Self-described “movie geek” Kimberly Wannop found her calling in set decorating. Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half Hour Or Less), she found a job at her favorite show, Veep, the old-fashioned way: she hounded the boss until he hired her.
Cynopsis: What is a set decorator’s job, and how did you find your way into the business?
Kimberly Wannop: A set decorator’s job is to bring the character or action to life on the screen using furnishings, lighting, art, window treatments, tchotchkes or specific dressing the environment calls for. The set decorator works with the Production Designer to convey the tone of the sets thru the dressing. I have a background in Interior Architecture, but I found working in the real world was boring! I started working in Hollywood after college.
Cynopsis: How did you end up at Veep?
I was finishing up Love season one and starting to try to plan what project I was going to do next. I thought to myself it would be fun to work on my favorite show, which is Veep. I had heard that Veep was going to move from Baltimore to Los Angeles for tax credit reasons, so I started to email the Production Designer, Jim Gloster, to see if he needed a set decorator. Basically, I kinda stalk people till they hire me.
Cynopsis: How does working at Veep differ from other shows, like Bones?
Wannop: There is a huge difference between one-hour and half-hour single camera shows. One hour you have 9-10 days of shooting one episode, half-hour you have five (with Veep, six) days to do the same amount or more work. Plus you are prepping the next episode. It’s like every Monday is a new episode -the schedule moves VERY fast! And with Veep there are a lot of last minute changes that you need to be prepared for. We average 15 swing sets per episode on Veep. I think the most I ever did on Bones was 12 swing sets once all season, not every episode.
Cynopsis: What’s your dream job?
Wannop: Is it corny to say I have my dream job? I really do.
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