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ad777
04-07-2010, 03:41 PM
Hey guys, im 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 unfamiliar with it. plus i dont think any location i could secure would fit the period.

what i was thinking is i would build the set, but i've never built a set before. 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

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/City_wall_close.jpg (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/City_wall_close.jpg)

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.

Tommy K
04-08-2010, 09:59 AM
Your requirements don't sound cheap or easy... (hmmm sounds like some girls I know). My suggestion for you is to find and existing structure that you can build around. I would look for an old basement, warehouse or even a barn with a stone foundation. Any of these type locations will work great. Use the existing walls and build a couple of your own walls. That is what I did. Also we built a partial cell next to the first one, so it looked like more than 1 jail cell.

Or you can do what I did last summer and go to Russia. I know a great prison to shoot in... and the residents just love Americans...

ad777
04-09-2010, 03:42 PM
Tommy K, so you were in Russia? and you say you know of a good prison? not that i plan to go there, but if you have pictures to post it might help give me some ideas of what that location would actually look like.

Tommy K
04-13-2010, 01:56 PM
I just have the outside in a background shot of an old brick prison in St. Petersburg. I don't know if that will help you enough.

paulears
04-13-2010, 02:09 PM
Theatrical flats could work, with some added 3D relief for the window and bars. Essentially - here in the UK we'd use 1"x3" timber, and scenic canvas (or callico for real cheapness). This kind of thing is actually quite simple to build - and with a bit of basic painting skills, quite easy to finish. Bad side is that it's not too solid - so you'll need careful bracing and support to stop it wobbling - especially on the door wall - which you will have to beef up considerably. However, removing a wall is really simple for your reverse angles and takes light well. You can choose to paint 3D features, or add real relief for 3D. It's quite within the DIY skills of the average person to build the frame and a bit of glue and staples sorts out the surface - painting is the tricky bit - but you can cheat for things like painted brickwork that you'd find in a prison. Ordinary electrical insulation tape makes great mortar joints - even though they stick 'out', not 'in'. Then paint yucky nicotine colour paint over it, forming the 'bricks'. Window relief can be knocked up out of sheet material , going 'out' of the room.

Sounds very complicated, but I'd guess anyone who works backstage in amateur dramatics or professional theatre could easily show you how to do it?

ad777
04-13-2010, 09:29 PM
thanks for the advice Paulears. if i understand what you're suggesting im not sure it would work. i need rather close detail where i have CU of characters sitting along the wall. if i just needed it for a back drop i think what you're saying would be great.

i dont suppose anyone has any advice on how to do it outa hard foam? i know in hollywood they use hard foam and carve it, then paint it up to look like stone. probably a lot more to it than that, but if anyone knows anything about doing it that way i think it would be my best bet other than actually building walls from stone and mortar....which im starting to consider.

Jack Daniel Stanley
04-13-2010, 09:40 PM
any budget?
http://www.advancedrock.net/Details.asp?ProdID=71&category=12

ad777
04-14-2010, 09:56 PM
that rock wall siding stuff looks like it would be great if it were more affordable. anyone know if someone makes something like that for stage productions? it would be great to get something similar that isnt construction grade quality. im sure that would make it much cheaper if it was just for show.

lowercase
04-14-2010, 10:25 PM
search for haunted house supliers, they have all kinda prefab dungeon walls and things of that nature.
there not free by any means but much more affordable.
thanks
-k-

adamrahn
04-14-2010, 10:27 PM
are there any colleges nearby? during a production of Marat-Sade (takes place entirely in a prison) I saw the set-design guys make trucks full of foam block/prison walls, it might not hurt to call and see if they had any you could borrow OR just see if they had any suggestions/hints/tips

Tommy K
04-15-2010, 08:26 AM
that rock wall siding stuff looks like it would be great if it were more affordable. anyone know if someone makes something like that for stage productions? it would be great to get something similar that isnt construction grade quality. im sure that would make it much cheaper if it was just for show.

As I suggested before, and as we did ourselves, I would try to find existing stone or masonry walls. An old house basement, warehouse etc. Use the corner of the walls to build around. It saved us a lot of time and money... Even old barns will work or any falling down stone structure or wall. It will look more realistic. Look around your area for possibilities.

Postmaster
04-15-2010, 08:55 AM
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 unfamiliar with it.

How about Fargo or the Cohen Brothers "A Serious Man" (that takes place in the late 60es) and a lot of other stuff was shot in Minnesota. You have to keep your eyes open and ask around. Im 99% sure there are at least 5 great locations for your prison where you live. Get creative. We shot a Africa scene in the middle of Bavaria - even that looked believable.

Try this: http://mnfilmtv.org/

Frank

Sad Max
04-15-2010, 02:28 PM
You can order various stone-textured vacuum-formed or fiberglass panels (+/- 4'x8', designed to tile together) that are lightweight (the vacuform ones, anyway) and can basically be finished and attached to whatever substrate you have handy. Paramount, Sony, and Warner staff shops all carry this stuff (check their websites) but I don't know what it would cost to have it shipped to your location...

J.R. Hudson
04-15-2010, 02:37 PM
Why the stone walls ?

Googling Russian Prisons is returning fairly straightforward designs.

Shaneuk
04-17-2010, 10:10 AM
You could try searching for an abandoned building, and see if it has anything like it.

Tommy K
04-17-2010, 01:32 PM
Why the stone walls ?

Googling Russian Prisons is returning fairly straightforward designs.


I think he wants it to look old and from the communist era. I visited an old prison in Russia last year and some of the cells walls were stone and mortar, concrete. It doesn't have to be stone. He has lots of options.

ad777
05-03-2010, 10:22 PM
thanks guys, im getting more ideas. i wanted stone and mortar because of the visual appeal. more interesting to look at than concrete. thankfully this set is still at least 7 months away. i still have time to explore my options. if anyone thinks of anthing else id love to know.

Postmaster
05-04-2010, 12:11 AM
Concrete walls look great if you keep them wet.

Frank