Research Project: Recreating the opening scene of Six Feet Under (2001)

The scene I have chosen is the opening scene of the TV programme ‘Six Feet Under’ and I have used the first 3:15 minutes. I decided to do my research project on this show as its something I have never actually seen before and thought it would be interesting to analyse and research it from a subjective point of view. Consequently this does mean I will need to do more subject research on the show so I am clear about when the programme it set ect. The scene introduces what appears to be the two main male and female characters and one of their sons while also showing their home, suggesting we are going to be seeing their everyday lives. The scene also clearly shows what the show will revolve around which is their family business owning a funeral home. One the main reasons I chose this scene is the unexpected moment when the father character is involved in a car crash. Including this in the first scene is likely to surprise audiences and keep them watching, however that does mean that health and safety will need to be researched. As there are only three main characters in the scene the costume research should be fairly simple, however there are a vast amount of important props in the scene that I will need to research.

       Six Feet Under (2001)

 

The elements of the scene I am going to be researching:

Locations

  • LA street
  • Middle class house
  • Big old fashioned kitchen

Props

  • Black Funeral Car
  • Fake Blood
  • Christmas Tree
  • False Cigarette
  • Funeral Home Sign
  • Phones
  • Old Fashioned LA Town Bus

Costume

  • Black old looking suit
  • Black smart looking suit
  • Pink apron
  • Black dress and white gloves
  • Simple blue dress
  • Black dress and white gloves

Actors

  • Extras : man dressed up as Santa and people that run over to the crash
  • Older looking man and woman
  • Younger looking man, slightly smarter looking than the father

Equipment

  • Editing transition technique shows first clip to be TV advert
  • On screen graphics to show the title then fade to white
  • Crane
  • Tripod

Health an Safety

  • The car crash
  • Using a prop knife

Locations

The Streets

The shots of the street helps to establish the location as being Los Angeles and they would probably have deliberately included the palm tree within the shot to make the location clear. By establishing the location early on in the scene it helps the audience to identify and see it as being their everyday lives. Taking this shot of the roads would not require the need to hire out the street, however the scene of the crash would mean them having to close off the street in order for them to film the crash. The website that I have found gives instructions on arranging a road closures for filming purposes and has a step by step guide on how to obtain a filming permit and the dates in which they’d need to be booked by. The website i chose is specifically for roads in Los Angeles as this is where the street scenes were filmed in the scene. For health and safety reasons it would be important to close the road when filming the crash to ensure no passers by are injured.

124

£1000 – £2000

  • Black dress and white gloves

 

Actors

  • Extras : man dressed up as Santa and people that run over to the crash
  • Older looking man and woman
  • Younger looking man, slightly smarter looking than the father

Equipment

  • Editing transition technique shows first clip to be TV advert
  • On screen graphics to show the title then fade to white
  • Crane
  • Tripod

Health an Safety

  • The car crash
  • Using a prop knife

Locations

The Streets

The shots of the street helps to establish the location as being Los Angeles and they would probably have deliberately included the palm tree within the shot to make the location clear. By establishing the location early on in the scene it helps the audience to identify and see it as being their everyday lives. Taking this shot of the roads would not require the need to hire out the street, however the scene of the crash would mean them having to close off the street in order for them to film the crash. The first website that I have found gives instructions on arranging a road closures for filming purposes and has a step by step guide on how to obtain a filming permit and the dates in which they’d need to be booked by. The website i chose is specifically for roads in Los Angeles as this is where the street scenes were filmed in the scene. For health and safety reasons it would be important to close the road when filming the crash to ensure no passers by are injured.

