grocery store. There's brilliant wallpaper. There's a rocket at the end, but it's all retro. It's all, like, 1950s, but they have cool technology. So I just thought it was really innovative. And I loved the integration of these old pieces with new technology. I thought it was super clever. And I've told tons of people, I've said it on here many times. Hello Tomorrow on Apple. I really loved it, and I really hope it gets a little recognition in Emmy season. So I hope you enjoy.


Maya Sigel [00:06:59]:


And then you can just do it then.


Kim Wannop [00:07:01]:


Yeah, and then I'll put I'll put it out end of March, and then we'll so sorry about that. It that it won't be I told think I told you.


Maya Sigel [00:07:07]:


No, don't.


Kim Wannop [00:07:08]:


But I it's so weird to me because I was completely unaware that this show was even coming out. I don't know why I didn't read up on this at all. And one, it's a great little idea for a show. It's Billy crud up somewhat hottie still. He's holding onto it. And then you have these amazing designs that are vintage but futuristic. Like, how pumped were you to get this gig? All I kept thinking is like, wow, gem. Gem.


Maya Sigel [00:07:48]:


Yeah. No, I was super excited about this project. I had worked with Jonathan Ant Whistle on a show previously called I'm Not Okay With this for Netflix, and he was signing on to direct the first four episodes and be an EP on Hello Tomorrow. So he told me just kind of roughly what it was, which sounded really exciting. And then a while later, I got the pilot script, and then I met with the showrunners and the other creative producers and yeah, I mean, in the pilot episode, the world is established and they're super descriptive about all of the gadgets, and it was super exciting. The minute I read it. I just started doing research.


Kim Wannop [00:08:54]:


Yeah.


Maya Sigel [00:08:54]:


And it was hard to stop. I mean, I had so much compiled, so by the time they told me that I had the job and I was going to New York, I'd already done a lot of work prepping it and sort of thinking about conceptually what the design of the show would be look like.


Kim Wannop [00:09:24]:


The palette is gorgeous throughout the whole show. The palette of every episode and the cars and their bed spreads and their rooms and the wallpaper, and it's just really fantastic. And I'm wondering when you're researching for this, obviously doing, I think, like fifty s and sixty s is so much fun because they had such cool design shit back then that's still relevant now. But was there specifics of this is vintage but updated. I'm sure the cars was already in the script and everything, but did you discover while you were designing, like, oh, we could update this piece or this thing in the design?


Maya Sigel [00:10:12]:


Do you mean sort of taking things that were like the console.


Kim Wannop [00:10:20]:


Vista in the consoles in their room? And was that something like they referred to, or is that in discovery of, like, hey, we can throw in like, they have all these buttons in the console and that it's like the TV is like a FaceTime and things like that. So integrating that for sure. Design.


Maya Sigel [00:10:43]:


Yeah. So a lot of things were custom designed and built for the show, and we kind of repurposed some old elements in there as well. The consoles in the room, I wanted to have something in each room that felt it was sort of the goal. It was like, we want to ground this in the 50s, but also have a futuristic element in each set. So you have a little bit a taste of that, and you see that people have incorporated the tech into their world. So in the rooms, I thought it would be great to do, like, a take on a mid century console and kind of have everything built in there. And so you have the old tube TV screen, but then you have all of these buttons that control all the settings in the room and like, a coffee machine that's built in that it had all these buttons, and it was sort of like that's the coffee maker of the room. And then I liked the idea of having a desk built in there as well. So it just kind of anchors that whole side of the room. That was the idea behind that. And that wasn't in the script. That was just something that, again, it was like always looking for opportunities in each set to add something. The vidicans were in the script, which I thought was brilliant. And it was really kind of open ended about what they might look like. But in general, it was just important to all of us that it was really like a 50s version of what the future might look like. So I kept trying to take away my present day lens as much as possible and kind of mixing the old technology with the new. So it felt fun that it was going to be this, like an old TV screen. And then I wanted to have some sort of a microphone that they could hold, that the actors could hold. And it had some weight to it. And then it was built on this wooden base with buttons and a clock and some things and speakers. And that was a design choice. It was also, like a very practical choice because we were going to use them in different spaces. They were going to be in the booths, in the lobby, and then also in the conference room and in every hotel room and in people's homes. It's like a ubiquitous technology. So that kind of made them portable. And we built four of them and used them everywhere.


Kim Wannop [00:14:01]:


I loved how it didn't break for me in any part where it wasn't vintage. Do you mean there wasn't, like, even with the Rocket or even that guy's switchboards or everything? It never broke into, all of a sudden, 2023 Tech or something like out of their 1950s that was available for them. And I was like, God, that is so much fun. Because when you're shopping as a decorator and you look at something, you're like, Wicked. We make it that, like, look at what they had back then. And you're right. I miss phones. I miss the weight of a telephone. I miss it. I miss buttons. But the weight of it brings you back. And I'm sure helped the actors, too, in the realm of the universe that they were living in. I just loved it. I loved it.


