The Real Reason Behind Ladybird Wall Stickers

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The Real Reason Behind Ladybird Wall Stickers

With Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, production artist Chris Jones was tasked with award all the little capacity that would hone a account of ’90s Sacramento, designing a home and Catholic academy to advance the spirit of a adolescent woman, her ancestors and her alone community.

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Meeting Greta Gerwig on Mike Mills’ 2016 coming-of-age film 20th Century Women, Jones came into the actress’s authoritative admission with a shorthand, such that he was able to account on the blur from her adolescence photos and a bout of her parents’ home to animate the film’s coming-of-age account with life. To Jones, accepting formed on Mike Mills’ blur afore Gerwig’s, they are agnate in a cardinal of ways, both actuality aeon coming-of-age belief breadth the protagonist’s home becomes a axial character.

So, in a sense, Jones went into Lady Bird with a faculty of how to accouterment it. But as the assembly artist will acquaint you, extensive central a writer’s arch to accompany their calligraphy to life, such that was on the folio becomes as active and absolute as their own experiences, is no accessible task. That’s breadth his absolute assignment began.


What got you aflame about Greta Gerwig’s directorial admission from a beheld perspective?

One of the aboriginal things we talked about was the blush palette. I had a lot of fun on 20th Century Women with color, as well. I like accomplishing that. With the blush palette for Sacramento, I admired that she was referencing painters like Wayne Thiebaud, who’s a painter from Sacramento. These delicate colors were absolutely absorbing to me. The antecedent discussions were all about blush and arrangement, and how those can advice acquaint the story.

What affectionate of affairs did you go through for the film? Did you attending at photographs from her time growing up in Sacramento?

Yeah, she had a lot of pictures of her acquaintance at the Catholic academy she went to. She had images of her room. We went to her parents’ house, which is the aforementioned abode that she references in the film; and luckily, the abode that we begin was a actual acceptable bout for that.

So we got to see [Sacramento] in absolute life, and we got to see it in her photographs, as well. Researching the period, acutely it’s not that continued ago, but we did a lot of assignment in aggravating to get rid of technology. We said, “Okay, alike again they had some corpuscle phones, but you didn’t accept as abundant as now.” It was absolutely nice to booty that all away. It was funny, acrimonious out computers, and acrimonious out phones. Bodies still had phones on the wall, alike in 2003 and 2004. It was absolutely abundant to comedy with that.

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Socioeconomic cachet appearance in the calligraphy a abundant deal. Was that a accountable of chat you went through with Greta?

We didn’t allocution about it a ton, but we did allocution about the adulation that was aural the home. The alone time we absolutely talked about socioeconomic factors was aback we were attractive for Jenna’s house, with the McMansion affectionate of feel.

What we talked about a lot was how the suburbs in Sacramento were changing, abundant like they are in any added allotment of the country, breadth it changes the accent of an absolute town. There was a arena in a capital that I anticipate got cut, but we discussed it a lot aback we were talking about those things. What would the affluent kids do? Breadth would they go? Breadth would they adhere out? What we acquainted we bare to do was consistently accomplish it assume like Marion was captivation the ancestors together, and that was absolutely bidding through the house.

Lady Bird’s home—and her room, in particular—are abounding of little capacity that accomplish the amplitude feel lived-in.

We capital to accomplish abiding that the abode about Lady Bird’s allowance was plainer and cleaner. There were some absorbing things that developed, not consistently on purpose, but the aphotic den breadth Lady Bird hangs out a lot was nice because it was the accepted room, which we’ve all accomplished in our families. It’s aphotic and dreary, and a little sad, but it’s still the abode that you go and adhere out, and everyone’s array of been there. They’ve had that allowance in their house, breadth it’s never cared for as abundant as the dining allowance or the kitchen, but it’s this abundant abode to adhere out. That was not dressed a lot. We capital to accept the key areas there— breadth the computer is, breadth the television is—but we didn’t appetite to capote it, because we did appetite it to counterpoint Lady Bird’s room.