124    £1000 – £2000

http://www.filmla.com/for-filmmakers/permits/

The second website i have found is

http://rs.locationshub.com/location_detail.aspx?id=050-3822&search=street%20los%20angeles&search_mode=and&ctry=all&state=&city=&cat=&subcat=&style=&lname=&locid=&int=&parent=search_results

The House

I found it hard to find a house that was the same as the one in the scene as it’s so unique, however I have found a website which allows you to rent houses specifically for filming. The house I have found is in Los Angeles which is where the show is filmed so it will look more realistic and represent the location. The house would only really need to be used for outside shots of the house to establish it being where they live and the indoor shots of the kitchen would most likely be a set. The size of the house will also reflect the wealth of the main character’s that live there which is why its important it is a middle class medium sized house.

http://www.yourhousepimp.com/15-brigids-s-adams-craftsman.html

The Kitchen

The only interior location we see in the scene is the kitchen of the main character’s house. During the filming of  ‘Six Feet Under’ it is most likely a set of a kitchen was produced specifically for the show. If I was to re-create just this scene it would be too time consuming and expensive to build a kitchen set so instead I would need to hire a kitchen for filming. The website I have found allows you to use their locations especially for filming and photography purposes and is therefore perfect for this project. I found it hard to find a kitchen completely similar to the one in the scene, however knew it was important that the kitchen looks slightly dated so it fits with the 2000’s style of the show and clearly shows when it was set.

http://www.locationworks.com/library.php?reference=7148&image=37

Props

Funeral home sign

The funeral sign is one of the key props in the scene as the characters owning a funeral business is one of the main parts of the show so through having a holding shot on the sign it gives the audience an insight into their lives. The website I have found allows you to design your own funeral home sign which would be good as you could design it to look exactly like the one in the show.

 GC16902 - Chapel-Shaped EPS Monument Sign for a Funeral Home   £600

http://www.artsignworks.com/products/products_services/estimate.html

Funeral Car

The website I have found sells a wide range of second hand funeral limos. When making this scene you would need to buy a car rather than rent one because of the crash scene and the fact that the limo would be damaged. Most of the cars for sale are modern looking which could be an issue as the limo as the scene is retro looking due to when the show was set and filmed. The car would need to be in good condition as one is used in the first scene to show it being advertised. It is important that the interior of the funeral car is big as the main character is filmed from the inside of the limo while he is driving.

http://www.superioruk.com/files/5814/6859/0205/Sales_Sheet_Mk11_L_376.pdf   

Phones

In the scene phones are a main prop as we are watching  two people having a conversation over the phone. The phones that are used help to show when the TV show was set which was around 2001 so phones had been around for a while but were not as advanced as they are today. The small flip up phone the man uses and the large home phone the woman uses both help to show this. The phones they have also show them to be an averagely well off family as they can afford wireless telephones. The website I have found sells retro phones that would have been around in 2000 as if I were to use common phones used nowadays it would not represent

Nokai Cityman 190    £99

http://www.retrofones.com/

Christmas Tree

This prop is only shown briefly in the scene however helps to establish the time of year being Christmas. I think it is important for the audience to know this as Christmas is a time for family to be together  but instead the husband and wife are arguing over the phone and makes him being in a car crash even more sad

7ft Luxury Regency Fir Christmas Tree £60

http://www.tesco.com/direct/7ft-luxury-regency-fir-christmas-tree/120-2481.prd?skuId=120-2481

Fake Blood

When the female character cuts her hand in the kitchen it would be important that costume blood is used to make it look realistic without the character actually getting hurt. The website I have found produces fake blood specifically for costume and art such as for filming in film and TV. Using costume blood would also help to comply with the health and safety aspects of her not actually cutting herself.

Image for Light Blood  £6

http://www.bloodymarvellous.tv/shop/product

LA Town Bus

I found ebay would be the best place to buy an old school bus most like the one in the scene as buses have obviously developed over time and in order to recreate the scene effectively you would need a bus from around 2000. The bus I have found was also a bus used in California which makes it relevant to the location and where the show is set. As the bus is on eBay it means it is second hand which would also be good as the bus is used to crash into the limo in the scene. Buying instead of renting however means the bus is quite expensive, however is an essential part of the scene and as it is what causes the crash that occurs.

