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segunda-feira, 9 de novembro de 2015

Recreating a Captive’s Surroundings by Filming ‘Room’ in a Box

LOS ANGELES — Filming the movie version of the novel “Room,” in which Joy Newsome, played by Brie Larson, and her son, Jack, played by Jacob Tremblay, are held captive in a small garden shed, was a challenge.
About 70 crew members worked for 22 days in and around a box that was no more than 150 square feet that precisely duplicated the Newsomes’ fictional prison, somewhere in the American Midwest, right down to a working version of the bathroom plumbing.
“Yeah, I got sick of it,” the film’s director, Lenny Abrahamson, said of the space. He ventured back into the room, which was reconstructed by the film’s distributor, A24, near the Landmark Theaters in West Los Angeles for viewing by art directors and others who will be voting for various film awards. The set was originally in Toronto, where the movie was filmed.
“But when I went outside, I started missing it a bit,” Mr. Abrahamson added.
The movie’s room set was designed by Ethan Tobman, a Montreal-based production designer who approached his work with a nearly obsessive insistence on recreating the space in which the fictional Newsomes lived as captives of a man called “Old Nick.”

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Anatomy of a Scene | ‘Room’

Lenny Abrahamson narrates a sequence from “Room,” featuring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.
 By MEKADO MURPHY on Publish DateOctober 29, 2015. Photo by Caitlin Cronenberg/A24. Watch in Times Video »
“We tried to restrict ourselves to things Nick could have purchased in 2006, on a limited budget, in the United States,” said Mr. Tobman, who joined Mr. Abrahamson in leading a tour of the room set on Saturday.
Everything is painfully real. The dingy wardrobe is hung with Joy’s ratty pink nightshirt and Jack’s worn pajama tops. The kitchen area is a corner with a flea-market hot plate.
Mr. Tremblay actually made the food-carton sculpture and macaroni collage that lend a child’s touch to the set. The soundproof ceiling panels were chosen on the advice of some music store workers. Mr. Tobman told them, as Nick might have, that he wanted to muffle the noise of a heavy metal band.
Photo
From left, Lenny Abrahamson, Ethan Tobman, Danny Cohen and Nathan Nugent, the team behind “Room,” show off a reconstruction of the set in which nearly half of the movie was shot. CreditColey Brown for The New York Times
If anyone suffered in the movie mock-up, it was Danny Cohen, the cinematographer, who had to work for weeks with two cameras in a space that could barely contain the actors.
He was helped by a trick of Mr. Tobman’s: The shell of the room is made of 72 removable wooden panels. When it came time to shoot Jack in bed, or Joy from under the floor, he could remove a panel and aim a camera.
“But the lens would always be within the space of the room, so we weren’t cheating,” said Mr. Cohen, who on Saturday was jammed into the rebuilt set with Mr. Abrahamson, Mr. Tobman, the editor Nathan Nugent and one slightly claustrophobic reporter.
How serious was the authenticity fetish? Even the beams from a just-out-of-reach skylight were computer-modeled to duplicate the daily play of sunlight in a place where a real-life Joy Newsome might have been held.


“It’s Akron, Ohio,” Mr. Tobman said of the light. “Facing north, I believe.”

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