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kaylee

How would you make a set look kinda like this on a low budget

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I want a set like this, but i cant quite afford it yet 🤣

unlike this vertical structure however, my set does not need to be high, it needs to be wide

im just doing, more or less, one horizontally panning shot of a guy talking and walking, while stuff happens in the background – extras move around, etc.

i want the feeling of dark, and plenty of water so it feels and looks wet, and a location where, within my frame, it looks like it could be underground

i would rlly appreciate any thoughts... the right google search is on the tip of my tongue...

like, i dont know anything about reality: isnt there a place in every city that does, uhm, something with water, that looks vaguely like the video above? like i searched 'sewer plant' and this isnt what i had in mind. ..i dont want it to seem toxic 🤣

SanitationPools1.jpg

and, like i said, i want underground, but in theory i could shoot in a spot like the above at night with practicals and no one would know the difference. it just looks like... sewage, whereas i want water

finally, the ubiquitous trope of sewer "tunnels" is useless for this: no tunnels. i need a bigger type of set for the actors to move around in...

 

any thoughts guize??????????

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Sewer is an obvious one, but also anything that doesn't have windows, and probably also doesn't have graffiti (as that's a give-away that people go there).  Disused railway tunnels, abandoned buildings, even just a really long wall perhaps?  If you film at night then it won't be obvious it doesn't have a roof.  Lighting something that doesn't have a roof might be tough, especially if you want a single long follow-shot where you can't cheat by using the same few lights again and again.  

If you can cheat then film it with a couple of angles (wide, mid, close) then move the back light to the front and shoot them walking the next section, with a bit of overlap, then cut it together in the edit?

Obviously be careful with safety and trespassing and all that, but IIRC you're out in the country so there might even be a long building or wall that you can film against that wouldn't even be on private property, or maybe no-one cares.

If you want it to be wet and underground then you could spray the background with water just before the actor is in frame so things are dripping and add in wet echo-ey noises in post and drop the blacks a bit to hide anything that gives the game away.

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also: @kye those are seriously all good ideas, thank you!!

particular words that havent come into my searching lexicon like 'railway', 'abandoned', and 'tunnel' got me thinking...

anyway, the idea you pose of "a long wall" is right on point – that was kinda my original idea. remember that its fairly dark in my shot, and say that the set is lit mainly by practical work lights – we dont need to see a ton of background, i could shoot in a place like this

tumblr_pnfab9WICL1xiag8io1_1280.png

hang some spooky chains, hose everything down, add some kind of moving water element in the shot... annnnd that could work. but i dont have access to a place this cool looking where i live at all, and if im going to LA to shoot, like i said the skys the limit and i could shoot anywhere 🙄 ...still thinkin this thru lol

aaand like you said, kye, sound will add a ton~! echoey footsteps/ambience, dripping sounds, water running... for sure 😎

 

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3 hours ago, kaylee said:

also: @kye those are seriously all good ideas, thank you!!

particular words that havent come into my searching lexicon like 'railway', 'abandoned', and 'tunnel' got me thinking...

anyway, the idea you pose of "a long wall" is right on point – that was kinda my original idea. remember that its fairly dark in my shot, and say that the set is lit mainly by practical work lights – we dont need to see a ton of background, i could shoot in a place like this

tumblr_pnfab9WICL1xiag8io1_1280.png

hang some spooky chains, hose everything down, add some kind of moving water element in the shot... annnnd that could work. but i dont have access to a place this cool looking where i live at all, and if im going to LA to shoot, like i said the skys the limit and i could shoot anywhere 🙄 ...still thinkin this thru lol

aaand like you said, kye, sound will add a ton~! echoey footsteps/ambience, dripping sounds, water running... for sure 😎

 

I would romanticise LA, I've hear that the movie permit police are much more effective than the actual police..  I heard a story about a guy shooting a music video inside a warehouse they had rented got hassled because the people wanted to see their filming permit - inside and on private property!  If you shoot it in LA it might be more work to get all the paperwork organised than it would to stay home and build yourself a sewer! :)

Go on google earth and near where you live and have a look for any buildings that look enormous and then try and work out what they are and if you can get there.  You probably have an idea of how big you need it to be, so you could start with that.

Also, you could use the same background multiple times if you're willing to dress it up a little.  Eg, the character walks the length of the wall, then next time they do the whole thing again but this time it might have some things hanging on it or broken furniture or whatever, then again but with different stuff.  Walls are pretty repetitive (think about bricks or posts - they're basically a repeating pattern) so if you can disguise any notable bits then you could have an infinitely long wall, and bonus feature is that you wouldn't need to move your lights all the time :)

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No idea where you at but some kind of habour area could work maybe, could even be a habour on a big river....ones were they unload containers and stuff. Maybe an oil rig or an abandoned stranded tanker of some sorts? Maybe even a marina, that was smashed up by a hurricane....