   £64,000

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2004-Blue-Bird-School-Activity-Shuttle-Bus-Limo-Cummins-Diesel-Used-/201702137115?forcerrptr=true&hash=item2ef6625d1b:g:I5IAAOSw8gVX2wfx&item=201702137115

Cigarettes

I decided to include this prop in my research as it is significant to the scene and is ultimately what distracts the driver and causes him to crash into the bus. For health and safety reasons real cigarettes would not be used in the scene, however in order for it to look realistic false cigarette props may have been used. The website I have found specifically sells electronic prop cigarettes that would make the scene look realistic while causing no harm to the actor or crew filming him

    $29.99

http://actorcigarette.squarespace.com/

Costume

Pink Apron

Throughout the scene the main female character wears a pink apron as part of her costume. I have found a simple plain apron with no brand name so that it would be fine to use in the scene and is very similar to one the she is wearing. I feel the apron is a critical part of her costume as is emphasises her being a house wife and following the typical female role of being at home cooking while the husband is out at work.

Adult Apron - Cotton/Polyester Mix - Fuschia £10

http://www.theapronstore.co.uk/By-Colour/Pink-Aprons/Adult-Apron—CottonPolyester-Mix—Fuschia/p-414-425-3262/

Black dress with white gloves

In the first clip of the scene there is a made up TV advert shown to be advertising the limousine. To make the advert look over the top and slightly unrealistic the woman modelling the limo is wearing a long black dress and white gloves. This extravagant outfit also helps to make it clear this is an advert and not part of the actual storyline. As this is such a short clip in the scene the costumes would not need to be very expensive which is why I have chosen websites that sell similar costumes at a cheap price.

Ladies Long White Gloves (43cm) Fancy Dress Accessory                   azz62810_black_xl

   £2.62                                                               £10

http://www.funfancydress.com/fancy-dress/accessories/gloves.htm

http://www.boohoo.com/restofworld/maxi-dresses/sandy-maxi-dress/invt/azz62810

Men’s Suits

The suit that the father wears in the scene is grey/black and looks slighting scruffy. Through him wearing an old looking suit it shows the character to have a laid back  personality and doesn’t care about his tie being done up tight and his suit looking smart. It also reflects his wealth status and would suggest him to be middle class working man. The website I have found sells second hand suits which I feel would be good for this costume as it would help the suit to look worn out and slightly old as it does in the scene. The suit the father wears also juxtaposes with the smart traditional suit that the son wears and presents the son as being smarter looking and caring more about appearance than the father.

 Buy Kin by John Lewis Skola Shirt, Tie and Bar Set, White/Black Online at johnlewis.com

£9.99                                                                             £39.50

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/mens-clothing/suits-and-tailoring

http://www.johnlewis.com/kin-by-john-lewis-skola-shirt-tie-and-bar-set-white-black/p1255659?sku=233234341&s_kwcid=2dx92700013422796441&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=Cj0KEQjw4_DABRC1tuPSpqXjxZwBEiQAhMIp67n_D-n9I2L9Rd0s7Q6cs4ytU7faOMJuHJULH3XlsSQaAtAL8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

Blue dress

The costume that the female character wears is a very simple looking blue dress, hidden underneath her pink apron. The old fashioned  button up style of the dress helps to show the audience the time the show is set which was late 90s / early 2000’s. The simple dress also reflects her simple personality and the role of the typical house wife and what they would wear while at home cooking. It also shows the scene as being their everyday lives and something the audience can relate to, which may make the crash seem more shocking as the audience can relate to the characters. The dress I have found isn’t the exact same to the one in the scene but I found it would be import to find one with the same old fashioned style so that if I was to recreate it would communicate the same messages. A the website selling it is a second hand show it would also present the dress to be fairly worn already which would show the character to be working class.

