SERAPHIM FALLS is a Western set just a few years after the end of the Civil War.
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The setting and locations the story demanded would take us from 2,000 foot alpine conditions (shown below) to dry lake bed mud flats below sea level.
There were several major set-pieces for the story. This one is a Georgia farmhouse.
We were able to to play the scene out front of the burning set and show the fire's progress for several days of filming. All of this was controlled and planned in pre-production.
This set was laid out for this high angle shot. Everything in this wide shot is built including the railroad cars. I designed the set so that the rail is on a big curve (about 1 mile of track) which surrounded the shooting area.
Depth and layers are very important elements here -- but nothing can really work well unless the set is arranged so it can be filmed under near ideal lighting conditions most of the time. This is one of the great challenges most Westerns present.
Rolling stock like these two flatcars doesn't exist any more outside of a couple of museums. These were both made for the show and are exactly right in every detail.
This set was pre-built and installed on location. A very remote location which gave us our Alpine to prairie transition.
This set was lined up to get shots like this. This is one of the few area in the U.S. where you get an unspoiled transition from Alpine woods to vast prairie landscapes.
The final scene was shot with a vast mud flat panoramic behind the actors and was a very deliberate nod to many of the Westerns of the 70's.