Latest News

(Last Updated: November 6, 2012)

* * * Current Project * * *



- Season 4 -


Click hereto see some"GLEE"DrawingsIn June of 2012 I was invited to return to the Art Department of GLEE for Season 4. [You may remember that I designed the Permanent sets and helped get the show off the ground for Season 1 before going off to "The Green Hornet".]


I started the show as the Art Director [in place of the show's regular AD, Michael Rizzo, who was temporarily unavailable], got the department staffed and up to speed, designed 5 new "New York" sets...and then headed off on a family vacation.  That's the way it should be!!!


Upon my return, Michael had resumed the mantle of Art Director and I happily picked up my pencil and mouse and settled in for a full 10 months of Set Design town...with my kids!  - Can't complain at all about that!


* * * Recent Projects * * *




Click hereto see some"Political Animals" DrawingsFor a few weeks in March 2012 I was helping Production Designer, Mark Worthington (Ugly Betty) and Art Director, Gina Crahnam design sets for the new USA Network Drama “Political Animals.”  The show which is set in Washington, D.C. and environs throughout the world is being produced and shot in Philadelphia, PA. I was working remotely form LA as a Set Designer to help get the permanent sets standing in support of Gina, Mark and the local east coast crew. I was originally to have been on the project for 4 to 6 weeks but, as is the case with so many projects these days, the budgetary realities did not match the scope and ambition of the script…or the prep time.  When push came to shove and the money ax fell, a large number of sets fell by the wayside and the need for my services went with them.  I was able to design and develop a set of working drawings for a Boeing 757 customized for the Secretary of State as well as making a pass or two at a Washington D.C brownstone. In the end, they were nice people, it was an interesting script and I got to stay home with my kids while working on a show in Philadelphia.  Who could ask for anything more?!




Click hereto see some"Dixie" DrawingsFrom Mid November 2011 to late February 2012 I enjoyed some fine Southern Hospitality…all without leaving the comforts of home!  I had signed on as a Set Designer to help complete the first season of “Hart of Dixie” for Warner Brother (…and no, that is not a typo, Hart is the name of the principle character).  “H.o.D.” was/is a 1 hour show that airs on the CW channel.  The show’s pilot was shot back on the east coast but Warner Brother’s decided they wanted to have production, in it’s entirety, based on their lot here in Burbank. With 3 stages at Warners and (studio mandated) extensive use of the WB back lot, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be working 10 minutes from my hose for the first time in almost a decade! 


Working with Production Designer - Mayling Cheng and Art Director - Sandy Getzler I had the oportunity to mix some hand drawing with a good deal of 2D digital work over the course of seven episodes.  (...sorry folks, no time for sexy 3D stuff...)




Click here to see "Oz" Photos & Drawings Click here to read more about the show.January to June of 2011 I had a wonderful time Set Designing on Disney’s new feature “OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL.” Directed by Sam Raimi (Spiderman 1, 2 & 3) and Production Designed by Rob Stromberg (Avatar, Alice in Wonderland), “OZ” is the story of how the Wizard came to the land of Oz from Kansas.  Envisioned as blend of traditional and cutting edge film making techniques, this project presented me with the opportunity to dust off my skills of laying out miniatures and forced perspective sets, loft wagons and carriages of various shapes and sizes and blend traditional set design tricks with high end digital post production.  The lion’s share of the Art Department prep was done in LA with all of the construction and filming being done on stages in Detroit…go figure on that one.




Click hereto see some"J2" Set Photos & DrawingsClick here to read more about the show.Los Angeles, Honolulu, Wilmington, movie making is spread all over the place these days and “J2” was no exception.  A sequel in name only to “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” this film follows a family of adventurers as they travel through a strange Pacific island where the worlds of Jules Verne, Jonathan Swift and other fathers of Science Fiction Fantasy collide. This time I was tapped by Production Designer, Bill Boes (Smurfs, Beverly Hills Chihuahua)  and Supervising Art Director, Bruce Hill (Sky High) to come on board…literally and figuratively…to design the new imagining of Captain Nimo’s Nautilus!  We started design work here in LA before moving over to the island of Oahu, HI where the first half of filming took place.  Soon there after, a separate crew stared stage construction in Wilmington, NC.  Why is this significant?...I, and fellow set designers Greg Papalia and Stella Vaccaro, were drawing Hawaii sets and locations while in LA and then I continued by drawing the primary North Carolina set while in Hawaii as construction was building it in Wilmington!  Hey, in the accountant world of Hollywood, it makes perfect senses…or so they tell me. But wait, there’s more: I did the last 6 weeks of work from a home studio in Los Angeles. Why?... I’m glad you asked!...




You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a sequel here in Hollywood these days and the Frey house is no exception!  The latest (…and final, we promise!…) addition to our franchise joined us in October of 2010.  Everyone say hello to our son Kealan!

* * * Old News * * *




During June and early July 2010 I helped some very nice people start up a  law drama for NBC television. "OUTLAW" was a new courtroom drama staring Jimmy Smitz as a Supreme Court Justice who had stepped down from the Federal bench and gone back into private practice. Production Designed by Scott P. Murphy and Art Directed by Jeff Mossa, the show aired a handful of episodes on NBC before being dropped from the line-up.


MAD MEN (Season 4)


April of 2010 found me scribling away for Production Designer, Dan Bishop and Art Director, Chris Brown on some new perminant sets for Season 4 of their hit show "MAD MEN". In a few short weeks I drew up Dan Draper's new apartment and a few other nick nacks. 




