‘To All the Boys’ set designer shares 8 secrets about ‘Always and Forever’

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The final ‘To All the Boys’ movie came out in February 2021. Katie Yu / Netflix
  • Chris August was the production designer for the second and third “To All the Boys” films.
  • The scene on the New York City subway was one of the most expensive to shoot.
  • The wall above Lara Jean’s desk draws inspiration from the books and earlier movies.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The “To All the Boys” series has come to a close with the February release of the franchise’s final movie, “To All the Boys: Always and Forever.”

Based on Jenny Han’s books by the same name, Netflix’s rom-com trilogy visually brought the story to life by sporting a unique and consistent aesthetic with the help of Chris August, the production designer for the second and third movies.

August spoke with Insider about the process of portraying the series’ signature aesthetic and creating a beautiful look for the final movie.

Read on for eight behind-the-scenes details about the props and sets in “To All the Boys: Always and Forever.”

The final movie of the trilogy continued to use the series’ iconic color palette

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The film is filled with different shades of pink, yellow, and blue. Netflix

Each of the “To All the Boys” movies features brightly colored clothing, props, and set pieces.

Pink, yellow, and blue stand out as the series’ most-used hues, with some scenes almost exclusively featuring that color combo.

August told Insider that he and the movie’s director, Michael Fumigant, kept the palette consistent to “create [the] mood,” as the bright colors helped to give the movies a “70s retro look” that August described as “bright and happy and beautiful.”

“Even though the film goes through an emotional range, the overall feeling is positivity,” August said.

Even the Empire State Building sported the signature color scheme

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This detail is easy to miss. Netflix

During the NYU party that Lara Jean (Lana Condor), Chris (Madeleine Arthur), and Gen (Emilija Baranac) attend, the series’ lead stares at the Empire State Building, which is appropriately lit up pink, yellow, and blue.

According to August, the party was filmed at a location with a clear view of the famous NYC landmark, and the crew was able to change the lights on the Empire State Building to match the film’s palette.

“Everybody was really working hard to, you know, put all these little bits and pieces together, and it all came together in the moment …” he said. “To suddenly see the Empire State Building [change] colors in mid-scene to our colors was just like, ‘OK, that’s big-time.'”

One of the most expensive scenes to shoot was on the NYC subway

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It was pricey to film the scene on New York City’s subway. Netflix

Lara Jean travels to Seoul and New York City during the final movie, and the cast and crew actually shot scenes in both locations.

This was an expensive endeavor, and August said one of the priciest scenes they shot was on the New York subway when the girls steal back the pink couch.

August said the New York City scenes were difficult to shoot since there were crowds and they had about 10 minutes in each location

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Several of the scenes in ‘To All the Boys: Always and Forever’ were shot in New York City. Netflix

Lara Jean and her friends travel to some of New York’s most iconic bakeries and tourist spots, like Times Square and NYU, and these moments were filmed on-site.

August told Insider that getting these scenes done in the crowded city was a difficult endeavor.

“We would come up to a location in the middle of crazy traffic, hop out of the van … and then get the scene,” August said. “We had like a 10-minute window in each one of those locations in order to shoot.”

A key part of Lara Jean’s room was partially inspired by the books

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This collage draws inspiration from both the books and earlier films. Netflix

August told Insider that one of his favorite parts of Lara Jean’s room is the collage on the wall above her desk, which includes “elements from her life to date in the three books that Jenny Han wrote.”

Also inspired by parts of the earlier movies, this wall contains a picture of Peter (Noah Centineo) and Lara Jean at the party from the first film.

Lara Jean’s house is actually made up of 3 different locations

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The interior of Laura Jean’s house is a different location than the backyard. Netflix

The Song-Covey house is shown in every movie, but it especially stands out during the final installment’s wedding scenes, which were more difficult to film than they may have seemed.

“We ended up redoing the inside of the whole wedding three times,” August said. “We had the one house, which we do the interior of, but it didn’t have a backyard. So we had to find a matching architecture for that house with a big backyard that had the right exposure to the sun for the daytime scenes.”

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Chris August had to factor in sun exposure when figuring out the backyard set. Netflix

“We actually shot the interior of the tent on the stage … ” he said. “On film, you know, it feels like it’s the same house with the same backyard when in reality, we were in three completely different places.”

Other important scene locations also had multiple sets

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Some of the scenes in Lara Jean’s bedroom were shot in a home while others were captured using the onstage set. Netflix

Lara Jean’s bedroom had multiple sets to realistically capture different camera angles.

“Because of the type of shots that we wanted to do, there wasn’t enough room to shoot it in a real house,” August said. “We had the bedroom in the house for certain angles looking into the rest of the hallway upstairs, and then we completely built a complete bedroom on set.”

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The crew had to replicate the original diner. Netflix

August also told Insider that the diner was also completely replicated onstage after the original restaurant the cast and crew had shot in was rebuilt.

The iconic snow globe was custom-made for the series

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The couple in the snow globe foreshadow an important kiss. Netflix

The snow globe that appears in both the second and third movies was made just for the film.

August told Insider that the crew couldn’t find a snow globe that looked the way they wanted – with a couple kissing in the center – so they made one.

“We had to find digital characters that we liked,” he said. “And then we had those digital characters turned into a model on a 3D printer, and then painted it the way we wanted it and installed it in the globe specifically.”

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The snow globe makes an appearance in the final film. Netflix

The design team’s work paid off with a cute snow globe that both foreshadows an important kiss in the second movie and is a fun prop to spot in Lara Jean’s bedroom during the final installment.