Canadian Oscar nominees reveal secrets from 'The Shape of Water' set - InfoNews

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Canadian Oscar nominees reveal secrets from 'The Shape of Water' set

From garages and an abandoned hospital in Toronto, to online classified ads and Guillermo del Toro's wheezy pneumonia ??? the Canadian crew on "The Shape of Water" found what they needed in some unlikely places. This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in a scene from the film "The Shape of Water." THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, Fox Searchlight Pictures
March 01, 2018 - 12:30 PM

TORONTO - From an abandoned hospital in Toronto, to online classified ads, and Guillermo del Toro's wheezy pneumonia — the Canadian crew on "The Shape of Water" found what they needed to make the film in some unlikely places.

Ahead of Sunday's Oscars, where the dreamy merman drama is nominated for a leading 13 trophies including best picture, the team spilled their secrets about the making of the Hamilton- and Toronto-shot film to The Canadian Press:

SOUND

In portraying the amphibian creature held captive in a secret government lab, actor Doug Jones was asked to make merman-like sounds. But the team needed more in order to make the character "have a vocabulary" and "emote feeling," says Toronto-based Nelson Ferreira, who's nominated for best sound editing with fellow Canadian Nathan Robitaille.

Robitaille ended up using his own voice to create some of sounds, and combined them with those of various marine mammals.

"But it still needed something and that's where our director came in," says Ferreira.

"Guillermo, he says he always gets sick in post-production. During editing, he's always got pneumonia, maybe because of what he puts his body through during shooting. I don't know.

"He's got this heavy, gravelly voice anyway but he had this sort of fluidy breathing that he contributed.... So what you're hearing in that creature, all that sound you hear, is the sound designer and the director working together, giving that creature life."

For the sound of the vehicles in 1960s-era Baltimore, they trekked out to the countryside to record vintage cars in the middle of the night.

"This is what we do in movies all the time, is go out at two in the morning way out to the boonies and record vehicles all night — put on orange vests and headlamps and tear around on country roads and get it all recorded with our assistants," says Ferreira.

SET DESIGN

To create the look of the facility housing the creature, Oscar-nominated Toronto set decorator Jeffrey A. Melvin salvaged industrial material from a hospital being torn down in the city.

He also had vintage linoleum shipped from Minnesota and found an antique Murphy bed "that's probably one of a kind in North America" sent from California for the home of Richard Jenkins's character.

"In his apartment there were some really great pieces of furniture that came out of Kijiji," says Melvin.

Among those pieces bought off the online classified ad site was a couch from the '50s or '60s with a vintage fabric "that had like an Egyptian motif."

"Nobody would ever care about it now, and it was actually torn and Guillermo said he would take it," Melvin says.

"So I was able to take the back off of it to use it to repair the seat cushions, and then we just put something else on the back. You could never even buy that fabric. So it was a really cool piece to find and it happened to suit the set correctly."

COSTUMES

Oscar-nominated Toronto costume designer Luis M. Sequeira scoured international locales for the film's clothing, including his home city as well as Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Los Angeles and London.

He found what he needed in rental houses, vintage stores, rag houses, garages and flea markets.

"Big bins of forgotten clothes," says Sequeira. "There were items that were a part of forgotten estate sales.

"There was particularly one person in (Philadelphia) that owned a department store that had a shoe fetish and we came across her collection and snapped up a bunch of her shoes, which most of them were barely worn, if at all. So it was a thrill of a find."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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