Maya Sigel [00:15:05]:


Thank you so much. I don't know if you wanted you mentioned the color palette before. I don't know if you want me to kind of go into overall what my thought process was from the beginning, kind of organized the world into these two color palettes that kind of come together. And that was the Earth and then the moon and the future and so vistaville and the world that we're in in this town is all earth tones. And it has a fall color palette, so there is lots of oranges and earth tones. And then the moon is much cooler and sexier and blue. And the materials also like, invisible used a lot of warm wood. And in the motor lodge set, I wanted to use a lot of river rock and the wallpaper is grass cloth and then the moon is all sort of metallic and silver. And the Vista Motor Lodge kind of brings those two together because it's like in the time, the roadside architecture was always sort of looking towards the future and trying to draw people in. And so it marries these two worlds. And so our big colors in there are the blue and the orange throughout the hotel. And it also kind of translated to when I was thinking about the architecture. The lines in Vistaville are all straight lines. The houses in the streets of tomorrow, they're all these little traditional houses and they kind of look like Monopoly houses from the bird's eye view. And then the future is all curves and domes and these organic shapes. And so you can kind of see that in the design of the bright side lunar residences in the Gadgets and kind of in the rotunda of the Vista Motor Lodge set as well.


Kim Wannop [00:17:35]:


Where did you shoot this? Where was that neighborhood?


Maya Sigel [00:17:39]:


So we shot in New York. The whole show was shot in New York. We had a few stages in Green Point and then we were all over the New York area. We were in Long Island a lot for the neighborhoods and things and the other boroughs. And we didn't really should. We shot in Manhattan once, I think, just once. And that was the Hartunians grocery store was actually Barney Greengrass, which is fun. It's this New York institution, Jewish deli that's been there forever. And so we kind of took that and transformed it into our market.


Kim Wannop [00:18:30]:


Oh, my God. The market to me is like nightmare as a decorator nightmare. Well, it's a lot of graphics. I mean, it's a lot on the art department, providing all those graphics and getting them ready and everything. So to me that was a lot. But, I mean, I loved the machine that took all the cans up and just the old town feeling of it, I thought was just fantastic. But, yeah, I love all that.


Maya Sigel [00:19:01]:


Thank you. It was a bit of a nightmare. And because the place is so popular, we had like a day basically, of prep there. So we had it really planned to a tee and that was including lighting as well.


Kim Wannop [00:19:29]:


Can't be done.


Maya Sigel [00:19:30]:


Yeah. So our graphics team did an amazing job. The idea was kind of that in the script, the showrunners had written a couple of products in there and the more we talked about it, the more I felt like, let's not have any fresh food at all in this market. Like everything. It's sort of a heightened 1950s instant food bombshirt. Like, just add water. You put it in one of our machines. We have this taskmaster that you see later on. So everything is like boxed freeze dried frozen powdered, mostly in there. And then the deli counter. We covered everything with a graphic that has photos of kind of disgusting looking retrofuturistic food. Yeah. And then Settech had all of those boxes and everything made. Everything was prepped. And they had an amazing plan for it. And we really pulled it off. And we did it twice. Yeah, we went back there again. We went back there again in the second block, so we had to do it again. But really set decorator was George Tatida Jr. And he is just incredible.


Kim Wannop [00:21:09]:


Yeah, I'm a big fan of his.


Maya Sigel [00:21:13]:


Honestly. People say that he's a legend, and it's true for a reason.


Kim Wannop [00:21:20]:


This is inspiring as a decorator. Like, to watch this. It's inspiring. It's all those fabrics. All those things get pulled together. It's like I know. It bravo.


Maya Sigel [00:21:34]:


Yeah. It was a huge job. And he brought so much to the table. And his team is amazing. And, yeah, it was a dream working with them. And the prop master was wonderful, too, and really pulled off a lot. Basically, all of those gadgets were built, practically.


Kim Wannop [00:21:56]:


Who was your prop minister? I forgot to look.


Maya Sigel [00:21:59]:


His name is Eric Chiripka and he's sort of like a mad scientist. He was constantly making things and building extra things.


Kim Wannop [00:22:16]:


They always have another option. How did you have time to have another option? How did you do that?


Maya Sigel [00:22:24]:


That's why I can't do so great. And we kind of outsourced some things because there was just the quantity of stuff that we had to produce was so much that Matt Pomerance and Jetsets here in La built the base bots, the main bots, and they did a great job. And it moved. It lit up. The body moved, all of it. And then there were puppeteers that kind of moved the hand. But, yeah, we had some really a lot of things lit up, and they moved. And they did function in a way, which was incredible with the time and the money that we had, that the amount that things did come together in that way.


Kim Wannop [00:23:16]:


What was your prep?


Maya Sigel [00:23:21]:


I would have to look back and not enough at a calendar and see really not really not enough? Really not enough. I think it's never enough. But especially on a TV show when you're doing something like this, it feels like if it was a movie, you would have months and months.


Kim Wannop [00:23:47]:


Well, plus two. You're block shooting, so you're doing two at a time. So I don't know if you're doing, like, 28 day blocks or something, or something crazy like that. It's one month, and then the next episodes are starting while you're prepping. It's a train. It's a chugging train. It was running me down.


Maya Sigel [00:24:16]:


It was really challenging, and all of it was happening at once. We made a lot of balls in there, and it was like, hopefully all of this stuff comes in and it.


