Hollywood scriptwriters have a reputation for never letting history interfere with the story they want to tell, even in those “based on a true story” pics. I was surprised to learn that set decorators and prop masters have the opposite reputation.
“Richard Attenborough told us that people learn their history from the movies, so it’s important to get it right,” Pam Elyea said. “That has been our philosophy.”
The Elyeas emphasize that people don’t simply rent an item from them, customers rely on their knowledge about the right way to use or display the item.
Painstaking historical research is a key part of the business. Hope Parrish, a veteran property master who worked with the couple on “The Aviator,” recalls how Jim drew a diagram on butcher paper showing precisely where microphones and cameras should be placed to re-create the actual Senate hearings depicted in the film.
“Their attention to detail makes my job 120% easier,” Parrish said.
Sounds like they run their business with the same passion for authenticity that drives the writing of Connie Willis and Harry Turtledove.