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Go Behind the Scenes of Bates Motel

The (re)making of a classic set.

Monday, April 01, 2013


A prequel to Hitchcock's Psycho that takes place in the present day, A&E's Bates Motel follows a teenage Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), who comes unhinged as he tries to deal with his domineering mother (Vera Farmiga) while juggling the usual adolescent stressors of first crushes and high-school hierarchy. Though the era is different, the set had to be faithful to the 1960 original for the premise to work. Here's how production designer Mark Freeborn, fresh off the set of Breaking Bad, re-created the iconic motel and the ominous Victorian house just outside of Vancouver.

Don't Touch the Bedspread
"There's a combination of fabric, texture, and paint choices that together make it the less-than-comfortable space it's supposed to be. I wanted to walk away not wanting to touch any walls. I wanted to put that kind of energy into it that was like, this is home, but, ew. My God."

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