EW's Special Coverage

Style & Design

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): 'Parks and Recreation' prop master Gay Perello's five favorite pieces of the year

(Page 2 of 5)

2. Sweetum’s voting machine

When I first read the beginning of “Win, Lose, or Draw,” when Leslie and Ben show Pawnee’s voting official the absurd touch screen voting machine that Sweetum’s Candy made for the city council election, I was in a little bit of denial — especially when I read it also spits out golden tickets with Bobby Newport’s face on it. I looked around the room during the concept meeting hoping someone would say “I have one of those.” This is one of those props you know doesn’t exist, and you must start finding the main elements that you begin with and hopefully other elements will come together.

After brainstorming about what to begin with, the closest thing I could come up with was to modify an ATM machine. Kim Wannop, our set decorator, found a shell of an ATM at a prop house. It had good bones but needed to be completely overhauled.

To make this work, I needed help from other departments — graphics, video playback, and construction. We all worked simultaneously transforming this fake ATM into a high-tech voting machine, but I still needed a way to spit the tickets out. I had previously rented a rigged printer that ran off remote and could produce prints on cue. I thought I could modify this and have our tickets basically do the same thing.

Plan B was to have our shortest production asst., Lorenzo, climb in the box and push them out of our slot. Thankfully, I was able to hide off to the side of the set and remotely produce the golden ticket that Ben grabs.

NEXT: Ron’s barbeque tool pouch

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