Walt Before Mickey had an incredible production design department who gave the movie that authentic look. From picture cars to furniture to the artwork to the period cameras, WBM has a look that is rarely found in a small budget feature.
With that small budget often comes the need for creativity and improvisation, especially when you need multiple locations that are in need of similar props and furniture. This was definitely the case when it came to our period phones of the era. Specifically, we had an old fashioned wall phone that kept being needed – the equivalent of a payphone. Walt (Thomas Ian Nicholas) has one in his first studio in LA which Bridgit (Ayla Kell) answers, George (Frank Licari) needs one to call Mintz (Conor Dubin) and then Walt again needs one outside of his studio in order to call home when he’s evicted. So, what do you do? After all, a phone is a phone, right? I mean, most cellphones these days can look a like, certainly most home phones and definitely most payphone.
So, when all else fails, use the same exact one, in all three scenes and no one will ever question it. Such is the case with Walt. That same phone was used in three separate locations and it doesn’t upset the continuity or integrity of the picture at all. AND it saved our crew from having to look for or build three – four separate phones. I mean, in modern movies, we never question the same brand and make of cellphone being used by two separate characters, right? Why should it be any different in a period piece?
The fun part of movies, theater and TV is that we get to suspend disbelief while still being transported into another world or another era. We certainly were able to accomplish this in Walt Before Mickey. Thanks to our wonderful production design team (Joe Stone, Jay Weber, Mike Margulies) and our talented director (Khoa Le), DP (Ian Dudley) and Gaffer (Guy Morgan) Walt Before Mickey looks like ten million bucks… even if it was made for a lot less.