How Film Set Decorators Strategically Use Props to Turn Back Time in Modern City Streets

Abby Tang of Movies Insider visited with award-winning designer Rena DeAngelo of Eclectic Props in Long Island City, Queens to find out how DeAngelo and her team transform busy city streets into those from different eras. DeAngelo, who has worked on such films and shows as West Side Story (2021), Bridge of Spies, Mad Men, and The French Dispatch, explained how strategic props are used to turn back time and showed how she would go about turning a New York City street in 2021 into one from 1957.

Rena takes us through Eclectic/Encore Props in Long Island City, Queens, and shows us the period products and street dressing she would use to rewind time on a modern city. Find out how set decorators dress windows, create fake storefronts, and cover up modern signifiers to make filming locations resemble an era of the past.

How Set Designers Turn Back Time
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.