Design of the Comedy
As much of Neighbors takes place between Mac & Kelly's house and the Delta
Psi fraternity, the production team was put to the task of finding two homes
side by side that could accommodate the production. "We looked for houses next
to each other that were so close that you could look in each other's windows and
pass each other a cup of sugar," explains production designer Julie Berghoff.
"It was a bit challenging to find houses that were the sizes we needed, one
bigger and one slightly smaller that was realistic for an accountant with a wife
who works at home."
The perfect pair of houses was found in the historic West Adams District of
Los Angeles, which became the production's home base for the majority of the
shoot. While Mac and Kelly's house was able to serve as both the exterior and
interior sets, the frat house was another matter. "Although the exterior was
perfect, the inside of the frat was too small for all the party scenes and high
angles needed," continues Berghoff. "So we needed to find another interior that
With Delta Psi's legacy of spawning the greatest party innovations in modern
history, a great deal of effort was put into each of the epic parties outlined
in the script. Berghoff and her team began researching fraternity life in the
simplest manner possible. "I literally Googled 'stupid college pranks' and
'outrageous parties' and a bunch of great images came up," says the production
designer. "We researched for hours and looked and presented ideas to Nick, who
was so open to hearing ideas like a black-light party or duct-taping someone to
With carte blanche, the production team pushed the limits. Shares Berghoff:
"We had a blast with the black-light party and wanted to create the craziest
party we could. We wallpapered the inside of the house with black-light fabric
and peppered all these various elements of white and contrast throughout. We had
black-light streamers, balloons, bubbles, glasses; it was endless."
Between production design and costume designer Leesa Evans' team, the various
departments collaborated to create a seamless tone and palette. When it came to
the cinematography, the filmmakers enlisted Brandon Trost, who lensed Rogen and
Goldberg's directorial debut, This Is the End. "Brandon's knowledge of
cinematography and his artistic eye are unique," commends Goldberg. "I was
excited that he wanted to work with us on this with Nick because I trust him
completely and think he might be the most talented person I know."
Stoller also appreciated Trost's fresh perspective. "Brandon's the first DP
I've worked with who's my age and also a peer," notes the director. "It's nice
when you can speak the same language. He was open to experimenting with a lot of
different methods, and the movie looks amazing because of it."
To bring authenticity to the party scenes, cameras and iPhones were
distributed to extras, partygoers and cast members for additional first-person
perspective. Cohen, who also served as second unit director on the film-was
instrumental in capturing a number of the insane party moments. "We handed out
cameras to the background people and planted them in the crowd. It gives the
sense that we threw a giant party and filmed it, and it worked well," explains
However, filming the party scenes was not always as fun as it looks on
screen. "Shooting party scenes is actually a little unpleasant," concludes Rogen.
"The black lights at the party were eventually nauseating and we were covered in
toxic bubbles. At the hot-house party everyone kept warning us not to look
directly at the lasers because we'd be blind from the military-grade lasers that
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