That creepy fluorescent lighting that is ubiquitous to parking garages.

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Collusion in Concrete


I have this wierd fondness for parking structures, and not just because they are traditional tropes for Ominous Confrontations. Parking structures are solid caverns of poured concrete, and if you go down deep enough there’s no natural light at all. They’re all just sort of gritty and industrial with flickering lights and dark shadows and they all look exactly the same. A parking structure in New York looks exactly like a parking structure in Omaha, which is a real plus if you are an amateur/indy filmmaker. A stock establisher of Langley and cut to an underground parking structure — any parking structure — and you can stage a scene “beneath CIA HQ” without breaking the budget.

Plus you can generally get permission to shoot in a local parking structure without too much trouble, and if you can’t get permission you can usually shoot anyway if you keep a low profile. As a bonus, if you’re on a business trip and want to knock out a few pullups for exercise, there are sturdy overhead sprinkler pipes that are perfect for the purpose. Dusty and rusty, sure, but they have better headspace than anything in the hotel’s so-called “fitness room.”

The one frustrating thing for me is that while parking structures are solid barren caverns of fireproof concrete, perfect for shooting effects such as a billowing wash of flame rolling up the walls and across the ceiling, will the owners let me do that? No. They get all whiney about “insurance regulations” and “legalities” and “calling the police,” occasionally grousing about the sprinkler pipes being bent for some mysterious reason. They’re just stifling my artistic expression, that’s what it is, and I leave in a huff.

Although I generally take the opportunity to knock out a few more pullups on the sprinkler pipes.

— Bob out