I also want to talk about, you called it the cul-de-sac, which I love.
That’s what it is. In the beginning, we thought for the battle royale at the end, it would behoove us to have it in a big cul-de-sac area. That’s all built, that cul-de-sac, in a parking lot. It’s about an acre and a half and none of it existed. It’s all built from scratch, the road, everything.
Because of the stunt work and everything else, it made sense for two reasons to build it. The other reason being there were no neighborhoods of American architecture that certainly we would ever be able to desiccate and restore, or that existed, even. And then that gave us the ability to control Joel’s point-of-view up in the sniper room. And because of the nature of the stunt and everything, and having clickers there, and not wanting the world to see the clickers too much, all those things came together for that.
This giant cul-de-sac gives us a good 360 degrees, surrounded by all these houses. And Joel is up there like in an arena and can pick his targets. There are many, many meanings involved in that somewhat brief, but really complicated sequence. So there was a lot of planning for that. The majority of the planning on the episode, the time spent was on this sequence. And it was actually one of the few sequences that we storyboarded because of all the action.
There are so many moving parts in it: fire, physical effects, stunts, shooting of guns, collapsing of buildings, and cars being hit, too. And just making sure those cars, when they’re hit, they don’t splay out and hurt someone.
Were you able to do multiple takes?
I think there were four weeks of night shoots to do the entire sequence. So I’m sure there were multiple takes. The truck that was rigged to fall … this is one of the few instances in the show where VFX helped make the truck sink. Once it hit the house, I believe we went in and uncovered the hole, then had it tip into the hole with VFX’s help a little bit. And then it’s in the hole. And then, of course, it goes and submerges. And then, cut. And then, okay, let’s bring our actors in. Let’s bring the fire. We probably did a fire element separately. So it’s all pieces and layers, one after the other. You can see why it would take us four weeks.
It sounds like a lot. It is just so brief. But I actually think I was always amazed when we were timing it out in the many rehearsals we did, how quickly it all happened. And that is like, that’s probably 1,000 or 1,200 feet of road, and they go down it so quickly.