View Full Version : how to create an interrogation room

12-28-2010, 04:33 PM
i am filming a short that is supposed to be in an interrogation room. I cant find a location that is just a small empty room that resembles an interrogation room. Anyone have good/cheap methods to pull this off? What about using a garage, is there a cheap light you can get that will light an actors face in the middle of the garage and keep the background dark? Any other ways to pull this off for super cheap? It doesn't have to be perfect

12-28-2010, 04:42 PM
small desk, 2 chairs 1 typewriter 1 lamp in face of victim....the room can be any size, garage sounds good. who is interrogating? police?

12-28-2010, 04:46 PM
easy as pie. Find a corner in a basement, garage, or use muslin to create one. You dont have to use a corner, but if you shoot in too a corner it gives the illusion of depth. It's done quite frequently.

I like the look of cold concrete walls. Makes for a good interigation look. As for lighting, just go to home depot and buy a ceramic fixture( instrument). Hang it above the table. And depending on what your shooting on, adjust your practicle from there. So if your using a dslr with a fast lens, you can get away with a lesser watt bulb. If your using a camcorder, you may need a 200 or even a three hundred watt bulb. You can also hide a light above the one hanging to give more lumens, but you may not need to. OR grab afew china balls if you want asofter look.

12-28-2010, 05:10 PM
hmm we dont have a room in our house with 2 big walls connecting, they all either have windows or doors and from the angles we want we will need at least 1 corner. If we paint the garage walls it should work though

not sure what to get for a ceramic fixture... got a link to something i can see so ill know what to look for?

12-28-2010, 07:15 PM
Or just throw up some sheetrock to hide the windows. A little bit of work, but cheap.

Patrick T
12-29-2010, 01:15 AM
There's two types of interrogations rooms (at your nicer pd) as there are two types of interrogation.

A "soft room" is comfy, warm, and a generally relaxing atmosphere designed to put the suspect at ease so he'll drop his guard and run his mouth. The questions used are designed to make the suspect believe he's found a sympathetic ear and he can put his own favorable spin on the circumstances. This will be used on initial suspect interviews.

A "hard room" is just as it sounds. It's very minimally furnished and designed to intimidate. Usually hard chairs, and no table in between (suspect feels safe with a barrier to hide behind). Now days well lit because it's wired for video and audio with redundant systems. This will be used to start punching holes in the suspect's story and, hopefully, eventually lead to a confession.

Now the suspect will feel as if the only thing with which he's established a bond is the interrogator during that initial interview. The interrogator is the only thing in the room which gives him comfort because he believes the interrogator believes him.

During interview the interrogator will appeal to something the suspect values, either loyalty to family, self image, community status, etc. He'll refer back to the initial interview and repeatedly go over inconsistencies in the two interviews (there will be, nobody can keep everything they lied about straight).

12-29-2010, 05:24 PM
I don't know what your windows look like, but if you could cover the glass with a mirror or reflective film, it might end up looking like a two-way mirror in a police interrogation room.

J.R. Hudson
12-29-2010, 08:34 PM
Really ?

You can't come up with one?

GOOGLE IMAGES (http://www.google.com/images?q=interrogation+room&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1600&bih=775)

12-30-2010, 10:46 AM
Patrick T has it right as far as the room matching the purpose of the scene and the suspect. More importantly, the desired result of the interrogator are key to making the room feel right. The difference between the artistic version of an interview/interrogation room and reality are miles apart so design your room according to the needs of script. For cinematic purposes a room with no furniture, except a chair for the suspect, will work best for an interrogation. For an interview the "soft room" is designed to provide a level of comfort. If your film is a law enforcement themed piece, then keep in mind that coercively designed rooms are entirely illegal and unconstitutional.

Try a basement, garage, empty office space, or similar, just remember that lighting, the action and dialog, will be the best remedy for a room that's not so perfect.