 £11.99

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/womens-clothing/dresses/unbranded-size12-royal-blue-button-through-dress-hd_100729586

Actors

The main actors

There are only three main actors in the scene that have dialogue so if I was to re-create the scene hiring actors shouldn’t be too difficult. It would be important that the actors that were chosen looked similar and were of similar age to the people in the show so that it helps to accurately represent it. The website I found has a wide range of different actors available that have already been in existing shows and films. Hiring already somewhat established actors would help to ensure the actors are reliable and professional at what they do, however salaries may be higher for actors with experience rather than hiring actors never seen before. One issue with this website is that two of the actors I need to find would need to look around 50/60 and the majority of the actors on this agency are middle aged and with a fewer amount of older actors, therefore it may be more time consuming to find the parent characters rather than the actor playing the son.

123

https://maddogcasting.com/en/our-clients/

Extras

There are not a vast amount of extras used in the scene, however they are still needed for some parts such as the people that come rushing to the car after the crash and passers by that are seen out the window while the main character is driving. One of the more significant extras is a man dressed up as Santa that can be seen outside the window, again subtly showing the audience that its Christmas. The website I have found has hundreds of different extras to chose from so it would be easy to find the ones that are right for the scene, such as the man dressed as Santa. The extras will also only need a very low, if anything wage as many of them are just looking for opportunities and experience.

7

http://www.castingcollective.co.uk/

Subject Research

General Research

As I know from doing research the show is set in 2001, this means that everything in the scene would need to represent this time and the use of props and costumes would need to help portray it to be 2001. Although Wikipedia isn’t always the most reliable website it helped me in finding out the basic subject research on six feet under including the fact that it is set in Los Angles. This is key information to know when finding locations to ensure they represent the scene to be LA even if it isn’t actually there.

sixfeet
Filming Locations
I also did some subject research on the actual filming locations that were used in this episode so that when I was finding locations I could make sure they were as similar as possible to the places and sets in the actual scene. This allowed me to find out that the exact house used in the programme is actually occupied by people at the moment and would not be available for filming purposes so I knew I would need to do research and instead find a similar looking house. I could not find any information on the exact street used in the opening scene however did find out it was in Los Angeles which helped me when finding a similar street to use.
12345

Equipment 

Crane Shot

The crane shot is what initially establishes the location and allows the audience to see where the show is set and gives an outsiders perspective on him driving the limo before we see him inside the car. The crane also shows us the view of a palm tree which shows us the location being Los Angeles. This use of the crane also shows the town through the Christmas decorations that are hanging which allows us the audience to see that it is Christmas from the very start. The crane also gives a birds eye view on the crash so the audience can clearly see what has happened.

ProAm USA Taurus XL HD750 20' Heavy Duty Camera Crane/Jib         $899.00

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Cranes-Jibs/ci/3917/N/3907816541

Tripod

Throughout the scene panning shots are used, the main one being when the camera slowly pans from the Christmas tree to the female character cooking in the kitchen. The panning technique continues to follow the character in the kitchen while she is on the phone In order for this to look smooth and for the camera to stay steady a tripod would need to be used. The one I have found is from a reliable camera shop and therefore can be trusted to be in good condition. Although the tripod is quite expensive it can be again used throughout the rest of the series for filming If I was going on to re-create more.

£65

https://www.calphoto.co.uk/product/Calumet-7300-Tripod-with-Three-way-Quick-Release-Head/CK7316?gclid=Cj0KEQjw4_DABRC1tuPSpqXjxZwBEiQAhMIp6zdsnZhMd5pBqFm0L9Q3K7JGFJrvq_vroCvMAULeM90aAsie8P8HAQ

green screen

Health and Safety

The Car Crash

It would be important that the main actor driving the car in the scene is not actually involved in the filming of the car crash for health and safety reasons. It is not clear in the scene whether a stunt double has been used or a dummy however as the both the car and the bus are being driven before the crash occurs it suggests they are stunt men. I have found a website for hiring stunt doubles for TV scenes and car crashes as this would be needed to make the scene look realistic and to make sure no one is hurt. There would need to be two stunt men hired so there is one for each vehicle being driven.

