“It’s detail and sometimes lack of detail,” reveals Ashley Marsh about the secret to set decorating on “Better Call Saul.” For our recent webchat she continues, “You don’t want to tell too much of a story because the writers have so many interesting little nuances. As a set decorator you don’t want to accidentally put the wrong thing in to steer the fans in the wrong direction. I don’t want to accidentally leave any clues that shouldn’t be there. It’s about making sure it feels like a real place and it’s grounded.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
The AMC program tells the story of how Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) became the criminal lawyer Saul Goodman that fans came to love in the Emmy-winning drama series “Breaking Bad.” The acclaimed drama is midway through its final season. All five previous seasons have received Emmy nominations for Best Drama Series.
Marsh has been set decorator on the series since season four and also did the set decoration of “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”. Both projects, like “Breaking Bad,” were filmed in Albuquerque. Marsh explains, “New Mexico is so beautiful, and Albuquerque is kind of weird, so there’s lots of really cool things out in nature already. We just have to spruce it up a little bit. But inside we normally get empty spaces, which is a lot harder in terms of sourcing. We are a little bit lacking in resources in Albuquerque when it comes to a lot of matching things; like multiple desks in office settings. We have to really plan ahead in order to make sure those things get there.”
In the most recent season of “Saul,” we see the rivalry between Jimmy and his former colleague Howard (Patrick Fabian) escalate. This leads to Howard challenging Jimmy to a boxing match. Marsh admits, “For the boxing gym I had to find every piece of boxing equipment in the city of Albuquerque. The most notable being we got the ring from former world champion boxer Johnny Tapia, who is a huge hometown hero here. That was just huge.”
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