Art Streiber on re-creating a classic scene from “The Graduate” for Vanity Fair

Photo by Art Streiber for Vanity Fair, May 2012 issue.

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CREDITS

Design director: Chris Dixon
Director of photography: Judith Puckett-Rinella
Senior associate photo producer: Sasha Erwitt

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“When Vanity Fair asked me to photograph Jim Parsons as Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, it was really important for me to make the final image look completely legit. My crew and I have done a few film-based re-creations for Vanity Fair, and it’s always a bit of a challenge to get our light to match the light from the motion-picture still…and an honor to emulate the light of Academy Award–winning cinematographers.

Getting the set and set decoration right is equally critical, and our set designer, Andrew Trosmans, and his crew absolutely killed it…right down to the wall sconces that make that incredible shadow. Andrew watched and rewatched the scene (in which Ben Braddock ALMOST walks out on his affair with Mrs. Robinson) in order to nail the production design of Academy Award winner Richard Sylbert.
 
My lighting team, Matt Hoover and Seth Gudmunson, engineered two gridded strobe heads and two strip lights to mimic the look of Robert Surtees, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for The Graduate.
 
Wardrobe stylist Deborah Afshani and groomer Amy Freeman brought Jim Parsons to life as the confused and curious Ben Braddock.
 
And without Joanne Davidson from Producit running the room and my Executive Producer Elaine Browne running me and my crew…well…we’d still be in the studio.” —Art Streiber
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