Jim Zahnd Stunt Driving in Daughtry music video

http://www.hollywoodstuntcoordinator.com/category/stunts-in-tv/

Woman cutting her hand

It is important for health and safety reasons that during the scene in the kitchen when the woman cuts her thumb that a real knife is not used. This is to ensure that the actor will not actually hurt herself when he pretends to be cut. On amazon I have found a realistic looking kitchen knife that could be used to make the scene look realistic while also complying with health and safety. False blood would also need to be used to make this look realistic which I have already spoke about in the props section.

£7.56

https://www.amazon.com/Seasons-13398-Realistic-Knife-Prop/dp/B003IBX3Z2

Primary Research

If I was to carry out primary research for this project the first thing I would do would be to go to the locations myself and check they are the same as how they look in the pictures. This would include going to the street I had hired out for filming the crash and seeing if it is big enough to film in. This would also allow me to start planning out where everything would go during the scene and how we would go about filming it. I would also want to view the house that is being used for outside shots of their home and see if the funeral home sign prop looks right next to the house and from this can then decided if i was to need a bigger sign or one with a different colour scheme in order for it to look better. Another area of primary research I would carry out would be checking all the costumes first hand to check they are in good condition and the colours are the same as how they looked online.

Another thing I would want to check would be that the costumes fit all the actors properly and are the right style for them. Through doing this primary research before the filming occurs it would make sure there was time to find replacements in time for the filming to take place. As there are quite a few props that i have researched i would also want to check that these are of good quality before filming. For example both a funeral car and town bus are part of the props, I would need to make sure that they are in good condition and listened to be driven so that nothing would go wrong while they are being driven in the scene.

Another area of primary research i would need to look into would be the actors. I would need to meet with the main actors to ensure they look in person how they do online and have the right American accents to play the characters. I may also want them to audition in front of me to ensure that I personally feel that they are right for the part. I would also need to make sure they are available around the time i want to film and give them scripts so they can prepare for the scene. I may also meet with the extras to ensure they know when and where the filming will be taking place and so that they know what their job will entail. I also may check the equipment or get the camera man to check the cranes and tripods are fully working so that no errors occur while filming. It may also be important to check there is back up equipment so that if anything breaks while filming there are spares ready. For health and safety i would also want to make sure there is a paramedic on call when the filming occurs just in case anything went wrong with the recreation of the car crash and the stunt doubles were injured.

Harvard Referencing

‘Filming in London’ Film London  (2016) http://filmlondon.org.uk/filming_in_london/planning_your_shoot/get-permission-film/road-closures-filming – Last Accessed 5/11/16

‘Film locations in Los Angeles’ Weebly (no date) http://www.yourhousepimp.com/15-brigids-s-adams-craftsman.html – Last Accessed 5/11/16

‘Country homes and cottages’ Location Works Ltd (no date) http://www.locationworks.com/library.php?reference=7148&image=37 – Last Accessed 5/11/16

‘Signs and plaques’ Art Sign Works Incorporated  (2016)http://www.artsignworks.com/products/products_services/estimate.html – Last Accessed 5/11/16

http://www.superioruk.com/files/5814/6859/0205/Sales_Sheet_Mk11_L_376.pdf – Last Accessed 5/11/16

A PERSONAL COLLECTION OF 1983 – 2000 RETRO MOBILE PHONES ‘RetroFones’ (2016) http://www.retrofones.com/ – Last Accessed 5/11/16

‘7ft Luxury Regency Fir Christmas Tree’ Tesco Direct (2016) http://www.tesco.com/direct/7ft-luxury-regency-fir-christmas-tree/120-2481.prd?skuId=120-2481 – Last Accessed 5/11/16

‘Light Blood’ Bloody marvellous(2016) http://www.bloodymarvellous.tv/shop/product – Last Accessed 5/11/16