Kim Wannop [00:24:29]:


Works because you even have the baseball stadium. How much of that was a build? Or like I mean, the whole concept of that baseball thing was fascinating to me. To make baseball more interesting or just to show that it was like the American pastime and everything. I just love how it was integrated and then how he's all betting on it the whole time.


Maya Sigel [00:24:54]:


Yeah, the Jetball was a thing. We scouted a bunch of stadiums, and at the end, we really liked the one in Coney Island. And for me, especially, it felt like it was the right size. And I was fixated on the seats because I knew that we were never going to be able to change out that many seats. And the seats there were green which fit into our world, and they were appropriate because a lot of the stadiums have they have these cheap plastic beats from the 80s. That place was great. And then we did a lot of graphics there and covered a lot of existing things. And then Lauda, the VFX supervisor, we talked a lot about the exterior and what it might look like and looked at references, and she did an amazing job with that. That's all her.


Kim Wannop [00:26:11]:


Yeah, I love that. I think the lighting design stadium, too. Those circles that you have up, was that VFX or was that you?


Maya Sigel [00:26:21]:


No, that was there. Oh, that was there.


Kim Wannop [00:26:24]:


Oh, no way.


Maya Sigel [00:26:26]:


That was there. Yeah, that was there. And Justin. Justin Brown. The DP, something that we sort of did throughout was use Led strips. And it was kind of this thing where we would highlight I don't know if you can, but at the hospital, there's, like, down the hallway, there's just a line in the ceiling. We added all of those in the hotel reception to highlight the.


Kim Wannop [00:27:03]:


When it's built. As long as you're not asking me for light.


Maya Sigel [00:27:09]:


It just sort of added it added a little bit of a futuristic element, too, and also help light it. So, yeah, he stripped away some of the lighting in the stadium so that it also kind of went with that theme.


Kim Wannop [00:27:24]:


Nice. I was paying attention a lot to the lampshades and the textures that we're giving and the designs and everything. I think it's easier to get that on the East Coast, but I might be wrong at this point. I don't know, because there's a lot of vintage in La. So I don't know if it's easier to get it there. But I loved all the lighting fixtures and just, like, how it was like, the hotel sometimes was really dimmed down in the diner and everything, and how you're highlighting all the bottles in the back. And I thought that was beautifully done back there. That back bar is great.


Maya Sigel [00:28:10]:


Thank you.


Kim Wannop [00:28:10]:


Yeah.


Maya Sigel [00:28:11]:


Thank you. Yeah, the bar in the hotel was one of those things that the showrunners had mentioned. At some point, we would love to put an auto mat in there somewhere, right? Somewhere in the show. Like, can you think of something? Let me think about that. And then I thought, you know what, let's do it. As in the bar in the hotel. So you have all these drink names and buttons, and then you have the bot, the bartender and the display of the bottles and everything. So I thought that would be fun. And then once I decided we would do that, I thought that we should also in the opening scene and that there's a classic diner.


Kim Wannop [00:29:00]:


Yeah.


Maya Sigel [00:29:04]:


I've got to continue this there, too, because it's going to be a bot. And so we did something that's a little bit different, but also built these plexi boxes that were lit from the back and had all of the different bottles and drink names above them as well. So it kind of continues with that.


Kim Wannop [00:29:26]:


A lot of except social drinking back then.


Maya Sigel [00:29:30]:


Yes, definitely. For sure. Yeah. But there were so many. We had a lot of lamps, a lot of great practicals, and they really sourced them from all over the place. I don't know, I feel like the New York is picked over a lot.


Kim Wannop [00:29:55]:


Quantity.


Maya Sigel [00:29:56]:


I got things from all over the world, honestly.


Kim Wannop [00:29:58]:


Yeah, it's Etsy and Craigslist and Wayfair. The other thing that is so great that technology forward are the cars, which is such a beautiful idea of just like having these beautifully old design cars just gliding along everywhere. It just makes you wish, like, that was a reality. I mean, car design back then was so good, was so interesting, and they were pretty compared to what we got going on now. But also that falls under you, too, in helping the design of all this and taking that under. How did that come up and go? Did you have to buy a lot of cars to manipulate them? Or is it just CGI? I don't know if CGI I don't know what I'm saying. But is it all effect?


Maya Sigel [00:30:55]:


Yeah. So basically it was a collaboration and the whole thing was kind of a process. When I first signed on and started, I was looking at all these concept cars because in the car companies were paying to build these really futuristic looking cars that were very cool, and I thought maybe we could build a few of them. And then it became apparent very quickly that that was just going to be outside of our budget and time restraint. So we were like, okay, we're going to be using classic cars and what can we do to make them special? And the guys, again, had always they called them hover vehicles. So it was never the idea that they were actually like they didn't want them flying in there like the Jetsons. They wanted it to be sort of still, like, using roads. And one of the producers, Ryan Khalil, brought on this guy. He met this guy named Eric Black who retrofit vintage cars and kind of restores cars in a really unique way. And the idea of the kind of the covers that go over the wheels, that's where that originated from. And we all thought that that was just a great idea. And we workshopped it and eventually got to this design. And then my scenic team sculpted them out of styrofoam. And they were custom for the hero cars. They were custom fit for those vehicles. And so, yeah, they were sculpted out of styrofoam and then painted chrome. And the cars were our hero cars were purchased. And then I picked the paint colors, and they were painted.


