On Billy Eichner’s rom-com “Bros,” production designer Lisa Myers helped create Eichner’s character’s apartment, utilizing art as a storytelling tool to represent Bobby and his importance within the queer community.
Myers also designed the LGBTQ art museum that Bobby builds throughout the film.
Myers says her role as production designer is to create a film’s overall aesthetic and help tell the film’s story through visuals.
“I always feel that our sets are there to support the action that’s going on in the story,” Myers says. “I want them to be beautiful. I want them to be characters of their own.
“But I’m really focused on the story itself, and making sure that we’re giving the support to the director of photography, to the character, to the actors, and to the director to clue into what’s happening.
“We’re the visual storyteller,” Myers says. “We have to communicate quickly through our visuals.”
“Bros” is a romantic comedy about the endeavors of two polar opposite commitment-phobe men (Eichner and Luke McFarland) who decide to try having a relationship.
“Bros” is a historic film because it’s the first LGBTQ+ rom-com backed by a major studio with a mostly queer principal cast. It’s available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Peacock, Redbox, and YouTube.
Designing Bobby’s apartment
Lisa Myers worked closely with Eichner on the design for his character’s apartment and carefully selected art pieces, books, and DVDs that were created by queer artists and relate to Bobby’s character.
The movies in his apartment include “Desert Hearts,” “My Beautiful Laundrette,” “Paris is Burning,” and “The Watermelon Woman.”
“The Well of Loneliness,” “Complete Poems of Whitman,” “The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government,” “Asegi Stories: Cherokee Queer and Two-Spirit Memory” are among the books on his shelves.
“Bobby’s an educated man. He writes his own history books. He’s into the media and is saturated with that world,” Myers says. “There’s not a single book that’s just a thrift store book. All the books were meaningful. They were written by people of the community or on the history of the community. I hope when people watch it, you can zoom in and maybe even see a couple of books.”
Art from LGBTQ+ artists in the apartment
“There’s a piece in Bobby’s dining room that’s Anthony Goicolea,”Myers says. “I actually got to reach out to him and talked to him about including the piece. I adore his artwork.
“I spoke with Alison Bechdel. We have a piece of hers in the apartment as well,” Myers says “One of my best friends, who’s an incredible painter, Jacob Fossum, I got to include a piece of his.
“It’s my community as well,” says Myers, who identifies as queer. “I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase them.
“It’s more than just putting books on a shelf or putting pictures in a mix. There’s a little connection there, right? It’s a little more special if it’s part of who you are. You go the extra mile trying to find that extra book or title, or whatever it happens to be.”
Lisa Myers made a list of prominent figures in the LGBTQ+ community that she and her team wanted to display throughout specific gallery spaces, such as the Legends Pavilion and the Hall of Bisexuals, and worked with queer researchers and artists to highlight their work.
Amelio Robles Avila, Claude Cahun, Magnus Hirschfeld, Audre Lorde, Marsha P. Johnson, Bayard Rustin, Sylvia Rivera, and We’Wha are among the more than 45 people spotlighted in the museum.
“The exhibits that we see were actually scripted. A couple of the figures were scripted as well,” Myers says. “Then I kind of built out a list, and Billy and I would send it back and forth. We had about four LGBTQ historians working with us as researchers who also contributed their opinions if they thought there was someone that we should include or would make it a more well rounded exhibit.
“I made lots of lists of different exhibits we could have,” Myers says. “Whenever we make ‘Bros 2,’ I’m ready to include all of those.”
“I wanted to flesh out the Legends Pavilion,” Myers says. “It doesn’t all make it on camera because the shots have to focus on the action, but we made sure all of the blurbs for all of the figures were totally accurate.
“It was super magical when the crew came in. People were walking around and reading and learning. It was so special,” Myers says. “I wish it was an actual standing exhibit that people could go see.”