Set Construction

I think I referenced that I am building a fallout shelter using a 12 X 25 U-STOR-IT space as a soundstage. here are a few photos. It's actually progressed beyond this now. We have dressed the walls with watered down drywall mud, and are ready to paint. The blue tape marks the foot print of furniture and props.

Back to front, note the oval door opening for the fake ship's type door with a wheel lock we have built.


Panned right from previous


Panned left


Front to back. That hole is covered by a stack of boxes that can be moved to position camera behind the wall.


High angle "Big Brother" shot that we will use a bit (because of the confined space).


The walls are 8' high, so we can look down from above them into the room. Construction cost including paint to finish about $450.
Nice work, though that seems WAY TO EXPENSIVE for the purpose. It only has to LOOK good, not BE good :)

Its hard to tell, how much room there is between the portal and the door of the storage unit? Is there room to work with the storage door closed?
You're using a storage space for a sound set? WELL DONE! I had never thought that! Awesome(though what are you doing as far as dampening possible echos and reverbs....

I got to get in touch with my local storage, see if I can do that... :)
Its awesome looking work, I hope we get updates as the paint goes on, as the props get made.

Will you be painting cinder blocks on the end walls, I don't think you have to, I think cinder block sidewalls with riveted steel ends would look "expected"
There's only about 2' behind the wall on the back end, but close to 6' on the front end, so yes, we can close the front door to the unit.

It's an isolated set of units. The possible sound issue is a nearby train, just have to work with it. The ceiling is 12', so above the set (walls are 8' high) we're hanging sound blankets to kill the echo.

Not dressing the faux walls to look like block, but like concrete. So the front and rear walls look like poured concrete and the side walls like block. Not perfect, but plausible. Doing the faux block would have been more expensive, so decided against it.

I'll post more photos first of the week with the walls finished and some furnishings in place.

It's not TOO expensive. The one month rental on the unit is $100 and maybe $450 in construction. The upside, it looks exactly like I want it to look, and we have 24 hour access to rehearse, dress the set, etc...
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nice, the concrete can look good.. and easy, as the son of a concrete man.. seriously, some of my earliest memories are riding on the end of slab float while my dad pushed me around on a drying patio.. anyway..

As the bunker walls would be poured like a foundation or basement, not like a freeway, or some other typically seen construction, there will be plenty of texture. Pretend that you have framed it up with 4' high sheets of plywood (on the horizontal} there will be small gaps where a bit of cement squeezed out so you'll have the horizontal lines.. often the forms would be cobbled together out of scraps, so it wont be exactly even. A lot of times you can see the wood grain in the concrete after the forms have been removed. Include a few inclusions ( a bigger chunk of gravel that has chipped out or somit, and youll be right as rain!)

A lot of times nails are left in the foundation.. shallow rusty holes... where the plywodd was reinforced by some external 4x6 or somit..
Good tips wheatgrinder. We have been thinking the same thing on the horizontal lines and the texture. The walls are made of OSB board which has a lot of texture. We finished by slathering drywall mud on it. It covers some but not all of the OSB texture, and we used it to make the marks from the ''concrete form'' as well.
A few more photos after the work this weekend. A lot of the furniture is bright primary colors which is counter intuitive, but there is a method to my madness.

here's one of the corners with a shelf in place. The wall is now painted, but not completetly finished.


The other corner on the back wall. It shoudl be noted, the back wall will play a lot better when it is partially blocked by boxes and furniture and otherwise covered to break it up a bit.


Front corner to the left of the door. Note again walls still need final distressing and finish.


Especially proud of his toilet box. There is a removeable 5 gallon bucket inside. Fully functional! (hehe).


The $450 dollar construction cost I quoted earler included all this furniture. Like the bunk beds partially visible on the left.

When can I move in? :)

Primary colors, madness.. oh my

Thanks for the update,

I know, it's making me want to build a real one behind my house!

I'm shooting the exact opposite of the obvious choice of desaturated colors. I am going to OVER saturate the colors (think Suspiria). Also, with the brightness crushed down in Post I feel I need the bright colors to have any color at all.
Are you shooting with a super wide lens or are you going to do a lot of tight shots to make the viewer feel like they are in with the action? Seems like not a ton of room for gear but I am willing to bet you did that for a particular feel, no?
Are you shooting with a super wide lens or are you going to do a lot of tight shots to make the viewer feel like they are in with the action? Seems like not a ton of room for gear but I am willing to bet you did that for a particular feel, no?

Lot of tight shots for the claustrophobic feel. We are going to use a pretty wide lens on some stuff though. 28MM for sure, and maybe even a 20MM. My DP says when you get wider than a 20 you start to get the fisheye effect. Going to run a lot of masters from the overhead view above the false walls, kind of a security cam/big brother angle. Don't know how much it will be used, but going to get it in the can just in case.
Shot for 14 hours Saturday and 12 hours Sunday. Still have a LONG list of inserts and pickup shots to shoot (18 page script), so we're going to have to shoot a half day or better next Saturday as well. Some pictures of the fully dressed set coming soon.
I don't have the stuff from the actual set photographer yet, but here are a few the crew took. This is me in costume holding up one of the character's records that is an important prop. He is looking at that cover (which is fake, made by the art department) shortly before the girl comes to his door. It helps motivate why he let her in (women on his mind).


Me again, this is the setup for a scene where he is riding a generator type device made from a bicycle that he uses to charge the car batteries he runs some of his stuff with. Note stocked shelves, distressed wall behind him with the civil defense poster (also distresssed), the turntable, etc...

Just curious what are you guys using for lighting?

Had an Arri Softbank 1, but didn't use it all that much really, just to throw some key light on a dark corner occasionally when there was action there. We hung a DIY fixture with tungstens in it above the single practical light he had in the room (a low hanging ceiling fixture). The effect (the desired one) was to have the center of the room fairly bright with the light fading out towards the walls to replicate the look of the room lit by the single practical.