Kim Wannop [00:33:27]:


Oh, that's awesome. Because the interiors were great. The interiors were great. I forget the character's name, but her sort of limo ish one with the curtains inside and the table and everything that was like, that would be cool to have.


Maya Sigel [00:33:44]:


Yes. Later on. Yes. We had that limo, which was a gorgeous car, one of my favorite cars. And, yeah, George and his team made those custom curtains for inside the vehicle. And then we designed another cocktail drink machine that went into the side of the car, into the back, and got these little tables. And a lot of the cars were also reupholstered. I picked a leather, and they were reupholstered. So, yeah, there was a lot of great work that was done to the vehicles, and I'm happy with them. I think it ended up being the best decision in the end.


Kim Wannop [00:34:33]:


Yeah, I think they turned out great. I wish they were available. We all want to hover and everything, but still, the beauty of those cars and the color palette that you had, they just made pretty cars back then.


Maya Sigel [00:34:52]:


I'm not a car person always. Every time I see I'm not either. And every time I see those cars, I just think, what am I doing driving around in my Subaru? I wish I had this.


Kim Wannop [00:35:09]:


On Toronto.


Maya Sigel [00:35:12]:


But the thing is that they're not what I wish. I always say that my dad is a big car guy and collector, and I always say that I wish that they could make cars that looked like that, but that had all of the modern conveniences that we have today. Airbags seatbelts, power steering, airbag positioning, all of that stuff. Right? Yeah.


Kim Wannop [00:35:38]:


Why can't they? I don't get it.


Maya Sigel [00:35:41]:


Because it's really expensive to do, but I don't know. Of course, they're not, like, environmentally friendly anymore either. Gas do that now.


Kim Wannop [00:36:01]:


Everybody had a Hummer in, like, the early 2000s.


Maya Sigel [00:36:05]:


It's true. But now we're just like carbon emissions. I don't know that we should be going back to those cars, but we're dying. Yeah, they were great. And then the app truck was fun, too. That one the van. The references that I gave to the prop master when they were starting to look for vehicles were a bunch of French and Italian work trucks because I thought that they were a little bit curvier, honestly. They were kind of cute and friendly, which I think was sort of important for this truck, that it didn't look like a FedEx truck or a Ups truck. And especially since you have the stork and all the app branding, I thought that it would be nice if it was a smaller vehicle. So, yeah, we found a really great one. And then that color for me, that teal, it's only used for app, really. You don't see it anywhere else in the show. And it's like it's close to the futuristic it's close to the blue, right? Yeah, between the blue and the green. And you can kind of see it in some of the gadgets, like the viticoms. I didn't want them to be as bright as the pantone that we used for the van, but it's like a few notches down. And they're also kind of that color. And the idea is that this company makes all of the gadgets and all the stuff.


Kim Wannop [00:37:54]:


The story really jumps right into it, which I really liked, too. And you're discovering, is this guy a shyster or not? Or is he on it or not? Is he his dad? You don't know what's going on, really, if he's just trying to fool it. And then you discover all this about it. And I thought the supporting cast was great, too. And that chick who plays Myrtle, I would have never guessed that her storyline went the way it did was really like, oh, I thought this was going to go one way. It was completely unexpected. But in Myrtle's house, I loved that wallpaper. As you can say, I love wallpaper. But that wallpaper in Myrtle's house was fantastic. There was type of just that color. Did you print that or did you find it?


Maya Sigel [00:38:53]:


Allison Pill, I think she's great, and she was one of my favorite characters, especially her arc over the season, I think is great. My idea with her house was she's married to Marvin, which is the Hover king of Vistaville. So they're sort of like new money and they have a lot of money, and he's a little bit tacky. And so I wanted it to all be gold. Everything's gold. Everything's just a little bit excessive. And it's sort of like she's in this gilded cage and that's her life. So that was kind of the concept for that Georgian. I can't remember if it was Daniel or Vaughn, but one of the assistance decorators pulled, you know, went and pulled all of these wallpapers. And that one I just I loved because it really was it was gold. I think it was think it came from France, actually.


Kim Wannop [00:40:09]:


I loved it, and.


Maya Sigel [00:40:13]:


It was really great.


Kim Wannop [00:40:15]:


I hope you kept a.


Maya Sigel [00:40:17]:


Role for yourself. That was kind of the idea there. And that house was great. It was so hard finding homes that had not been got renovated. Yeah. Because that split level.


Kim Wannop [00:40:36]:


So period. It was split level with the stairs and everything, right?


Maya Sigel [00:40:40]:


Yeah, it's so period. And I knew it would play really well for the scene that we had in there. And the kitchen was still period too.


Kim Wannop [00:40:53]:


Oh, wow.


Maya Sigel [00:40:57]:


It's a hard thing. It's like when you're in a city like New York where the real estate is so expensive, people just they remodel things. And this was one of those homes where it was in Westchester, and the woman, the mother who had lived there had just passed away. So they were putting it on the market and it was just kind of the timing was right and it had not been touched. All the bathrooms were original, too. I was like, do we have a bathroom theme that we could set in here?


