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  • John Shaffner designed the most famous New York City apartment of all time.

  • Except it only had three walls

  • and no ceiling.

  • And it wasn't actually in New York.

  • This is my apartment, and I like it!

  • John Shaffner designed the set of Friends.

  • John is a production designer,

  • and John has worked on a lot of shows.

  • I've done 44 series, and 68 pilots.

  • Dharma and Greg,” “The Drew Carey Show,”

  • Two and a Half Men,” “Big Bang Theory.”

  • And most notably, “Friends.”

  • When I get assigned a new show,

  • I do what is called a sketch model in white paper.

  • And you hold it up and you close one eye, and you squint.

  • And you can see just what the camera is gonna see.

  • Hello.

  • When we were presentingFriends,”

  • I presented a white model,

  • and the producer looked at it and said,

  • "Well, now what are we going to do about color?"

  • What do you want to do?

  • And I said, "I think we should paint the set purple."

  • - Ooh. - Uh oh.

  • Everybody was really anxious about.

  • Nobody like change.

  • Until I painted the little model purple.

  • It's purple!

  • Color's really important in terms of establishing the show identity.

  • - Hey, ooh, slow down!

  • When you switch toFriends,”

  • you saw that it was purple, and you stayed tuned.

  • One of the responsibilities of a production designer

  • is to look into the future, if you can.

  • (screaming)

  • We put a door all the way up this hallway

  • and we really didn't say where it went to.

  • I said, "Why don't we just wait and see where the stories take us?"

  • So all of a sudden, years into the show,

  • we've never seen this door open.

  • I wasn't trying to open your closet,

  • I wasn't trying to open your closet, I swear!

  • They do an entire episode about

  • this was Monica's messy closet.

  • Oh my God!

  • (laughter)

  • (gasps)

  • I definitely think that the coffee house on Friends

  • sort of influenced our culture of where

  • people like to meet and hang around.

  • Thank you.

  • And now, of course, 25 years later,

  • there's a coffee house on every corner.

  • I'm surprised how many of them have overstuffed chairs.

  • What am I going to do?

  • In the pilot, the moment when Rachel

  • walks through the door in her wedding dress

  • is a pivotal moment.

  • We made a decision to put the door up here on a diagonal.

  • She walks, pow, through those doors

  • and straight to the camera

  • and everybody had to, like, physically turn and look.

  • This is everybody.

  • This is Chandler, and Phoebe, and Joey.

  • And you remember my brother, Ross?

  • Sure!

  • - Hey. - Hi.

  • Oh! (laughter)

  • Who knew that that was going to be the beginning

  • of 10 years of a number one show on television?

  • Audiences relate to sitcoms because once you get

  • to know the characters, you become invested in their story.

  • So it's easy to turn on and watch an episode of Friends.

  • It's a comfort coming back to visit with these characters

  • and be with them for that half hour.

  • I'm so lucky I got to design Friends.

John Shaffner designed the most famous New York City apartment of all time.

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Designing the Apartment in ‘Friends’

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    Samuel posted on 2018/04/18
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