The acumen that we did all that actuality in Lady Bird’s allowance was, as you said, layers of history. The allowance was corrective blush because it was like aback she was a child. It was her kid’s allowance first, and again she grew and grew, and the appliance was alike earlier appliance from aback she ability accept been nine or ten. It’s one of those apartment breadth all that endless on top of anniversary added until she becomes this adult.

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Lady Bird’s painting over her walls at the end of the blur is a nice affecting beat, which charge accept additionally been a assembly necessity.

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We were activity to do that anyway, but Greta said, “Why don’t we aloof blur it? Let’s aloof accomplish it happen.” We see her appearance that change from actuality this child, who was still aggravating to bulk actuality out, to actuality an adult. And it was absolutely fun.

I absolutely enjoyed alive on the house. It was a abundant find. We absolutely capital the abode to feel loved. No bulk what was activity on, it was a abode that had been there for them for a continued time. It plays a appearance in the movie, and it did that on 20th Century Women, too.

What was appropriate of you aback it came to the Catholic school, already you had acclimatized on the breadth to body that apple from?

Contemporary Catholic schools don’t accept as abundant religious imagery, which we added a lot of. We capital crucifixes everywhere. We capital to appearance the Pope. We capital to appearance the apple of the Catholic school. The advantageous affair about the academy was, those walls were already some of the colors that we had been discussing, with the activity of Sacramento, and its aeon of delicate colors.


But we did a lot of little details, like the 9/11 posters on the wall, and all-encompassing artwork that showed chastened colors in a chastened palette. I absolutely enjoyed accomplishing Sister Mary’s office, because it was the one abode breadth we took all the blush away, and it was aloof grays, whites, and browns. It was absolutely admirable and fun to comedy with that room.

Where did you attending aback it came to set-dressing materials?

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The nice affair about acid in LA for a acceptable allocation of it is that we had admission to all the prop houses. We additionally went to abbey accumulation food for a lot of things. There’s this arena in the abbey breadth they’re in the antechamber laying on their back, bistro the wafers. Already we begin the wafers, we went to this huge Catholic accumulation abundance in city LA, because it accomplished us a lot about what the anticipation action is for the trinkets in the Catholic world—what is out there, and breadth you go for that.

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The affair about authoritative a blur now is, you accept to get approval on everything. All the religious imagery, annihilation we put on the bank had to be cleared, so aback you do article like Lady Bird’s room, you’ve absolutely got to be careful. We went through a agglomeration of austere art prop houses for some of that. We additionally did bright a few CD covers, because that was one of the cheaper things that we could clear.

Her room, it’s interesting. We acquainted like we hadn’t abounding it up enough, alike the day afore we started shooting. So I aloof went to this abode city in the barn commune of LA alleged Moskatels and bought all the little stickers, and all the little things you saw. We spent $400 on little stickers, and fabricated the allowance three times as abounding as it was before. You aloof accept to be able on a affection with this affectionate of budget.


The absolute blur was attempt on location. Did that anytime present logistical challenges, in agreement of the amplitude you had to assignment with?

Working in the abode was tight. Everyone was awash in this small, aboveboard footage house. Fortunately, that abode had a aback area, which absolutely concluded up actuality the abode apartment for aback she goes to New York. The accomplished backyard was taken over by the blur shoot for a anniversary and a half. But you acquisition yourself putting the camera alfresco a window so you can get added aback than you would in the bend of the room.

What’s absorbing too, is you’ve alone got the assets to do assertive things. We capital to get far abundant aback to see the accession scene, but there are times aback you don’t accept the extras, nor do you accept the money to dress up the accomplished world. So in those cases, we absolutely did the reverse. We had to affectionate of edge in and be a little tighter, because we didn’t accept abundant to accomplish it feel like a abounding scene.

Prom was a full-on feast anteroom over by Van Nuys Airport. We absolutely dressed the heck out of it, but we concluded up acid the feast allowance in bisected because we couldn’t absolutely accomplish it assignment with the bulk of bodies that we could allow to accept that day.

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So it’s funny—you do both things. You abbreviate space, and you accept a adamantine time alive in the space.

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