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Some type of plant would work, though I could see it being a big liability issue as far as getting permission to film there. I am from Detroit and there is a lot of old buildings that could work. The Russel Center comes to mind which is an old manufacturing facility, which they now rent out spaces in. I help shoot a short there last year. Might be something to look into, not that specific one but manufacturing facilities in general.

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Use a matte for your establishing shot with walls painted the same/similar color as the walls in your live shooting space.  Stay tight for most of the other shots and only show the running water partially in a corner of one of the shots.

 

Here are some underground mattes.

 

Here is a tutorial.

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16 hours ago, kye said:

I heard a story about a guy shooting a music video inside a warehouse they had rented got hassled because the people wanted to see their filming permit - inside and on private property!

i *might* lose it if that happened

16 hours ago, kye said:

Go on google earth and near where you live and have a look for any buildings that look enormous and then try and work out what they are and if you can get there.  You probably have an idea of how big you need it to be, so you could start with that.

thats smart as heck

16 hours ago, kye said:

Also, you could use the same background multiple times if you're willing to dress it up a little.  Eg, the character walks the length of the wall, then next time they do the whole thing again but this time it might have some things hanging on it or broken furniture or whatever, then again but with different stuff.  Walls are pretty repetitive (think about bricks or posts - they're basically a repeating pattern) so if you can disguise any notable bits then you could have an infinitely long wall, and bonus feature is that you wouldn't need to move your lights all the time :)

YOU ARE SO RIGHT. THATS HUGE *explosions*

12 hours ago, hansel said:

No idea where you at but some kind of habour area could work maybe, could even be a habour on a big river....ones were they unload containers and stuff. Maybe an oil rig or an abandoned stranded tanker of some sorts? Maybe even a marina, that was smashed up by a hurricane....

::boom:: harbor, awesome!!!

5 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Some type of plant would work, though I could see it being a big liability issue as far as getting permission to film there. I am from Detroit and there is a lot of old buildings that could work. The Russel Center comes to mind which is an old manufacturing facility, which they now rent out spaces in. I help shoot a short there last year. Might be something to look into, not that specific one but manufacturing facilities in general.

for sure, like... all the best places for this would never let me shoot there 🤣 but im still lookin, and one thing ive learned about independent producing is that it sure doesnt hurt to ask, and you never kno, you might be surprised~! its happened before~!

4 hours ago, tupp said:

Use a matte for your establishing shot with walls painted the same/similar color as the walls in your live shooting space.  Stay tight for most of the other shots and only show the running water partially in a corner of one of the shots.

 

Here are some underground mattes.

 

Here is a tutorial.

this is some advanced thinking, which could change everything...

to be honest, the success of the aesthetic of this piece is about it feeling *real*...

almost like this:

Bane is real, and he's broadcasting a message from his lair, one of his henchmen is filming it, and he's walking around talking while stuff happens in the background: his goons are moving around busily, clearly *working* on some kind of task

so, im not doing an establishing shot at all, it just starts with camera on the masked man. its not "cinematic" in that way, that we'd have the storytelling of an establishing shot, u kno what i mean? all that has to be packed into the location, but that comes together pretty fast with some water and set dressing...

 

u guys r awesome thank u soooooooooooooo much

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21 minutes ago, kaylee said:

 

for sure, like... all the best places for this would never let me shoot there 🤣 but im still lookin, and one thing ive learned about independent producing is that it sure doesnt hurt to ask, and you never kno, you might be surprised~! its happened before~!

 

Yeah you never know. I am not sure where you are from so I am sure that effects it. Detroit is known to be kind of loose in general in terms of that type of thing. This place didn't have any security so as long as you knew someone who had a room there you could get away with shooting. To be honest there wasn't anyone stopping anyone from walking around in there as there were tons of open rooms and halls. Not that I'd recommend it tho lol. 

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@thebrothersthre3 i currently live in the san jacinto mountains about 2.5 hrs east of LA so...

i can go down the mtn for whatever, but my resources are mainly here right now, so im trying to think out of the box about locations, and how to pull off the look i want, cuz if i can make that shoot happen where i live, it would save me a TON of money+time+effort NOT going to LA or similar

that being said, the priority is making it look good, so ill do whatever it takes!!! 😎

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