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The Hundred Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren - Behind the scenes: production design #book2movie

He's been nominated for his work on August: Osage CountyLife of Pi, Chocolat, Cider House Rules, Doubt, The Shipping News and Doubt. A rare home-born Los Angelino, David Gropman is the acclaimed production designer behind The Hundred-Foot Journey, the upcoming film starring Helen Mirren. 

Part of the movie was shot last summer in a tiny village in France; we were lucky enough to connect with Sally Tharpe Rowles who was lucky enough to live in that little village last summer and share some of her photographs of the location. She wrote several blogposts last year about the transformation of the village and the filming taking place, and has been generous enough to allow me to share her images here. 

Gropman, as production designer, works in conjunction with the director to create the visual direction, look and feel of the film. In this behind the scenes look at Gropman's work on Life of Pi, the production designer told his San Francisco State alma mater he always begins:
"with pencil, paper and a trip to the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection, where he pulls photos from archives to begin immersing himself in other times and distant places. He strives to be a “mini-expert,” so, he says, he can leave the photos behind and begin building a world from scratch." 
Building a mini world

And he works hand in hand with a set decorator to execute that vision. On The Hundred-Foot Journey Gropman worked with French set decorator Marie-Laure Valla; she's best known on this side of the Atlantic for Amelie.

An old cafe becomes a bookstore ... just don't look inside!
An old bistro becomes a new cafe
Every town needs a droguerie ... it's a hardware shop
And a chocolatier!
Faux leaves soften the real Café de l'Halle, changing it into the Cafe de la Place

Love France? Find more on to love at Paulita Kincer's Monday meme Dreaming of France 

Watch the Hundred Foot Journey trailer - do you see any familiar sights?