Breaking Down the “Masterchef” Set with Emmy Winner John Janavs

 By Sam Howell 9-20-13

John JanavsJohn Janavs brought home the gold… statue, that is. The  “MasterChef” Production Designer won the Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series.

“I can’t even put it into words, at least not articulately,” Janays told WEBN today. “After many, many tries, to win is phenomenal.”

Janavs worked on many other reality competition shows, including “Hell’s Kitchen” and “The Biggest Loser.” He believes that designing these sets allows him to build something essential to the shows’ drama.

“What we try to do design-wise is create opportunities for reality to happen,” he said. “In other genres, like sitcoms, you have a script that tells you what the space was supposed to be like. What we get to do,as designers in reality, is create the space that tells the story.”

Janavs was responsible for two different spaces: the audition set, and the main kitchen set. Juggling two different building schedules kept him on his toes. “It’s actually pretty challenging because we’re still building the main set when we start the auditions.”

His hard work on “MasterChef” shows. His set served as an example for other versions of the show,“Our design has basically become the blueprint for “MasterChefs” all across the world.”

Janavs’ favorite part about his job is seeing it all finally come together. “You spend all this time drawing things, modeling things, and even as you’re building it, you start seeing the outlines of it,” he said. “But, when you finally finish, and the lights come on, and it’s clean before anyone’s walked on it, it’s what all the effort was for.”

It’s breaking down these sets at the end of the season, that was the hardest thing for him to do.



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