In this blog post, I will be exploring “Production Research”, basically all the research that goes into creating a production before it even begins officially. It is the research of every element of a production. This is important because going intro production without planning or research into the project otherwise progress will come to a halt as you don’t know what you are doing. There are so many elements to a production we could only explore a few of them however these were in depth. You have to research things like locations, technical equipment, props, crew, script, the list goes on and on and the extensiveness of the crew is impressive because of the many specifics need to be researched for each of the crew members. Also, the locations need extensive research because it is to try and keep to the storyboard as much as possible. We used the example of Life on  Mars (2006-2007), there were 18 subjects to research in a 5-6 minute clip of the beginning episode of the series. Showing the extensiveness of the amount you need to research for any production. My example is from the tv series of The Originals (2013-current) it is a shorter clip however still contains a large amount to research for this clip.

Production Research:


  • Clothing apparent to that time period(ie 300 years ago)- Higher class and lower class

The clothing used in his clip I would say is apparent to the time period because I’ve done some of my own research and I found this website: this provided lots of information about some of the clothing used in those times. The actual production research was most likely more in depth looking at many images also most likely visited museums and looked in books about the 18th century.


  • A river large enough to seemingly be the Mississippi or actually be the Mississippi

Using google maps I have seen a few locations along the Mississippi river which would’ve been suitable for this scene to be filmed in however I can’t go to that location to see and street view doesn’t show the river to me, and the river beds aren’t visible, however I assume that  they actually visited the Mississippi river, whereas that option isn’t available to me. Or they could’ve filmed it in a large swimming pool and used CGI to create the ship emerging from the fog. Or using a large lake because there are no indications of the scene being filmed on a river except the on-screen text.

If it was the actual Mississippi river, they would had to of contacted the governor of Louisiana using this website: asking if you would be able to use this location however if I were to film this scene I would rent a large pool or I would by a lake and use for machines to create the foggy look on the water. again you would have to find and contact whoever owned the lake, I found a lake district in northern England, using this website it gives a variety of lakes as well as the contact information meaning you would be able to inquire about using the premises to recreate this scene.

  • The lower deck of an 18th-century cargo ship.

Click to access Renner-MA1987.pdf

This is a document from an archaeological excavation made in December 1987n 18th-century cargo ship. There are drawings from the excavation and floor plans of what they imagined the ship would’ve looked like. Using the floor plans you can recreate how the ship would’ve looked like. Using this you could use some wood and scaffolding o a set and because of how the lighting is done there are areas of the ship you can’t see, but most likely it was built on set they would’ve made the wooden stairs. This set was most likely not full constructed just the places where the actors and extra were going to stand would’ve been secured and made safe.



  • Cargo, this depends on the budget of the project because if I were to recreate this scene I would have to build my own cargo barrels where as if was a project with a large budget, then you would be able to buy a collection of old barrels 
  • Lanterns, with the lanterns they most likely made their own because of how expensive they are, you can use images from the internet to get a general idea of how they looked. And using the Foley sound makes them seem realistic.
  • Rowboat, I believe with the rowboat they would’ve made their own or there was possibly a boat for hire somewhere , or they could’ve made their own boat because I think it is cheaper than buying or hiring one.
  • Rope: on this website I found hemp rope, which I believe they used in this scene, however, I will have to research it to see how to make the checkered pattern used on the boat. Also, the could’ve used spare rope for the shot of the rowboat as there is rope on the boat.
  • Coffins, with the coffins they were most like made by the production team(prop artist) because hireling is expensive and it means the coffins will be made especially for this also it means they can make alterations to the coffins and put on the family crests.
  • Family crest
  • Fake blood: on amazon I found someone selling a gallon of fake blood, I though a gallon because there is a lot of fake blood used in this scene and I believe it will be enough, however, I would buy two gallons just so that’s means I should have more than enough for this scene
  • Daggers: The daggers in this scene were probably specially made because of they are obviously special in some way to the series and will probably be used again.
  • Fishnets: using this website I have found a cast fishnet which I believe will work for being rested over the rowboat like the scene shows, also it is fairly cheap as well.

With most props, you would be able to look them up and find images of how they would’ve looked in the time period, also it gives the prop designers more of an idea of how the items would look and how they could make it in a way apparent to the modern audience however also keeping to how it should be. Also most places like eBay you should be able to find some for a fairly cheap price, or you might be able to rent some items such as the rowboat and the coffins.

Makeup & Hair

  • Hairstyles of the time period using this website it gave me an idea of how the hairstyles of the 18th century would’ve looked, meaning that you can recreate that look in the modern day.

Technical Equipment:

  • Camera crane -A website where you can buy camera cranes so you can recreate that first shot of the camera gliding over the boat. -A website to rent a camera crane again to recreate the first scene of the camera gliding.

Foley Sound:

  • Running water
  • Dripping
  • Footsteps
  • Boat creaking
  • Hitting
  • Creaking of lanterns

With most of these sounds you would be able to recreate them because they are fairly common sounds and to recreate them wouldn’t be very difficult however, you would have to think about how to re create these sounds

Health & Safety:

  • Being pulled/ dragged off screen

They would’ve had safety mats placed where the actors would’ve been dragged off using harnesses and string. and when the actor  was thrown down the stairs he would’ve collided with a safety mat.

Date Specifics:

  • When New Orleans was built/ named.

New Orleans was founded in 1718, so the mention of New Orleans is correct because it was only just founded when this scene is set, and it proves they did do the research into the beginning of New Orleans.


  • The language used in the time period -Using this website I got an idea of how the people in the 18th century would’ve spoken, and they would’ve modified the script to fit the time period and the actors would’ve had to of gotten used to talking in kings English.









The originals (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

Victoria, Museum, A. and webmaster, D.M. (2013) 18th-century fashion – Victoria and Albert Museum. Available at: (Accessed: 5 November 2016).

Renner, M.A. (1987) A Theis. Available at: (Accessed: 5 November 2016).

Brant, L. (2006) Women’s Hairstyles & cosmetics of the 18th century: France & England, 1750-1790 – Démodé. Available at: (Accessed: 6 November 2016).

Camera crane hire for film and TV – Chapman UK (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 7 November 2016).

Jibs, cranes & booms (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 7 November 2016).

Foundation, T.C.W. (2016) The king’s English: Eighteenth-century language. Available at: (Accessed: 7 November 2016).]

Amazon (1996) Rubie’s fancy dress – bottle of fake blood. Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

6mm natural Hemp Fibre rope 220m coil (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

(No Date) Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

Technical: (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

Office of the governor of Louisiana (2016) Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

Home (2016) Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

Foundation, T.C.W. (2016) The king’s English: Eighteenth-century language. Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).