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Recreating The '70s
The task of creating a realistic 1970s Washington, D

The task of creating a realistic 1970s Washington, D.C., fell to production designer Barbara Dunphy and costume designer Deborah Everton. While the film was shot almost entirely on location in Toronto, Dunphy and her crew did a masterful job of placing the film right in the middle of our nation's capital. The centerpiece of her design was, of course, the White House sets and, specifically, the Oval Office.

"We were fortunate enough to inherit an existing set of not only the Oval Office but most of the West Wing and the Great Hall," says executive producer David Coatsworth. "The task was to bring it back to the Nixon era."

Andy Fleming and Dunphy actually visited the White House and were permitted to enter both the West Wing and the Oval Office. "We actually got a little tour," remembers Fleming. "We were taken into the West Wing and the Roosevelt Room, and then we went through a little hallway into another room. I said, 'you know, this room kind of looks like the Oval Office,' and they said, 'this is the Oval Office.'

"I used to think I was very jaded and nothing would impress me," admits Fleming, "but I was completely floored standing in the middle of that room."

Dunphy left nothing to chance in her Oval Office recreation, duplicating carpets, couches, window fixtures and even the memorabilia that covered the shelves around the room. Her biggest task was recreating Nixon's desk, which was built from scratch from measurements taken from the original.

Without a doubt, the White House is a central character in "Dick."

No saga about Watergate would be complete without a visit to the place where Nixon's downfall began-the newsroom at the Washington Post. Here again, production designer Dunphy and art director Lucinda Zak worked their magic, producing an exact replica of the Post offices.

"The interesting thing about the film is that, even though we are doing a pretty far-out comedy, we wanted the verisimilitude that would allow the audience to suspend disbelief so that when they watch the movie everything is real," says producer Gale Anne Hurd. "People who had been there in the '70s said our newsroom recreation was dead-on, right down to the make of the typewriters and the rotary-dial phones."

Dunphy and crew converted a roller rink in suburban Toronto into an authentic '70s roller disco, gutting the entire interior and redoing everything to turn back the clock 25 years.

The other aspect of the film's production that takes us back a quarter of a century is the wardrobe, and costume designer Deborah Everton pulled out all stops to convince the moviegoer that polyester is, once again, king.

"All the characters in the film go through major changes during the 18 months in which our movie takes place," says Everton. "And that's especially true of the girls.

"The clothes really reflect the girls' personalities," she continues, "so I had the opportunity to create the ultimate teenage wardrobe. The clothes I've selected for the two girls is the wardrobe I dreamed about when I was a teenager!"

Writer/director Andrew Fleming didn't make Everton's job easy. The problems caused by the film's nearly 18-month time frame were compounded by Fleming's writing style. "I tend to write a lot of short scenes," says Fleming. "It's a habit of mine. But it ends up creating a tremendous amount of costume changes for everyone, especially the girls, and it drove

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