Director Carlton Cuse Talks 4 Million Gallons of Water, a Coast Guard Helicopter in Toronto, and the Crumbling Helipad 

Carlton Cuse sat down to debate his new Apple TV+ restricted collection, 5 Days At Memorial in an unique interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet. John Ridley and Cuse created the collection based mostly on the e-book by Sheri Fink. On this interview, he delved into the particular results of recreating Hurricane Katrina. How did the manufacturing get a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter on set? How did they recreate a helipad 85 toes over a six-story parking storage?

The collection centered on the heart-wrenching occasions at one particular hospital in New Orleans when the levees broke, and 80% of the metropolis ended up underwater. It stars Vera Farmiga, Robert Pine, Cherry Jones, Julie Ann Emery, Cornelius Smith, Adepero Oduye, Molly Hager, Michael Gaston, and W. Earl Brown.

How did you get an precise U.S. Coast Guard helicopter into the filming of ‘Five Days At Memorial’ for Apple TV+?

In 5 Days At Memorial on Apple TV+, U.S. coast guard helicopters rescue sufferers from the hospital by touchdown on a very outdated helipad. The scenes look extremely actual as a result of they’re as genuine as potential.  

“We actually were able to get a Coast Guard helicopter into Toronto across the Canadian border during the pandemic, which was a real feat and an accomplishment,” Cuse defined. “But the Coast Guard really wanted to participate. One of the guys from the Coast Guard said to us, ‘It would be a disservice if this story about Katrina didn’t feature the Coast Guard.’”

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“So they really moved heaven and earth to come and participate,” he continued. “And not only did they actually come to Canada where we were filming, but one of the crew members on the Coast Guard rescue helicopter that we used was the son of a Coast Guard serviceman who served during Katrina and did rescues. So there was a real resonance and poignancy there.”

What about all the water in ‘Five Days At Memorial’ on Apple TV+? Had been there any setbacks?

“Yeah, we built a 4 million gallon water tank,” Cuse started. “And of course, any time you try to contain 4 million gallons of water, there are challenges to it. We had to make it safe for people to operate in. We had to color it so it looked like flood waters. But we had to make sure that that coloring was safe and we had to operate boats in it. So, there was a lot of focus on safety and a lot of focus on engineering. It was very technically rigorous to recreate the circumstances of the hurricane and the flooding that followed. But it was really important.”

After Hurricane Katrina handed, the feeling at the hospital was that that they had survived the worst. Nonetheless, when the levees broke, the basement utterly flooded, shutting off the mills and burying the meals and water provides underneath water. Cuse recreated these water scenes from Hurricane Katrina impeccably.

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“I really felt like the authenticity of the story required the audience seeing, feeling and understanding what the circumstances were like in and around that hospital,” Cuse continued. “And so we did that. Fortunately, we were really lucky enough to have the resources from Apple to make the show the way we wanted to make the show.”

How did you recreate the helipad in ‘Five Days At Memorial’ for Apple TV+?

“It’s a little bit like asking a magician, what is the secrecy or trick,” the director teased. “I think the goal is that you won’t understand how we did it, but we combine a lot of different elements. The intention there was to just show how perilous it was. The helipad was 85 feet above the top of a six story parking garage.”

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“So imagine trying to carry an infirm patient who couldn’t walk in 95 or 100 degree heat through the hospital, often down seven flights of stairs in the hospital through a hole in the machine room, up the parking garage, up these 85 perilous steps on this helipad, which was not in good condition. It’s vertiginous and scary and you don’t know if the thing is going to collapse. We really just wanted to try to create the sense of that for the audience as best we could. And so we did it in a lot of pieces and then put it together and used some visual effects.”

Scenes or tales that you just wished to incorporate that you just didn’t get a likelihood to?

“Not really,” Cuse responded. “Fortunately, Apple gave us the resources that we needed to tell the story the way we wanted. Often in these kinds of stories, you end up having to make compromises for budget and cut something that was really great. But John and I were able to tell the story that we put on the page and that was really fortunate.”

'Five Days At Memorial' scene of Hurricane Katrina hitting the hospital
A scene from ‘Five Days At Memorial’ | Apple TV+

“We were lucky enough to get a wonderful cast to collaborate with in the telling of that story,” he added. “And we really tried to have the casting of the show be authentic. We put a lot of effort into what I would say is sort of the naturalism of the casting to make everybody feel like they belonged in this world. When you have Vera Farmiga and Cherry Jones, you can’t really go wrong. They’re both so brilliant.”

The primary three episodes of 5 Days at Memorial hit Apple TV+ on Aug. 12, 2022. The remaining episodes drop each Friday following the premiere. 

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