From March to December of 2009 I was Art Directing on Sony Pictures feature production of a new Green Hornet feature film. Production Designed by Owen Paterson (V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, Priscilla Queen of the Desert & all of the Matrix films), Directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and staring Seth Rogan (Funny People) the film was shot entirely in Los Angeles and is scheduled to for a late 2010 release.



So it may not be "professional" news but it is BIG news around the Frey House! Hannah and I had started on a little project of our own during GI JOE and that project came to fruition in December of 2008! Say hello to our son Keon!





Late 2008 and early 2009 was spent designing the permanent sets for Fox Television's " Glee!" By now we all know this is a somewhat raunchier version of "High School Musical" where we follow the resurrection of a nearly defunct high school Glee Club in a depressed Midwestern town. The pilot was shot using local (LA) locations back in October of 2008 and Greg Papalia and myself came on to design the permanent sets from November ('08) through January of '09. Glee is Production Designed by Mark Hutman and, during my time with the show, Art Directed by Kevin Constance.




September and October of 2008 found me once again designing spaceships and other strange environments for a Fox Television pilot called Boldly Going Nowhere. A half hour comedy (shot with a single camera) BGN is a tongue in cheek spoof of “Star Trek” and other more “serious” space dramas you see on television these days. Written by the same guys who gave you “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” BGN was Production Designed by Scott Cobb and Art Directed by Colin de Rouin. I understand that the show was picked up but I never saw it air on network tv.




September 2007 through June of 2008 was consumed with Art Directing on Paramount Studios action adventure film version of G. I. JOE. Directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, Van Helsing) and Production Designed by Ed Verreaux ( X-Men 3, Monster House, The Scorpion King) the huge visual world of G. I. JOE was slammed together in less then four months. So don't hold it against us if/when you see the finished product!




I did a turn of fill in set design work on the feature for Universal Studios. Directed by Ron Howard and Production Designed by Michael Cornblith, "Frost/Nixon" centers around the first series of public interviews given by Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal broke in 1974.




Produced by J. J. Abrams (MI3, Lost), "Cloverfield" was Production Designed by Martin Whist and Art Directed by Doug Meerdink. George Lee, Jane Wu and yours truly set designed. The film was shot in New York and Los Angeles on a very tight prep and shoot schedule.




Beginning in mid June of 2006 and taking me into mid 2007 I was Art Directing on the latest in the "Rush Hour" film franchise; Rush Hour 3. Brett Ratner (with whom we completed X-Men 3) directed and Ed Verreaux Production Designed. The Supervising Art Director was Greg Papalia. Filming took place in Paris, France, and Los Angeles.




March to June of 2006 I Set Designed in the Art Department of this DreamWorks project directed by Michael Bay and Production Designed by Jeff Mann. A live action adventure based on the Hasbro toys of our youth, "Transformers" is the story of the war between the good-guy Autobots and the evil Decepticons; each are a race of machines who change form from known Earth objects (a car for example) into a more humanoid battle robot form.




The second half of 2005 was spent in Vancouver, British Columbia working as an Art Director on Fox Studios X-Men series. Myself, Production Designer Ed Verreaux and Supervising Art Director Geoff Hubbard traveled from American to head the Art Department and our Canadian based counter parts were Helen Jarvis and Sandi Tanaka. It was a hugely ambitious project.




From mid April to the end of June of 2005 I was involved, as a lead Set Designer, with Paramount Studios latest attempt at making MI3. I left MI3 to go to Canada to Art Direct on X-Men 3 .




This Pilot for Fox/Regency television kept me busy from mid February to mid April of 2005 Production Designed by Dawn Snyder and Art Directed by yours truly, Windfall is the story of a group of people struggling to make ends meet in Midwest suburbia. This group ends up wining a $387 million lottery. Our task was to show the "before, during and after" aspects of life of these 20 or so people. 38 sets/locations, 3 weeks of prep, 15 days of shooting; it was not an easy adventure for anyone to undertake.




In October of 2004 I joined the art department of Memoirs of a Geisha as a Set Designer. The project was well along into principal photography and a large portion of the design work had already been completed. I was brought in to help design the ending of the film including some stage sets and location work in San Francisco. It was a fascinating crash course in Japanese design. The Production Designer is John Myhre and Supervising Art Director is Tomas Voth. The cast includes: Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, and Michelle Yeoh. Principal photography ends mid January 2005.




April through August of 2004 found me working as the Lead Set Designer on Disney's feature film Sky High. The film is a somewhat campy comedy which centers on a high school for super-powered teens in a world where super heroes are an everyday occurrence. Directed by Mike Mitchell (Surviving Christmas) and Production Designed by R. Bruce Hill (a really nice guy). The cast includes: Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Michael Angarano, Bruce Campbell, Lynda Carter and David Foley. Principal photography ended the last week of October. When all was said and done I was on the show for 20 weeks and I was directly responsible for designing 5 of the 7 stage sets, most all of the 8 locations and a number of the large mechanical effects items. I'll post a few photos when I get the chance.




"Huff," a pilot which I set designed for Joe Lucky (Production Designer) and Phil Dagort (Art Director) back in 2003, ran for several seasons on Showtime.




I also did the pilot for "House" which, as we all know by now, has had a very successful run. Again I was one of the set designers involved in the design of the pilot back in March of 2003. The Production Designer for the pilot and first season was Mark Hutman.




Making it three for three, Big Love (another pilot on which I was a set designer) was picked up by HBO and is still going strong. I guess the moral to this story is...if you want to have your pilot picked up by on of the networks...hire me as one of your set designers!


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