30 March 2015

Watch: Why There Are So Many Elevator Scenes In ‘Mad Men’

If you are a fan of popular TV series Mad Men, you may have noticed that many of the show’s key scenes took place in elevators—in a recent article by John Jurgensen on The Wall Street Journal, series creator Matthew Weiner explains why this is so.

According to Weiner, “the elevator served as a cinematic jewel box”, and is a unique set, “a neutral zone where characters cross paths, and where time, physical space and tension get neatly compressed”—to top it off, elevator sets are very easy and cheap to produce, making them great money-savers.

The usefulness of elevator scenes in Mad Men could be discerned from their sheer number—in 85 episodes of the TV show, there are a considerable 59 scenes in elevators.

It is fascinating to find out how a mundane daily activity like riding the elevator could be used to convey “rich visual metaphors” in the series, with the potential for dramatic impact on the plot.

Watch the videos below to learn more about elevator scenes in Mad Men.

[via The Wall Street Journal]