Don’t just read Everything Leads To You…Experience it!
I read Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour when my Kindle recommended it to me based on my reading habits.
Everything Leads to You tells the story of Emi who just wants to spend her last year of summer before college distracting herself from her recent breakup by designing sets for movies, but her brother leaves her his apartment for the summer with the stipulation that she must do something epic there, so when a letter from a recently deceased iconic actor falls into her hands it seems like fate. When she vows to find the intended recipient she embarks on a hunt that leads her down many unexpected paths.
Everything Leads to You is about finding the people who appreciate us not because of our special gifts and talents, but the ones who would like us without them.
Emi is pretty darn lucky. She has a best friend that would drop anything to help her, a brother who she is nearly inseparable from, parents that are warm and supportive, and she has a super sweet gig designing sets for movies. Sure she got it through family connections, but she is earning more responsibilities because of her dedication and passion.
Before reading this book I never thought too much about what it takes to put together the sets on a production. I especially didn’t consider the amount of thought that was put into every piece of furniture to even the smallest knickknack. This idea got me thinking about sets in some of my favorite movies.
Emi spends months searching for the perfect couch, for crying out loud, because she wants it to be just right for a particularly emotional scene. So I thought about movies that have caused me to really feel, and whether or not there is a set that sticks out in my mind. Once, my mind considered this, it really wasn’t too hard to land on a movie and a set.
My go to movie, which never gets old, and never fails to make me both laugh and cry is Almost Famous. If you haven’t seen it, find a way. Preferably today. This movie depicts the rock and roll lifestyle through the eyes of intelligent, yet naive, William Miller. The set designed for the bedroom of William, a rock and roll obsessed fifteen year old in 1973, is perfect.
Even now I can picture the scene that takes place in this room so clearly. When he enters his room exhausted it’s so tidy, and the next time you see it, it’s a mess. It’s funny but I never really thought much about the fact that William didn’t actually create that mess, a set designer did to make the room look realistic and lived in, and then the actor just joined the room for the filming of the scene.
The people behind the set- art directors Clay A. Griffith and Clayton R. Hartley.
They hunted down the posters that adorn his walls: The Who (1964 Marquee, London), The Allman Brothers (Sacramento and Oakland Concert Series), of course there is one of Stillwater -the band from the movie- and even Abraham Lincoln. I’m sure Elaine Miller, William’s always entertaining mother, is particularly proud of that one. They picked out the yellow plaid fabric that made up his curtains and bedspread. They chose the muted green color for the walls. They searched for his typewriter that adorns his desk. They selected the books that line his shelves. And so many things I’ve probably never even noticed even after hundreds of views. They made a work of art, just like Emi does so many times in this book.
So there you have it, channel Emi while you revisit your favorite movie, specifically consider the sets as you watch. Pay attention to furniture, fabrics, knickknacks, wall art. See if it brings another layer to the movie, like Emi’s job brought another layer to her character.
If you haven’t already read Everything Leads to You, what are you waiting for? If you already have, why not pick it up again? Either way, take my advice when you do- don’t just read it, experience it!