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Production Design
While Ann Roth was researching costumes, production designer Mark Ricker and his crew took over two huge stages at Silvercup East Studios, across the East River from Manhattan, to build a whole series of kitchen sets—some eleven in all, most of which were period kitchens from the mid-20th century for the Julia Child scenes. 

"All had to be functional, working kitchens,” says Ricker "And they had to have every implement that you could possibly imagine for Meryl, for Nora, for Amy. It all had to be there. So it wasn't just the presentation of the food, it was the implementation of the food. And it informed everything that we did, and it just had to be great. I think Nora used the word ‘pornographic' at one point to describe the level of what the food should be in this film, so we all knew the food was going to be a major element in determining what the look of the film would be.”  

The first kitchen to be completed, however, was the Powells', as the "Julie” part of the film would be shot first, with the "Julia” section to follow during the latter half of the production schedule. Ricker was able to visit the actual apartment on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City where Julie and Eric had lived, and recreated it at Silvercup East. 

"I was thrilled to find out that there was a tin detail in her apartment that had a fleur de lis repeated throughout” – fleur de lis being the motif on the famous Child cookbook – "all the way up the staircase. We went to the apartment and took a mold of that and incorporated it into Julie's apartment set that we built on stage.” Ricker says that what they built at Silvercup East was pretty close to the square footage of the Powells' real place. "It wasn't a tiny space that they lived in,” he says. 

"It was scripted as nine hundred square feet and that's about what we built, and I think that's about what she lived in. The basic through-flow of the apartment was pretty accurate. It was essentially one big room, with an ‘L' off one side. The kitchen was in the middle, as we did it. Hers was actually a little bit bigger than the one that we built, but you could see how it would have been difficult for her to get through this cookbook, squirreled away in the kitchen that she had – you know, one sink, one stove and one small refrigerator.” 

Julie's climactic rooftop feast for her friends was filmed on a balmy late spring night in Long Island City. The atmosphere was appropriately celebratory; it was nearing the end of Amy Adams's and Chris Messina's filming, with the Meryl Streep-Stanley Tucci part of the movie set to begin shooting the following week. 

"That was a really magical moment,” Amy Adams remembers. "and there was just an overall sense of peace and happiness with the whole crew that evening. I took several mental photographs of that evening, because it was just beautiful. There we were all up on a rooftop and there was a real sense of community. And I think that's what's great about New York in late spring when everybody comes out of their hibernation and there's such a sense of community. You really had that feeling.” 

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