Wheel of Fortune, Dazzle, enchant and create the perfect setting for what is perhaps the most popular TV game show in the United States. Pat Sajak and Vanna White may be the stars of Wheel of Fortune, but it’s this incredible and ever-changing set that really shines.
“It’s fun and exciting,” said Renee Hoss-Johnson. “We had a lot of fun doing it.”
Hoss-Johnson worked at Wheel for 35 years. She is the decorator: she oversees the entire assembly process of sensational ensembles.
“It’s great, we have a group of great producers who have big themes,” he said. “They allow us to design almost anything we can think of.”
According to Hoss-Johnson, this is part of the magic of the perfect picture-game perspective.
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“We try to do things in layers, so everything in the foreground is a bit bigger and as we go on the set, it gets smaller.”
One of his most recent works was close to home: they included some famous local monuments as a “Great Northwestern Week”.
When it came to creating landmarks for Seattle, the choice was simple.
“The Space Needle is an icon,” he said. “And when I look at all the pictures and all the research I do in Seattle, it was frontal and central.”
The decor includes ideas, props and even build new pieces from scratch. Before building something, they create a kind of blueprint. She showed us the plans, and they are pretty detailed! They even made a small miniature space needle. They also included another important step: the monorail.
“We always like to try to move our sets as much as possible,” he said. “The best thing about Seattle with the monorail is that we could put it on our shelf behind Pat, so when there’s a big spot on Pat, the monorail will be right behind him in front of the camera.”
Here is a funny fact: what you may not realize if you look from home is that there are a lot of details in these sets. It takes 10 actors overnight to change that.
“We had a good time and you know what, the more details we have on the fun we have,” smiled Hoss-Johnson.