‘Persistence pays off’: Craig native nominated for Emmy
July 26, 2012
Story at a glance:
• Joshua Green, a Craig native and 1998 Moffat County High School graduate, is part of the Emmy-nominated set decoration team for the FX show “Justified.”
• Green, whose title is “set decoration buyer,” has worked on numerous TV shows, like “The Nine Lives of Chloe King,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “The League,” “Glory Daze” and “Shark Tank,” as well as movies, music videos and commercials.
A Craig resident and Moffat County High School graduate is part of the team that helps bring the tale of a modern cowboy keeping the peace in his neck of the woods in Appalachia to the small screen.
Joshua Green has worked as a set direction buyer on the FX series “Justified,” the story of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens overseeing justice in Kentucky, since the middle of the show’s second season.
Along with the rest of the creative talent, Green was nominated for Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series for the 2012 season in the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
"I'm the person that finds all the pieces that goes in each setting from the table to the chairs to the floor to the lights," he said. "If we have a craft service table, I'll even take the Sweet 'N Low and put it on the table if it needs it."
Green said the process involves his superiors mapping out how each set will look and then he is tasked with "shopping" for the necessary furnishings.
"There are literally hundreds of prop shops in L.A., but you're not always going to find something from whatever period you're doing, so we need to have a place that has them all," he said. "The main ones are Universal Studios, Warner Bros. and Sony, and they all have a huge variety from the early 1800s to the present."
This wide range of fixtures is apparent in the kind of competition the "Justified" team faces from fellow nominees in the category: "Game of Thrones," "Downton Abbey," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Mad Men."
Each of them are period pieces up for multiple awards, including Best Drama Series.
However, the job of creating something genuine in the current day and age can be just as challenging.
"The pilot episode was shot in Lexington, (Ky.), but everything else is shot in a town north of Los Angeles called Green Valley," Green said. "We go in and transform it. It's not every day you get to make a really backwoods, white trash, OxyContin den and making it really authentic for the genre is really important."
A key location from the most recent season was an isolated smokehouse used as a place of business for one of the show's antagonists, Ellstin Limehouse, portrayed by Mykelti Williamson.
"We'd decorate it with pig's feet and all kinds of stuff like that and then where I come in putting in the utensils and mismatched chairs," he said.
Since getting into the line of work, Green has served in set decoration for multiple TV shows, such as "The Nine Lives of Chloe King," "Pretty Little Liars," "The League," "Glory Daze" and ABC's "Shark Tank," which is also nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Reality Program category.
"Most of the shows I work on, I don't really watch them, but 'Justified' is one that I do because the writing is amazing, and reading the scripts, I just can't wait to read the next one," he said.
Green said hearing his team listed as one of the nominees for the Emmys made him think of how far he'd come.
"I was screaming when I heard," he said. "It's like the highest honor you can get in TV."
Green, 32, grew up in Craig, graduating from Moffat County High School in 1998. He graduated from Gunnison's Western State College in 2002, and moved to California immediately afterward.
He planned to get a job in his field of study, graphic arts, but after answering a notice on Craigslist for help needed with a small-budget movie, Green looked at working in the film and television industry as a regular profession.
Green said his time living in Craig gave him an eye for the kinds of firearms that would be used by people in a rural area, such as in "Justified," though it's not something he can employ in his position.
"Guns are part of the props department, and they're all replicas anyway, and you have to have a special license to work with those," he said.
The different rules and regulations of unions are something that takes time getting used to, especially depending on whether you're working on a feature film, a music video or a commercial, all of which are areas in which Green has dabbled in the past five years.
He'll be returning to the set of "Justified" in the fall.
"I like episodic TV just because there's more longevity and job security because you can be shooting for six months instead of for a movie for 30 days," he said. "For movies, working with someone like Tim Burton would be amazing. I'd also like to work on a (Quentin) Tarantino movie or with Martin Scorsese. He's in our category, too, for 'Boardwalk Empire,' and the set for that is incredible because they recreated the whole Jersey shore, interiors and exteriors."
Green said he believes his upbringing in Craig gave him a good grounding for when he first moved to L.A.
"Coming from a small town, it can be eye-opening," he said. "It's a lot more quiet here. It's calming and peaceful and I feel like just being around family values has helped me in life."
In between projects, Green returns home frequently to visit family. His mother and stepfather, Jody and David Owens, own a ranch in Hamilton.
"We're just so super-proud of him," Jody said. "My husband always says Joshua is the only person he knows who set a dream, set goals and went for it. Most people have dreams, but they just talk about it."
Green said making a name for oneself in his line of work often involves knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time, but once getting started in the industry, working hard at whatever you do is the best strategy.
"It was kind of a fluke getting into it, just dumb luck, but some of the people I've met, I'm still working with them now," he said. "I guess all I can say is persistence pays off."