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“They Amplify the Size of Her Eyes, Enhance Every Nervous Tic”: Adam Carter Rehmeier | Dinner in America

Emily Skeggs and Kyle Gallner appear in Dinner in America by Adam Rehmeier (courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Whether capturing or creating a world, the objects onscreen tell as much of a story as the people within it. Whether sourced or accidental, insert shot or background detail, what prop or piece of set decoration do you find particularly integral to your film? What story does it tell?

The eyeglasses Patty (Emily Skeggs) wears in the film are one of the more integral props in Dinner in America. They amplify the size of her eyes, enhance every nervous tic, really give the audience a clearer window into how she processes the world around her.

On the happy accident side of things, the glasses Emily wears in the film are a cheap pair she purchased just for her audition tape. I guess it’s a testament to the power of first impressions (and having a killer audition tape), because subliminally, I had a really hard time envisioning another style for her once I had seen them on her.

In pre-pro, Emily, Francesca (our production designer) and I exhausted other options, but nothing was resonating. Everything was too hip, too obvious, or not the right shape for her face. Luckily, Emily had brought her audition glasses with her to Detroit and when she showed us, it was clear that her earliest intuitions for Patty were aesthetically spot on. 

Sundance Responses 2020

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