Kim Wannop [00:41:41]:


Because the 50s were 70 years ago. Like, most people have renovated since then.


Maya Sigel [00:41:47]:


Even if most people have renovated. Yeah, I know.


Kim Wannop [00:41:50]:


It's hard.


Maya Sigel [00:41:51]:


I know. And this one didn't. It was released. It was such a gem. So I'm really glad we got to shoot there. And it was also really hard. The location manager, this was one of those I was calling him twice a day. Did we get the house? Did we get the house? Because you needed, you know, you, like, needed signatures from yeah. I don't know, 90% of the neighbors or something, but but we got it, so that was great.


Kim Wannop [00:42:21]:


Oh, it's it's lovely. I loved it. I wrote down Joey's wallpaper, joey's House wallpaper. And now I can't remember what it is. Now I can't remember what it is. But I wrote down that I really liked it. Now I can't visualize it. Sorry. But I really like.


Maya Sigel [00:42:46]:


Yeah. In Joey's House, it was a floral pattern. It had, like, in our color palette, basically, it was beige and then had a bunch of oh, yes. Kind of like fall tones in it had a little bit of a and that was basically I knew that we were just going to be there for the Christmas scene.


Kim Wannop [00:43:16]:


Yeah.


Maya Sigel [00:43:17]:


And so it was like, how do we make this look like the perfect picture of 50s Americana Christmas?


Kim Wannop [00:43:27]:


Yeah. All of those vintage Christmas decor is always so great. It's always so fun.


Maya Sigel [00:43:34]:


It was so great. Oh, my gosh.


Kim Wannop [00:43:38]:


The ornament brought in for the so good.


Maya Sigel [00:43:42]:


Yeah. And when we decorated the hotel lobby for Christmas, that was really fun, too. And they actually got a lot of period Christmas decorations that were so fun.


Kim Wannop [00:43:59]:


Yeah, a lot of people kept those. I feel like those are at least in La. I feel like the Lost those are around which people were smart that they kept those and they sell them in all the antique stores.


Maya Sigel [00:44:10]:


Yeah. I think that's something that people pass down because it feels like something that's emotionally important to people, whereas they trash others.


Kim Wannop [00:44:24]:


In the Vista. Is it Vista Motor Lodge? Is that what they it was called?


Maya Sigel [00:44:31]:


Yeah.


Kim Wannop [00:44:32]:


Yes, the yes. It was circular, right? Is it circular spatially? They used it so well because you have that, like, annex room and the restaurant bar and then, like, the lobby piece, and you had this just great textures around that whole set and the wood tones and everything. I just thought it was so nice the way that they shot it and the way it was lit and obviously designed. But I didn't get sick of looking at it. You know how they're like, oh, there was this a bottle episode. Like, they were in the thing in the whole time, but you're like, oh, look, now they're over here. Oh, they broke the glass to the annex room and then just trying to figure out the location of it because it appears huge and like, a huge set to design and to get up and running. But I just love the way that they shot it. I thought it was great. I wasn't bored of it at all. It was great.


Maya Sigel [00:45:37]:


Thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, it was a big set. I'm just going to move a little bit. Sunlight. Suddenly I'm just in the sun.


Kim Wannop [00:45:50]:


You're lit. All of a sudden, you got lit.


Maya Sigel [00:45:52]:


I'm lit. I'm lit from lit from the heaven. I started designing that set really early. Basically my first day of prep. I didn't have future episodes. I talked to the writers about things that might come up and that we might need in there, and I sort of did my best to incorporate those things. It wasn't completely circular, but I wanted to give the impression that it kind of was. The center was so there's that big circular lighting grid in the center, and then the curved wall on one end, and on the other, the built in bench. And then the dividers.


Kim Wannop [00:46:59]:


I love the dividers. I love those screens. They just were beautiful. I was wondering if you routed them or did you buy them, did you design them? I love them. I want one.


Maya Sigel [00:47:10]:


Yeah. And I was inspired by architecture of the time. I kind of looked at all these elements. I love the idea of having these screens that you can sort of see through, but they create a barrier. So those were designed and then construction routed them.


Kim Wannop [00:47:39]:


Wow.


Maya Sigel [00:47:40]:


Out of wood. Yeah. The back walls are all actually they're straight walls, but it's kind of the set was not a square. It's sort of no, it's kind of like a hexagon or yeah, but not even not completely symmetrical. And basically, I wanted you to be able to move from one space to another easily and also to kind of have areas where you could have sort of privacy and an intimate scene, but also still have depth. Right. So that was kind of the thing, creating those little corners. And then it was nice because the conference room is attached to it as well. So you kind of get the depth there when you're in the conference room. I knew they were going to be in there a lot, kind of looking back into the lobby. And then you could walk through these double doors and go down the hallway and into the hotel room.


Kim Wannop [00:49:04]:


Yeah, it was beautiful. Walk and talks when they did. It was just so much just to.


Maya Sigel [00:49:10]:


Thank you, the actors.


Kim Wannop [00:49:11]:


It was great.


Maya Sigel [00:49:14]:


Yeah, we did it old school. I mean, we had printed backdrops.


Kim Wannop [00:49:22]:


Oh, wow. Nice. That's fun.


