View Full Version : Jail/Prison Cell in Los Angeles or nearby

03-26-2010, 03:17 PM
I'm looking for a jail cell to use for a few hours (1 short scene) in or around Los Angeles or Southern California. I don't have film insurance and I don't want to pay $7500/day to use Lacy Street studios. Does anyone know of a set or cheap location to use? Tips welcome... thanks,


Duke M.
03-28-2010, 08:36 PM
The Silver Dream Factory in Laguna Hills, CA has standing sets, including jail cells. Talk to Roland Canamar. 714 836 1853 www.silverdreamfactory.com (http://www.silverdreamfactory.com) They can do a police station too. He's willing to work with you. Tell him Duke sent you and he may cut you a deal.

If you need to go even cheaper, Faith Granger did a jail cell in her movie (Deuce of Spadse) by using PVC as the bars and putting in wood horizontal members. Then painting the whole set of bars in 'beaten metal' paint. She built the walls of the cell in her garage. Its a lot of work, but the cheapest way. A lot of it was then shot with light casting a shadow of the bars on the prisoner. It was very dramatic and effective. What you imply is often stronger than what you show.

Tommy K
03-30-2010, 08:29 AM
A few years back we built a grungy looking prison cell using metal conduit and 2x4's from Home Depot. We built it in a corner of an old basement that had white painted stone walls. They were flaky and peeling walls and added the perfect ambiance that we needed. The 2x4's were pre-drilled with holes and the conduit was placed between the 2x4's to make walls. Painted them white to match the walls and painted the conduit a darker metal color. It actually came off quite good. It was a full days work making it although...

03-31-2010, 09:04 PM
Thanks guys. Duke I called Silver Dream Factory and they gave us a pretty decent price. More decent than anyone else did but it's still rediculously expensive. I heard there were a few closed jails that are used for film sets but they've all been shut down by the fire dept. for not being up to code. Bummer.

I called the old hospital (forgot the name) and their jail cell is dismantled. It looks like we'll either have to build our own or re-write.

It's a shame Hollywood is the hardest place in the world to actually shoot a film. I guess it serves this place right to be loosing all the movie income to Phoenix, Toronto, and Atlanta. Every Rome Topples.

Oh well enough grumbling. Our film is turning out great and we just have the one scene left so I'm excited. Already in planning for our next one.

04-01-2010, 08:26 AM
If you ever write a prison movie, santa fe would be a place to check into. I know it doesn't help with your current production, but they have an old prison that is used just by film productions these days and it is state owned and I believe free.

04-01-2010, 01:02 PM
I don't know if you're using it or not, but if not you should try this site (http://ca.reel-scout.com/loc_search.aspx?).

04-04-2010, 03:08 PM
Hey guys, im also in need of a jail cell for my senior seminar project for school next year.

the film is set in 1972 communist russia. so i need something that will fit the time period and place.

however, i live in Moorhead Minnesota and securing a location is almost impossible in these parts. people are very wary of film productions because they are few and far between here. plus i dont think any location i could secure would fit the period.

what i was thinking is i would building the set, but i've never built a set before, but i used to work construction so i have some experience. i have a green screen room at school which is big enough to house it. i wanted the walls to look something like this


plus i wanted a small window at the top of the back wall with two iron bars across it. in addition i will need to have a wall which has an iron door. not to mention that i need at least two of the walls to be break away.

any ideas on how to accomplish all this? preferably i would like to do it without using real stone and mortar and as cheaply as possible.