52 min

The Sunday Read: ‘The Genius Behind Hollywood’s Most Indelible Sets‪’‬ The Daily

    • Daily News

Kihekah Avenue cuts through the town of Pawhuska, Okla., roughly north to south, forming the only corridor you might call a “business district” in the town of 2,900. Standing in the middle is a small TV-and-appliance store called Hometown, which occupies a two-story brick building and hasn’t changed much in decades. Boards cover its second-story windows, and part of the sign above its awning is broken, leaving half the lettering intact, spelling “Home.”

One winter day in February 2021, Jack Fisk stood before Hometown with Martin Scorsese, explaining how beautiful it could be. For much of the last week, he and Scorsese had been walking around Pawhuska, scouting set locations for the director’s 28th feature film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The film, which is based on David Grann’s best-selling book, chronicles the so-called 1920s Reign of Terror, when the Osage Nation’s discovery of oil made them some of the richest people in the world but also the target of a conspiracy among white people seeking to kill them for their shares of the mineral rights.

To render the events as accurately as possible, Scorsese had decided to film the movie in Osage County. It would be a sprawling, technically complicated shoot, with much of the undertaking falling to Fisk. Unlike production designers who use soundstages or computer-generated imagery, he prefers to build from scratch or to remodel period buildings, and even more than most of his peers, he aspires to exacting historical detail. His task would be to create a full-scale replica of a 1920s boom town atop what remains of 2020s Pawhuska.

Kihekah Avenue cuts through the town of Pawhuska, Okla., roughly north to south, forming the only corridor you might call a “business district” in the town of 2,900. Standing in the middle is a small TV-and-appliance store called Hometown, which occupies a two-story brick building and hasn’t changed much in decades. Boards cover its second-story windows, and part of the sign above its awning is broken, leaving half the lettering intact, spelling “Home.”

One winter day in February 2021, Jack Fisk stood before Hometown with Martin Scorsese, explaining how beautiful it could be. For much of the last week, he and Scorsese had been walking around Pawhuska, scouting set locations for the director’s 28th feature film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The film, which is based on David Grann’s best-selling book, chronicles the so-called 1920s Reign of Terror, when the Osage Nation’s discovery of oil made them some of the richest people in the world but also the target of a conspiracy among white people seeking to kill them for their shares of the mineral rights.

To render the events as accurately as possible, Scorsese had decided to film the movie in Osage County. It would be a sprawling, technically complicated shoot, with much of the undertaking falling to Fisk. Unlike production designers who use soundstages or computer-generated imagery, he prefers to build from scratch or to remodel period buildings, and even more than most of his peers, he aspires to exacting historical detail. His task would be to create a full-scale replica of a 1920s boom town atop what remains of 2020s Pawhuska.

52 min

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