UMM Media Services/Pioneer Public Television, 1995
28' x 10'
University of Minnesota Morris Media Services in cooperation with Pioneer
Public Television have produced the Prairie Yard and Garden horticulture
series since 1987. In 1995, the series needed a new look to replace
the original set. I was hired at Media Services in June of 1995 and
one of the first things I was asked was if I could build a set.
I said, 'sure.'
My baptism into set construction began.
This was the very first set I built. I had a budget of $500 and six weeks
to design, build, and light the new set before the October 1st deadline.
I came up with two different concepts for the live-studio set, the
first, which you see above, incorporates an outdoor porch theme,
while the second had a more ambitious theme of an outdoor landscape.
The latter proved right away too ambitious and out of budget. We
decided to go with the outdoor porch theme.
The only thing we
reused from the original set is the base on which the deck sits on. This
decision saved us time and money. I built an exterior wall to emulate
the house, complete with working french doors and outside light fixtures.
I then used 1x4 pine for the decking, along with treated lumber for
the deck railings and ballesters.
To complete the project,
I incorporated two prefabricated fence components to hang the custom
signage. Of course, there are many props and flowers throughout the
In 2005, the series transitioned
all production to location-only shooting and the set has been retired,