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QUARANTINE

The Apartment Building
For REC, the Spanish film crew shot on location using an actual apartment complex. Quarantine's filmmakers at first thought they would do the same and utilize a practical location – they were looking at the famous Bradbury Building in Los Angeles. But they would have only had access to the building at night. And aside from the difficulty of a night shoot, the script called for apartment interiors to be linked in single shots with the main staircase. They would have had to cheat each shot, re-dress each office into an apartment every day, or rent offices for the duration of the shoot. Ultimately, it made much more sense to build their own set. A three-story apartment building was erected on Stage 23 on the Sony Pictures lot. At a massive 15,000 square feet and rising thirty-five feet high, the stage provided the perfect location and afforded the filmmakers the opportunity to build the set to the specifications of the script.

"The set was a really tricky build,” says Drew Dowdle. "There were so many bits we wanted to get into the film that were dependent on the set itself, and they were able to incorporate an incredible amount of the script and action into the design.”

"Production designer Gary Steele and his team did a terrific job designing the apartment complex,” says Agüero. "It was very elaborate, very detailed, and it involved a number of little small apartments around a central staircase and atrium. It enabled the director to shoot these very long takes, up and down the steps and in and out of apartments in a very organic and convincing manner. It also made our lives easier – we were able to work reasonable hours in very controlled conditions.”

All told, the three-story set (with a fourth floor going into the "perms” of the stage) boasted six bedrooms and three full units with a living room and dining room. The 4,800 square foot building took advantage of "dead space” (doors that led to nowhere) to conceal a permanent video village on the set itself, as well as departmental work and storage areas. The whole thing took six weeks to build with a daily average of 40 crewmembers. The structure itself hung on steel beams and cross beams, and production even had it's own ironworks factory on the floor for structural and decorative creations.

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