Behind the scenes with Castle Art Department: “Probable Cause” & “Final Frontier”

During every episode, Castle Art Department (@CastleArtDept) does a live tweeting round with fans to answer all our burning questions about set designs and details of the episodes.

During the episode 5:05 “Probable Cause” when they found learned about the opening sequence of the episode they built a real ceiling (they usually don’t build real ones, but this time they had to). The woman who was tied to the ceiling was an actress. It was also the first time they needed to build a set ceiling to hold an actress and two SFX guys. The ceilings in Castle are rarely real, but they do put them in the sets - removable ceiling pieces allow the ease of shooting and lighting. In this episode they designed recessing ceiling to allow harness hardware and highlight the body. Normally there are stretched muslin. @CastleArtDept said: "We found the most realistic faux barbed wire I have ever seen. It was so eerie to carry around and just fling it anywhere."

The library was not a real one but an old newspaper factory in LA. They dressed the area near those gorgeous windows to be the library! They actually replicated a very important moment between Castle & Beckett, the first time they met in a library! The bridge they used in the episode was here in Los Angeles (Long Beach).

We also found out that it's a lot harder than you would think to keep live flowers alive in that dark place known as a soundstage. And yes, most plants are real! Also, the morgue is one of our four permanent sets located on our stages. And it's a busy one too. Bodies coming in left and right. Holding is attached to the precinct down a hall. It does serve many purposes while not unused.

Castle Art Department consists of a coordinator, graphics designer, set designer, art director, decorator, buyer, leadman, three PA’s and construction crew. @CastleArtDept says, "Our construction crew consist of about 20 of the most talented painters, builders, and plasterers ever. They're my heroes!". Castle’s location scout is George Shockley and he can find anything in LA.

The Art Department gets the script for each episode as much as 2 weeks before its time to go. They hear rumors and get ideas, but can't proceed until they get the script.

Speaking about the awesomeness of the episode 5:06 “Final Frontier”, they had about 2 weeks of preparation on the SuperNovaCon set and one week to build it. They took over one of our entire soundstages. A massive design and challenge! So far this set that was the longest build of sets so far. Some of the convention vendors  were real vendors who came by to setup! Keep a look out for names you recognize!

The laser blaster was born out of  props fabricator and props master Rob Kyker's head. It was a prop weapon so it doesn't do anything except look cool. The key to breakaway (in this case lasers) was to have three copies. The glass graphics were exchanged with paper ones to shoot that hole! The lab of the weapon’s master was an old old bakery downtown LA, hence the fired glass tiles. Easy to clean.

The picture of Beckett and her friends for “Final Frontier” was an actual photograph of Stana and some extras. They do a photoshoot before almost every episode.

For fun reading and more information check out this awesome video of Alfred Sole talking about how to create New York feel in Castle. Also, don’t forget to check recent blog post about “Probable Cause” on ABC. For fun readnig - here’s the “Jenny report” on Nebula-9.

Some awesome pictures:

This is a shot of our set from 503, but also looks like my desk by the end of Friday. Happy Friday everyone!

Here we are in the first couple days of the #Nebula9. Working on the curves and getting the ceiling put in!

A little bit of the ceiling is in now! Now we have a lot of painting to do. Texture is hard to achieve in a modern set!

Welcome to the lab! An old bakery in downtown LA. Such a beautiful location! Cool props!

Welcome to the #Nebula9 Fan Experience! What character would you want to be?

Thorian blasters are no joke! The glass is all broken in the panel here.

Put together the facts. Who was where, and who was with who. This is a tough case!

I love the architecture of this location. What a cool laser.

Our fan experience set was on a separate stage from the entrance on the con floo

A closer look in the #nebula9 spaceship!

Not super exciting, but this is a BTS look at our office hallway. I wish I could show you what those drawings were!

I'm going to miss you Nebula 9. Such a cool set. Hopefully more scifi genre sets happen soon! That my jam!!

Just hanging out with the Oracle Pod. What's that smell? Oh well! I guess everything is okay on this ship! @BenjaminRalston