I chat with Design Star producer Loren Ruch each week about behind-the-scenes moments we didn’t see on the show. This week: How do the designers keep the winner’s identity secret after the finale? Plus, how big is the DS crew? Read on to find out.
This question comes from Parkebernet on the blog: Loren, how are the city locations chosen each season? Would you ever consider moving from a huge city like LA or NYC to, say, Billings, Montana?
We actually choose the locations for a variety of reasons. This year, we wanted to get the show on the air earlier than in the past because we wanted it to wrap before the Olympics. That meant that we needed to shoot in January and February (instead of March and April), so I thought New York City would just be too cold during that time frame especially for outdoor shoots. We also take into consideration where it’s the most convenient to find a good crew to work on the show (which tends to be LA or NY). That said, I would definitely be open to trying other cities provided there are enough shopping options, decent weather, and good accommodations for a huge crew plus our designers and panel. Design Star is a huge commitment for David, Vern and Gen, too, because they need to move to the destination of our choice for over two months. That means packing up kids, spouses, pets and lots and lots of wardrobe options!
How large is the Design Star crew compared to the typical HGTV crew?
Great question, and no one has ever asked me that before! Design Star is SIGNIFICANTLY larger than any other show on the network. We have roughly 150 people working on it as compared to a typical show, which may have 15 to 20. There are just so many departments on a show like this including challenge producers, reality producers, production assistants, talent coordinators, makeup artists — the list goes on and on!
This one comes from Sally Richord on the blog: How doesn’t anyone know who the Design Star is when they go home after they have been eliminated?
Fun question, Sally. Actually all of the designers are invited back for the finale, so they do know who the Design Star is, but we swear everyone involved in the show to secrecy so that they don’t spoil the fun for our viewers. As for keeping the public from spilling the beans, it’s pretty easy, because we shoot the show far before it airs – which means that onlookers don’t really know who the designers are until a few months later.
What can you tell us about Danielle’s new show, Shop This Room?
I can tell you it’s fabulous! Danielle is such a talented designer and has such a fun approach to design. On her show, she starts the entire process of designing a room by shopping for one finishing touch. Once the homeowners have signed off on that, she builds an entire room around it. So, instead of starting with a space plan or broader concept, she shops first, and designs after!
Any clues as to what we’ll see in next week’s Design Star All Stars premiere?
Design Star All Stars is my personal favorite season I have ever worked on in the Design Star franchise. The first episode features some of the best designs I’ve ever seen in any season…and without giving too much away, future episodes include Dancing with the Stars and The Facts of Life – how much more fun does it get than that!?
Have a question for Loren? Ask him in the comments below!