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2004-Blue-Bird-School-Activity-Shuttle-Bus-Limo-Cummins-Diesel-Used-/201702137115?forcerrptr=true&hash=item2ef6625d1b:g:I5IAAOSw8gVX2wfx&item=201702137115 – Last Accessed 5/11/16

‘Adult Apron – Cotton/Polyester Mix – Fuschia’ The Apron Store (2009-2016) http://www.theapronstore.co.uk/By-Colour/Pink-Aprons/Adult-Apron—CottonPolyester-Mix—Fuschia/p-414-425-3262/ – Last Accessed 5/11/16

Adult gloves long metallic silver (44cm) fancy dress accessory (no date) http://www.funfancydress.com/adult-gloves-long-metallic-silver-44cm-fancy-dress-accessory.htm – Last Accessed 5/11/16

boohoo (2016) Sandy Maxi dress. Available at: http://www.boohoo.com/restofworld/maxi-dresses/sandy-maxi-dress/invt/azz62810 (Accessed: 7 November 2016)

Men’s vintage & Second-Hand suits & Workwear – Oxfam GB (2015) Available at: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/mens-clothing/suits-and-tailoring (Accessed: 7 November 2016)

Shirt, J.L.S., Set, B. and White (2001) Kin by John Lewis Skola shirt, tie and bar set, white/black. Available at: http://www.johnlewis.com/kin-by-john-lewis-skola-shirt-tie-and-bar-set-white-black/p1255659?sku=233234341&s_kwcid=2dx92700013422796441&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=Cj0KEQjw4_DABRC1tuPSpqXjxZwBEiQAhMIp67n_D-n9I2L9Rd0s7Q6cs4ytU7faOMJuHJULH3XlsSQaAtAL8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds (Accessed: 7 November 2016).

Unbranded size: 12 royal-blue button-through dress | Oxfam GB | Oxfam’s online shop (2015) Available at: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/womens-clothing/dresses/unbranded-size12-royal-blue-button-through-dress-hd_100729586 (Accessed: 7 November 2016).

No Date) Available at: http://www.castingcollective.co.uk/search-for-artistes/london-the-south-east/results?sl=79712&sort=random-20161107 (Accessed: 7 November 2016).

Six feet under (TV series) (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Feet_Under_(TV_series) (Accessed: 7 November 2016)

(No Date) Available at: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Cranes-Jibs/ci/3917/N/3907816541 (Accessed: 7 November 2016)

charlie (2016) Calumet. Available at: https://www.calphoto.co.uk/product/Calumet-7300-Tripod-with-Three-way-Quick-Release-Head/CK7316?gclid=Cj0KEQjw4_DABRC1tuPSpqXjxZwBEiQAhMIp6zdsnZhMd5pBqFm0L9Q3K7JGFJrvq_vroCvMAULeM90aAsie8P8HAQ (Accessed: 7 November 2016)

(No Date) Available at: http://www.hollywoodstuntcoordinator.com/category/stunts-in-tv/ (Accessed: 7 November 2016)

Amazon (1996) Realistic knife prop. Available at: https://www.amazon.com/Seasons-13398-Realistic-Knife-Prop/dp/B003IBX3Z2 (Accessed: 7 November 2016).

SurprisingEagle (2014) Six feet under – season 1: The first five minutes. Available at: https://youtu.be/StceREZcEIs (Accessed: 7 November 2016)

Casting, M.D. (2016) Clients. Available at: https://maddogcasting.com/en/our-clients/ (Accessed: 8 November 2016)

Actor cigarette prop kit (no date) Available at: http://actorcigarette.squarespace.com/ (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

‘Six Feet Under filming locations’ IMDB (2000 – 2016) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0702006/locations (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

Angeles, C. of L. (2016) Film permits. Available at: http://ladot.lacity.org/what-we-do/operations/film-permits (Accessed: 8 November 2016)

FilmL (2016) Obtain a film permit. Available at: http://www.filmla.com/for-filmmakers/permits/ (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

 

Advertisements