Maya Sigel [00:49:25]:


Yeah, love that. And we created the big one in the back, outside the windows of the diner and those back doors. We had the stills photographer take a high res photo of wait, was that the stills? Hold on 1 second. Let me just go back to my memory.


Kim Wannop [00:49:54]:


It's so much I don't know how we all remember anything.


Maya Sigel [00:49:59]:


I cannot remember at the moment who made our backing.


Kim Wannop [00:50:04]:


Well, I wouldn't, but I would agree with you, whatever you said, because I.


Maya Sigel [00:50:08]:


Don'T whatever it is. But basically we shot a still at our location where we did the exterior of the Vista Motor Lodge and then photoshopped in the hover vehicles so that it felt like it was no. Well, just so that outside of the windows, you don't even see it that much, honestly. But it's there. Like, it feels like it's connected to our location.


Kim Wannop [00:50:43]:


And was the old age home that was a build. There are two bedrooms in the hallway.


Maya Sigel [00:50:52]:


Where'S a build the nursing nursing home, Eternal Springs. So that was a build at a location. And it was a location that we used for a few different things. We used this atrium and turned it into the hallway of the hospital. And then we built the hospital room there. We just basically brought the flats and built it there. And so it was a similar thing with the bedroom and the rec room we sort of used. What was nice was that it had all of this great natural light and it had some architecture that worked. And so, yeah, we built within it and then we were able to look out the windows and make it feel like it was like it was completely on location.


Kim Wannop [00:51:58]:


So did you know early on that you would build like, the interior of a rocket in this I kept wanting to say waiting room. I keep thinking of like an airport waiting area. But did you know early on because you said you didn't have scripts, so you didn't no.


Maya Sigel [00:52:22]:


I didn't know until a little bit later on, and they were pretty good at kind of giving me a heads up of what might be coming up. So at some point I knew, yeah, we're definitely going to have a rocket ship cabin interior. And then there was a lot of sort of working out how the scenes were going to work geographically with how people got into the rocket ship cabin.


Kim Wannop [00:52:56]:


Yeah.


Maya Sigel [00:53:00]:


For a long time we scouted different facilities and we're trying to kind of cobble things together. And then at the end, I felt like it just made the most sense if it could all be connected. So we built the elevator, which is inside the gantry, which was the VFX shot, seeing the gantry and the rocket, of course. And then we built that waiting room area and then the jetway and the interior of the rocket cabin so you could walk from the elevator to the waiting room, down the jetway and straight into the rocket ship cabin, which I thought would really help with shooting those scenes and the blocking and everything. Yeah. And the inspiration really was at some point at the very beginning, I was like, am I going to consult a scientist about the show and try to make it realistic? No, I talked to an old friend. I talked to an old friend at the very beginning who does a lot of film and science work. I thought you know what? This is not it's a completely different world. So we're just going to take creative license with all of these things I.


Kim Wannop [00:54:39]:


Thought was better than the standard because I just got off a space show, so I know all about the seats and all the straps and the Gforce, and we wouldn't have that. And this has to be Velcroed and all that. So I was like, this is much better. This is what you want. You don't want the reality. Like, oh, we got to strap in, and all these things are for your feet, so you don't the gravity wise. So I was like, oh, that's cool. That makes people want to fly. That makes people want to go to the moon. Not all this other it was designed perfectly for that.


Maya Sigel [00:55:16]:


Totally. And I think, like, in the 50s, they thought that we would be able to have the technology.


Kim Wannop [00:55:23]:


Yeah, you would think to just sit.


Maya Sigel [00:55:26]:


In a flying car right. Or go into space without wearing a space booth spacesuit. A lot of my inspiration from that came from old air travel and airplane design and really making their rocket ship cabin feel like a first class cabin on an airplane. In the 50s, that's where you want to go. Yeah, that's where you want to go. And the idea was really inspired. The furniture was all custom built. The walls were made out of this material called Kidex, which is this moldastic. And we went to a company that manufactures those walls for airplane cabins oh, wow. So that you could get all of these complex shapes, which would have been really hard to make out of woodwood, right? Yeah, you could do it.


Kim Wannop [00:56:43]:


It's very time consuming, but you could do it.


Maya Sigel [00:56:46]:


That's what I it helps with this phoenix cut down on scenic time, too, because it came in they have all of these different colors of the plastic. So I chose the colors genius as well done. And then construction. But they still had they built these huge cradles to kind of hold these pieces. But yeah, so that was that. And the furniture was really inspired a lot for me by Sarinin and the TWA terminal.


Kim Wannop [00:57:21]:


Yeah, I was going to say TWA terminal probably would have been my number one thing to look at because it was cool then and it's cool now.


Maya Sigel [00:57:29]:


It's still cool. It's so cool. It's one of those architectural spaces that you just feel awe in when you're standing there. And we actually shot our first scene of Jack kitchen in that banquet room is in the GWA terminal, in that red room, where there's I mean, I.


Kim Wannop [00:57:50]:


Don'T know the space. I'm thinking of the scene.


