Soap Opera Digest: What was the genesis of this mansion refresh?
Jennifer Elliott: This was Frank’s [Valentini, executive producer] idea: “Let’s just put some money and some time and some effort into this family. Their house is not in good shape and needs a little refresh.” We also had some space issues on our stage, and shooting issues with the last configuration of the mansion, because it had an upstage entry and it was really hard logistically to shoot characters arriving at the door. It’s just sort of a design flaw from many, many years ago. So my partner and I went back to the original drawings of the Quartermaine mansion and foyer, which were a million years old, and we lucked upon these old slides that had pictures of what it used to look like. We found the old blueprints and actually found that the original incarnation had a side entrance on one of the walls, which would make it much easier for shooting. We said, “This is what we need to do. We need to preserve the architectural integrity of the original idea, just make it a little bit smaller,” because we’re always trying to get more sets onstage. The staircase is sort of like another character, so we kept the original staircase and we just sort of modified a new layout around it and went back to the original design, which is a side entrance and then the living room on the left side of the foyer.
Digest: When did the renovation process kick-off?
Elliott: Probably a year ago, we started talking in earnest about, “When our budgets allow, we need to think about reformatting that set.” And then it’s a long process because we need to talk to directors about what’s best for them for shooting, and talk to [Story Editor] Elizabeth Korte, our on-hand representative from the writing department, about how to really be true to this family and how to preserve their image in terms of what the fans expect, and also what to get ready for in future stories.
Digest: Where did you draw design inspiration from?
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