When Anne of Green Gables ~A New Beginning was being filmed, I was a fairly new employee at Sullivan Entertainment and this was only the second set I had visited. As a photographer, I took my camera behind the scenes and tried to take as many photos as I could
I found the sets particularly interesting. Such small and minimalistic elements were used and ultimately look completely believable in the finished film.
Enjoy the following brief tour of a number of the sets that were built in the Sullivan Entertainment studio for the filming of Anne of Green Gables ~A New Beginning.
You may not be able to tell from this photo, but the Green Gables bedroom set was built on risers in order to create semi-functioning stairs. An elevated set was also required in order to have removable floorboards for when an older Anne Blythe, played by Barbara Hershey, finds a series of mysterious letters. This was one of the more elaborate sets.
When Anne is sent away from Thomas estate for being called a liar and a thief, this becomes her new home. She sweeps and sleeps in this set. There was also an empty wall where a green-screen was placed in order to add a saw-mill in the background.
The hotel interior is featured throughout the story of older Anne. She makes several calls in the lobby, and holds play rehearsals there as well. Fans of Sullivan Entertainment’s Wind at my Back will recognize many of these set elements as they are borrowed from the New Bedford Hotel set. Throughout filming, walls were rearranged and replaced with blue screens in order to create other areas in the hotel. The set was also used as Louisa’s house later in the film, and the hotel stairs were Anne confronted Hepzibah.
Other sets were very minimalistic. For example, this set was just a wall with some furniture in front of it.
As you can see in this image, sets were built back to back and stuffed into small areas inside the studio. Walls were propped up with supports and are easy to relocate and store. The ‘flats’ can also be redressed to become walls in other locations.
Hopefully this short tour doesn’t break the wonderful illusion of place seen in Anne of Green Gables ~A New Beginning. Instead, I hope your mind has awakened to endless possibilities of set design and the creative elements in film making.
To learn more about set design, check out Kevin Sullivan’s coffee table book, a ‘Designscape’ book called Beyond Green Gables.