Russian Doll has been out on Netflix for almost two-weeks now and it is exciting to see it has been received with such enthusiasm by critics and viewers. I worked on the series as the Assistant Set Decorator to Set Decorator extraordinaire Jessica Petruccelli.
The (great) Production Designer Michael Bricker gave an interview where he discussed the door and as he said we, the art and set decoration departments, had to figure out how we were going to execute the scripted idea of a gun triggered door. It is an important element of the apartment that is seen in every episode including the opening moments of the whole series.
The mechanics and specifics of the gun door handle was a project Jessica gave me to handle (door pun) and since it was so fun I wanted to share some of it here.
First I started with the antique hardware to match the idea of the house being an old East Village Yeshiva from the early 1900’s so I went to Olde Good Things and spent an afternoon in their antique door hardware section, which I shared with glee on here last year.
Next I got in contact with our friends at The Specialists who not only are prop fabricators, but also are the premiere weapons rental house and weapon experts for the film and TV industry in New York City. I explained to them what we were trying to do and over the course of weeks we exchanged many many emails and phone calls.
The process in photo attachments looked something like this:
Sometimes hardware is the least fun part of set decorating or buying, but this custom gun handle was a super fun, creative, and gratifying piece of unconventional hardware that was a recurring featured detail in the show.