eli5: How do movies and Tv shows manage to create sets that match the aesthetics of any particular time?

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For example, if a show takes place in a 1950’s city, how does the crew make every building, vehicle, article of clothing and other items match that time? What are the logistics of recreating that time?

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Set decorators and prop masters. There are several period specific prop houses in the LA basin that can fill requests for period items across the decades

The movie industry is full of artists and builders dedicated to very specific things: period costumes, architecture, props, urban design, you name it. Hollywood is full of them. They have to do *lots* of research.

They also look for locations that happen to already look like what they’re looking for. For example, a lot of movies that take place in pre-WW2 France were actually shot in places like Czechoslovakia, because they weren’t bombed to shit and rebuilt with modern buildings like Paris was and the architecture was similar. (Also it was cheaper).