6 Movies That Went Through Insane Hoops To Remake Props

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Recreating Roseanne‘s Sofa Was An Insane Ordeal

If you grew up watching Roseanne, you know that the living room couch was almost a beloved character unto itself, on par with Dan, Roseanne, Darlene, or Steven Seagal that one time. So when the show was resurrected — albeit in a Byzantine alternate universe — they needed that couch back. To do otherwise would be wrong, like rebooting The X-Files without Mulder, or bringing back Home Improvement but making it watchable.

Unfortunately for the producers of the reboot, the original couch was sold to James Comisar, a TV memorabilia hound whose enormous collection also includes the Cheers bar, Batman and Robin’s tights, and the guy who played Todd in Scrubs, probably. Comisar was willing to lend them the couch, but his demands included a “temperature-controlled environment” and a”full-time security guard.”

CBS StudiosPresumably to deter cat burglars with a moving truck and a few friends paid in beer and pizza.

With hiring the Secret Service to protect a darn sofa out of the question, the producer and set decorator scoured the Crappy Old Furniture section of Craigslist. Since they couldn’t get an exact match for the original living room set, they ended up buying two worn-out couches for 400 bucks, sawed one in half, and then rebuilt the frame, customizing it into a matching easy chair. This resulted in some authentically gnarly furniture, but the upholstery wasn’t close enough, dammit. LA stores were much too hip for what they were looking for, so the crew turned to a Midwest RV manager who had tons of 1970s brown plaid fabric. Even when the items were reupholstered, they still weren’t authentic enough, so the set decorator hand-painted red stripes on the plaid to make it “rustier,” and hired a guy with a power sander to wear it down. At this point, inventing a time machine would have entailed less effort.

CBS StudiosSadly, this meant there wasn’t there wasn’t any money left over for an animatronic Tom Arnold.

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