Set Director Returns To College For Shoot

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

An alumnus from Queens College returned to the school as the production designer for a new HBO show filming on campus last Tuesday.

Diane Lederman came back to the college where she graduated in 1985 as a member of the production team for a new Warner Bros./HBO series called “The Leftovers.” Created by Damon Lindelof, best known for “Lost,” the show revolves around The Rapture and those left behind in the community of Mapleton, according to IMDB.com.

Diane Lederman  Photo by Joe Marvilli

Diane Lederman
Photo by Joe Marvilli

While taking a break from a shoot in Queens Hall, Lederman spoke about coming back to the school where she studied film as a production designer, a promotion that came after her work on the pilot of the show as a set decorator.

“It has been what I’ve been working towards for most of my career. When I studied film here, I was just entranced with the medium itself,” she said.

Raised in Forest Hills, Lederman discovered in her first year on the job as a production assistant that her place was in the art department. She has worked as a set dresser, set decorator, art director and production designer, to name a few. She had previously served as set director on “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

Lederman joined “The Leftovers” team due to the high quality of the pilot script and the chance to work with Lindelof.
“It’s really exciting to take his written word and turn it into live action and bring what I think is a rich and exciting story to life,” she said.

According to Lederman, Queens College was selected for a scene that takes place in a psychiatrist’s office. Location manager Damian Resnick thought the college would fit well for the scene and Lederman readily agreed.

Although much has changed at Queens College since she graduated, Lederman said she got emotional when she stepped on campus to find the best filming location.

“When I first walked in the doors, I got very teary. When we were looking for the office, we walked the whole campus and it did bring back a lot of memories,” she said. “It’s changed a lot but some of the old buildings are still the same and I’m still walking the paths I walked 29 years ago.”

The show will mostly be filmed in New York, with a scene in the woods to take place in Forest Park. Lederman is signed on for the whole season, due to start airing this summer, and said she hopes there will be many seasons to come.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.