Maya Sigel [00:57:54]:


Yeah. There's those red felted walls and these really cool domed light fixtures that cover the whole ceiling. But that was at the TWA terminal. But yeah, so that was kind of the idea with the furniture. And then I thought, well, people are going to be in there for a really long time, and so their seats will turn into beds. So that was kind of like that way. And you do see one of them open in one of those scenes. Yeah. And then we had each cabin, each passenger pod has the TV screen and all of the controls and everything. They made a really good little flight attendant pod. George did a great they did a great job on that. The ceiling fixture sort of mirrors the one in the vista as well, sort of anchored by this circular lighting source that's in the center of the rocket ship cabin. And I loved the flight attendants costumes. The costume.


Kim Wannop [00:59:19]:


The costumes are the whole work fantastic.


Maya Sigel [00:59:23]:


All the patterns amazing. Yeah.


Kim Wannop [00:59:26]:


And then those, like, buttons or something I picked up on, especially in the women's jackets or clothing, like an interesting intersection of the button or something. There was always something holding and it was wrapped around or it's like, those are good, well made clothes. They look good on everyone because they were made better before. They were made to make you look better.


Maya Sigel [00:59:55]:


Yeah, there was always something interesting. Anna Terrazza and Hannah Shea did such an incredible job. And I think that their work is really inventive in the show. And it was also just so we were on the same page. And it was also we were constantly going back and forth between each other's offices. And so they really made sure that everything they would go up. And George, can we have the carpet sample? Can we get the sample for the upholstery so that everything just looks really seamless and harmonious? And I think both of us were really thinking about this in a very graphic way and wanted to stay away from too many patterns. There's wallpaper in a few of the homes, which I thought we could do because it's sort of that old world, but otherwise, there's a lot of texture, but there's not a lot of pattern.


Kim Wannop [01:01:11]:


It's great.


Maya Sigel [01:01:12]:


Yeah. And they did a lot of the same in the costumes. And also, we really stayed away from pastels because I think it's easy with the kind of go into this ice cream shop pastely world. And so we didn't so the colors really work nicely together, I think.


Kim Wannop [01:01:36]:


No, it's beautiful. It makes you want to live, then it makes you want to live in that time. I always think of it like they had such good design then, and it was seemed decently, affordable, like all those houses. I don't know, I guess, too, like the suburban sprawl and just TVs becoming more in homes and needing more comfortable and designed furniture. It's awesome.


Maya Sigel [01:02:11]:


Yeah. It was a really exciting time for design. And I think that people were really the research was so fun because people were really thinking about the future and they were thinking about what was possible, and companies were putting money into ideas that were kind of wacky and different, and there were just a lot of really brilliant designers and architects and artists then. Yeah. It's like one of those moments where lightning strikes.


Kim Wannop [01:02:56]:


We're still ripping it off.


Maya Sigel [01:02:58]:


Yeah. We're still looking at it. Right. It still feels fresh. And it was so long ago. But, of course, in the show, there's the darker side to it. In reality, of course, it's even darker. I mean, the 50s was not great for everybody. The 50s was great if you were a white man.


Kim Wannop [01:03:21]:


Also terrifying in America reality.


Maya Sigel [01:03:29]:


That's the reality. It's great for white men. But in our world, the dark part is really some of the things that we're struggling with today. It's this endless capitalism and this consumerism and people having all of these products that are making their lives better a little bit, but not really, and are sort of distancing themselves from other people. And so you see that, too. Well, since we're talking about the later episodes, when you flash back to see Jack's Backstory and what it was like when he was working at the App Regional headquarters, and how dehumanizing it is to sort of be this worker in this huge company where you're like a cog in the machine. Yeah, totally. And there's literally a machine that is making calculations and spitting out his future. And it's super devastating. And I love that set, too, honestly.


Kim Wannop [01:05:03]:


All of the HQ headquarters, all that palette and everything was so good. So good.


Maya Sigel [01:05:10]:


Thanks. Yeah, I really thought it would be fun. We found this brutalist building, which I thought was kind of perfect for that. And we built that bathroom set, which was actually one of my favorite little sets. Yeah. You know, it kind of incorporated that concrete and the red and the gray, and it's just this it's this really dark moment where you see some of this technology to sink and how it can.


Kim Wannop [01:05:47]:


The red is really intricate in that scene. And I was thinking, like, there's not that much red in this. There's not that many of maroons and other saturated colors. But that bathroom, was that a build? Was that there, or did you enhance it?


Maya Sigel [01:06:06]:


Yeah, that was a build. That was a build. The bathroom was a build. Yeah. Honestly, it was inspired a little bit for me by Frank Lloyd Wright and the bathroom of The Shining, which was inspired by a Frank Lloyd Wright bathroom. But it's such a dark moment that I felt like the blacks and the grays and the reds really made sense there. And they have this idea that they said there's a sink, and Jack is so distraught that he decides he wants to take his life and he feeds his tie into this thing somehow. And so I still felt like because it was our world, that it had to have this. I was like, what if the sink felt like almost like a car wash and you had those big sponges that wash your car. It's something like that, where you put your hands in and then it dries your hands at the end. So that was sort of what we went off of, and we made it, and special effects rigged it. So the whole thing really worked. The water came out and the thing filled up and the sponges moved and everything.


Kim Wannop [01:07:40]:


I mean, I know it's a sink and everything, but that's not a quick design. And then to make it and then install it and shoot it, that's a big process.


