We planned out the details for the shoot over the period of a year and a half.

We storyboarded every shot and worked it all out on the wall of my kitchen.

Without a budget to speak of we cobbled together the elements necessary to fulfill the vision of this experiment.

We built walls from discarded hollow doors painted black and made jacks and straps from salvaged wood to hold them up and suspend the black backdrop cloth overhead.

We painted absorbent drop cloth material black and used it to cover the floor.

We cut old weathered rail ties into strips for the torture bed.

We bought LED floodlights and made cardboard barn doors for lighting, then mounted them on a handmade grid system attached to sturdy tripods.

We used a GoPro 6 attached to a custom-made shoulder and gimbal mount.

We took 2 days to load and set up, 4 days to shoot, and one day to disassemble.

The Shot report is linked here.


Four hot summer days in August spent in a borrowed location, an upper floor we had completely blacked out and therefore cut off all air circulation. You could say we put ourselves, and especially our actor, through similar trials as the Prisoner, the character in the half-hour film we were shooting of Poe’s story.

To bring his words to life we need only apply broad visual strokes of the Prisoner’s ordeal to go along with the Narrator’s account.

For us it began with the platform. We called it the dais. It was our only prop.

What the Prisoner endures throughout the torturous time happens in black space where there is nothing for the eye to see but the Prisoner while Poe’s words conjure up images for the mind.

The grand experiment has begun. We are putting the telegraph mosaic into action.

The Prisoner has gone through the ordeal and emerged. Footage has been exposed.

More to come.