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    Building Set Walls
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    Question
    I imagine most people use real interior locations whenever possible. I have a need for two studio apartments for my film. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who's got one and wouldn't mind a film production onsite for 3-4 consecutive weekends.

    I considered just renting an apartment for a month. It would get me what I need, but it's pricey.

    Then I found some "industrial" type artist studio space, slightly less money for twice as much space than what I would pay for an apartment, so I'm considering renting it and building sets within in. The downside is that I would need to construct a few fake walls. The existing walls are awesome, old brick and full of cool texture.

    But I figure this will make for the least amount of headaches. The set is completely "mine" for the month, it's no inconvenience to anyone, the ceilings are high, so we can setup our lighting, etc., and it becomes a real production set.

    Q: What do you use when building set walls?

    I'm thinking of 2x4's with 24" spacing (vs. std 18"), styrofoam board screwed onto the studs and taped with sheetrock tape, then a bed/skim of sheetrock mud over that, a prime coat, and final paint. The whole wall supported by 2x4 angle bracing behind it, weighted down with sandbags. Where two walls meet, some metal brackets keeping them together.

    I figure, this way it's all easily picked up and moved as needed (I'll probably have a need to do so to make the set space double for use as two rooms, shoot right-to-left for one room, left-to-right for the other.)

    Is this construction technique typical or is there a better way?


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    Unscripted Mod Erik Olson's Avatar
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    I posted on this in this thread - there is a bit of information to accompany this diagram...

    http://www.dvxuser.com/V3/showthread...llywood+square

    Erik Olson



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    Senior Member Justyn's Avatar
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    I'm about to do the same exact thing. I'm going to rent a warehouse space and turn it into a studio set with either 2 or 3 walls. I want to be able to clear out one wall and get super telephoto shot as well.


    I'm planning on making my sets like they do in the theater world. Frammed walls with muslin over it.. stretched out nice and tight and then painted... or wallpapered.. or textured. The muslin is easy to change and it's also a LOT less weight and easy to change. It also allows you to frame windows and such as well. I'm putting my money into the windows and doors. I'll also set up some fake backdrops and greenscreen whatever else I need to.

    I'd check in the theater books for cheap and easy ways. You want to keep it mobile and easy to alter if necessary.. Atleast this is how I'm doing it, but then again I'm making a sketch comedy show.. so my world will be sketchy.


    Hope it turns out well. The only thing I could forsee.. is the noise situation. Make sure it's not near train tracks or industrial area.... and also see how it sounds inside when it rains. We had a studio before that was so loud it was impossible to shoot during the rain.


    Later


    J


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    Mr. Hollywood Blaine's Avatar
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    Warehouse space, hmmmm. Make sure you record sound first so you know what you'll be dealing with.


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    Unscripted Mod Erik Olson's Avatar
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    Just remember with the muslin wall that when you open and close doors you will likely see some undulation in the surface. For a novice builder, 1/4" plywood skinned flats will almost certainly give you a better end-result.

    e
    Erik Olson



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    Senior Member Justyn's Avatar
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    overland.. That's a good idea. How do you deal with the plywood? I've got months till I do this so I'm down for the research.


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    Unscripted Mod Erik Olson's Avatar
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    Follow the link in my first post - I run down typical studio flat construction in a wordy yet action-packed description there.

    e
    Erik Olson



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    Senior Member dudeguy37's Avatar
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    Okay...a few questions, mostly targeted at Erik since he really seems to be on top of all this, but for anyone else too, of course.
    First of all, in a 4x8 flat, there are a total of 6 toggles, right. In other words, your diagram is really showing the flat during construction, or maybe I'm missing something?
    The other question, windows...is it typical to install an actualy clear pane, or rather just to leave a space. And secondly, for anyone who's had the experience shooting on a set, is a light blue cyc lit properly an acceptable background for outside of a window, or is a printed image a requirment to maintain a sense of reality? Related to that, what about on a high floor of an office building? Anyway, thanks in advance for the responses.
    Peace,

    -Harry


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    Re: sound

    I'm fortunate that this is a music video (dramatic narrative), so the sound doesn't matter. The actors will have lines but it will all be overdubbed with the music track in post.

    Re: toggles

    I'm completely confused but what this means. I'll check out the link though, maybe it will sink in.

    I've built real 2x4 walls before, but the industry terms are confusing me.


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    Ahhhh... okay, I think I get it now.

    Stile = Stud
    Toggle = Sill / Cross-Bracing

    (I swear the industry old timers are laughing in their graves at how these silly terms they made up have held up all these years.)


    Great info from overland... very detailed... but here's the "for dummies" version:
    http://www.northern.edu/wild/th241/sc92.htm

    And here's a nice pictoral view of a variety of different kinds of flats:
    http://www.panix.com/~jviii/jv3rntl/rentflat.html

    Sounds great! Gotta go get my lumber!


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