Maya Sigel [01:07:51]:


Yeah, it was a process. It was one of those things that I knew was coming up, and that was an important it was an important moment. An important set. Yeah. We used real tiles in there, too, so you can kind of see, like, it has this gleaming quality to it, that bathroom.


Kim Wannop [01:08:21]:


I feel like more and more I talk to designers who not are allowed but get the opportunity to use real materials. And it elevates the realism so much because as great as some painters are and you're trying to do marble, it's not the same or the tile. There's never quite the glare or the reflection or anything. So using real materials is always preferred. But it's costly.


Maya Sigel [01:08:54]:


Sometimes it's costly, and I feel like it kind of just depended on what we're doing, where we were doing it, what those weight bearing capacity of wherever we were at the walls. Are we on set? And also just looking at the budget and what's going to work out better. Our scenic team was so good and actually, a lot of things, like all of the river rock, they sculpted and painted.


Kim Wannop [01:09:39]:


Oh, wow. Oh, that's fantastic.


Maya Sigel [01:09:41]:


In the fact yeah, in the exterior and in the interior of the Vista Motor Lodge because there was just no way we were going to use you can't even get that. First of all, that river rock is I don't even know if you can get it in California anymore, but it's a West Coast thing, so there was no way we were really going to get that. So they did an amazing job with that. And a lot of the wood was faux wood, so they did a lot of really incredible things. But with the tile, it just made sense. We found settech, found some great tile, and it was really reasonably priced. And we don't need to do anything to this.


Kim Wannop [01:10:36]:


It's so funny because I don't hear in our union, I don't do tile, I don't do carpet. I don't do I keep thinking like, oh, man, I had to more applause to those New York decorators because I don't want anything else on my plate. I already got enough.


Maya Sigel [01:10:54]:


I know. And they do the windows, too. Yeah, it's a difference. And I've worked in La. And New York. But I still sometimes would forget. I was like, is this wait. Yeah. Is this construction? Is this that desk?


Kim Wannop [01:11:23]:


I'm hoping. But do you think there'll be a season, too? Because I got to know what's going on up there.


Maya Sigel [01:11:30]:


I know. I mean, they're going to make it up there. And we have to see what's up.


Kim Wannop [01:11:35]:


There also because I've been at Sony and I've seen Billy Crud up a bunch of times because he's on the Morning show. So I'm like, when did they film this? Did you film it last year or early in the year?


Maya Sigel [01:11:51]:


Yeah, we wrapped in spring of last year. Yeah, he's handsome and he's just a great person. And he was one of the executive producers on the show. And yeah, he would come in and check in the art department office and see what was going on and within all those kind of big meetings that we had. So, yeah, he's awesome. But yeah, I don't know. I hope we get a second season, too, but you never know what the algorithm is. We'll see.


Kim Wannop [01:12:40]:


Apples just do what they want.


Kim Wannop [01:12:47]:


See that there's just so much that goes into the design of things that already are designed in this show to make it modern and incorporate this technology. And even the cars I wish cars were that cool still. So if you can check out hello tomorrow on Apple Plus. I can't thank Maya enough for giving me an hour and going through all of those sets. And I'm so thankful to Apple for letting me see the whole thing so that I could speak with her when I could. And yeah, I don't know if you're an Emmy voter, I would check it out. I really loved it.


Kim Wannop [01:13:31]:


I loved it.


Kim Wannop [01:13:32]:


The story. Hey, I'm not voting on story. I'm voting on production. Design, and I liked it. So it's still a good, interesting story. And I think with a lot of series these days, there's always like one or two episodes where you're like, nothing happened, or like, it gets bored or whatever. I don't know what's going on or it's too slow. I have a big problem with too slow where my attention span has gone.


Kim Wannop [01:13:57]:


But.


Kim Wannop [01:14:00]:


I just enjoyed the series, and like I said, I can't wait. I really hope there's a season too, because I want to see what these people are doing up there.


Maya Sigel [01:14:06]:


So spoiler.


Kim Wannop [01:14:09]:


I want to know what's happening because it's innovative, and I really want to see where the design goes from all of this. So I hope that there's a season too.


Kim Wannop [01:14:21]:


So fingers crossed for the viewer here.


Kim Wannop [01:14:24]:


Yeah. So in the next couple of weeks, I have production designer Catherine Edder from the new version of Hellraiser and BMF, I have Jordan Ninkovich, who did A, we have a really good little repertoire because he also started on Hallmark movies and is doing these like, ten a year or something. It's kind of crazy to talk to him about that and know that system that they're chugging them out over there. So that's coming up. I have James Bartle, production designer Clarence Major, and then we're getting into Emmy season, people. And I'm just going to give you a little homework. Maybe watch Schmegadoon season two. Maybe that should be your homework. I don't know. I got a lot I mean, I'm really proud of myself going on. I have a lot of interviews in the bank. Regina Graves said decorator is coming up. That's a really good one. Hold on, wait for that. I didn't even tell you I got a job. I hate to say it out loud before it happens, but I start end of April, so I don't even know how I'm going to fit in my job with all of this great podcasting coming at you. So get ready. It comes. I hope you got an earful. I'm Kim Wan, up for decorating pages.


Maya Sigel [01:15:49]:


You our.

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