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THE RAID 2

Locations
Since it is about life outside of the drug lord's building, THE RAID 2 called for a variety of filming locations: office buildings, restaurants, nightclubs, alleyways, warehouses, prisons, public roads, etc. The locations also had to match very specific technical requirements (especially when use of dolly track, jimmy jib, cranes etc. was required).

Locations were a mix of real places and studio sets. Real locations included commercial malls such as the Plaza Indonesia (Bistro Baron restaurant/Prakoso meeting his wife, double escalator/Ryuichi's shooting), the Grand Indonesia mall (bathroom where Uco washes his hands covered in blood), the Grand Hyatt Hotel (C's restaurant), and a warehouse in Tambung (final fight scene). The following are several other locations that had specific requirements.

Car Scenes

In THE RAID 2, Evans wanted to explore car stunts, a new territory for him. With support from Hong Kong's leading car stunt expert, Bruce Law, the stunts were brilliantly executed in Jakarta. After Evans presented him with his ideas, Law came up with suggestions for improvements:

"Car chases - I had never done that before. I'm very grateful that we had Bruce Law's team to help us achieve what we wanted to achieve. It was fascinating to see what we created during preparation come to life. It wasn't an easy process, though. We did day shoots with permits, closing off roads. We'd lose about 50% of shooting hours, but rewards were high" (Evans)

Even though numerous films are shot in Indonesia every year, action movies are not common. It was challenging to obtain permits in order to block roads. Gareth's plan for the majority of the car scenes were all daytime shoot with a city center surrounding view. For car stunts, the production team needed to have three to four main roads, but the location manager managed to secure six locations in Jakarta:
SCBD (business district)
Kemayoran (partly business and residential district)
Senayan main road )
Sunter Bypass (main connecting road from central Jakarta to Sunter suburb)
Little Tokyo area (commercial area with a lot of Japanese bars and restaurants)
Blok M Bus terminal (one of the main bus terminals in Jakarta)

The most difficult part was to get each shot as quickly as possible, since roads could only be closed for a few hours. The roads required for majority of the car stunts had to have a minimum width of three lanes, which was not easy to find. The scenes in SCBD, a bustling business district, were particularly tricky since the permit only allowed the crew to shoot on weekends. Other scenes were also shot in two nearby tunnels: for the scene where Bunawar is driving while trying to get hold of Rama and for the scene where Rama jumps off the back of an SUV on to a Sedan while the two cars are in motion.

For the scene where Eka is chasing Rama's kidnappers, Oka Antara received special training from Law and his team.

The car chase action probably was the biggest challenge since there was no real practice for it. So it's important to understand the sequence chronologically first. What's good is that Gareth wants us to show the pain and impact after the bump, crash, window smash, and shoot out. It's good for the audience when they see it. And then there were shots and sequences that I had to do myself. It's challenging because it requires driving instinct and team work. It frustrates us when we didn't get the shot we wanted. And we're lucky to have Bruce and his team on our side to keep us safe (Oka Antara)

The production team was also under a lot of pressure for the shooting of the Sunter Bypass scene. The road had to stay open to the public since no alternative route exists. This required strict crowd control and re-opening the road as soon as the scene was shot.

The area of Senayan is home to the Indonesian national television channel (TVRI), the national sports stadium (istora senayan), the Jakarta Convention Center, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and a luxurious 5-star hotel. Along the main drag are over sixty small businesses which would have to close during shootings. The location manager therefore had to negotiate with the local shop owners. The road could only be closed for two hours at most. Even though the location was challenging, it was ideal for the scene in which a speeding car crashes into a bus terminal. The bus terminal was built over a week, only to be destroyed the day of the shoot. Measuring ten meters high, construction took one week and was destroyed instantly in one shot on the day of filming.

For the Little Tokyo and Blok M bus locations, the crowd was the difficulty, as Little Tokyo is in the middle of a busy shopping area. The street where the taxi scene was shot is quiet, lined by restaurants and bars that are only open at night, but maintaining a stable crowd was challenging due to the mall nearby. The Blok M Bus terminal scene required coordination with the bus terminal operational office. Since there were many buses coming in and out of the terminal, production location manager had a lot of pressure to make sure that the bus traffic didn't enter the frame when the camera was rolling. The production team was supported by local police authority in securing all locations and crowd control.

"I've always been a fan of films like Bullitt or Ronin with great car chase sequences where it's all about the mechanics of the cars, the gradual wear and tear, which is what I love. It's still playing within the parameter of reality, not seeing torn up cars still running but there's a certain realism to it also understanding of geography in order for the audience to follow where they are, where they are going, what point and what's next. When we were designing the car chase scenes, we know that we won't be able to compete with big budget films like Fast and Furious with big car chases, chaos and destruction. But what we do is try to find a way to present car stunt and car actions that fit the world of The Raid and the action that I'm doing myself. My focus on those scenes was more on what happens to the bodies inside the car: drivers, passengers when their car get hit, crashed, which gives a unique selling point to me and made it different from things what we've seen previously and then we were able to incorporate certain structural things or architectural that are identical to Indonesia - we built a bus terminal (known as bus way terminal in Indonesia) in order to smash through it, we took advantage of this to present something that's different, that gives a local appeal and exotic feel to international audience" (Evans) Prison and Brothel Scenes

Locations for prison scenes were dissected into several different set up and locations:

The scenes in Rama's prison cell, prison canteen, visitor's room and the prison toilet were shot on a set built inside an old Dutch style building called Gedung Kerta Niaga, located in Jakarta's old town. The old town, Kota Tua, is teeming with abandoned colonial style buildings. The structure's high ceilings and abandoned, dark tone created an ideal environment for the prison, and many existing parts of the building were able to be used, thereby minimizing studio space rentals. The building's wide interior space made it possible to build two sets at the same time, which meant the shooting could be done in a single location, saving both time and money. The staircase leading down to the prison canteen used the building's existing structure with only minor alterations. The brothel scene, where Uco brings Rama on his first job, was also created in the Kerta Niaga building.

Before deciding to use the Kerta Niaga building for the prison sets, the production team visited several real prisons, considering them for potential use. However, after seeing many of the prison cells and prison buildings in Jakarta and its suburbs, the logistics of doing so proved unrealistic: the crew and shooting hours would have to have been too limited.

Baseball Bat Man, Father's Cafe and Japanese Gang Shootout Scenes

The fight scene between Baseball Bat Man and several other men took place on a street near the Kerta Niaga building. The scene continues inside a nearby abandoned building. Evans particularly liked the high ceilings and wide open space with many windows allowing for plenty of natural light. The scene at the father's cafe and the shootout with the Japanese gang were also shot in two of the neighboring buildings, where the bold staircase offered interesting visuals. The lift was specifically constructed by the art department to fulfill the scene's requirement.

Prison courtyard

Evans had a specific image in mind for the prison courtyard scene. He wanted a large open yard, common in American prisons. Most Indonesian prison structures are not laid out in that fashion, and the location team was unable to find such an establishment within Jakarta and its surrounding suburbs. The team was forced to look outside the city, where they finally found an 18th century Dutch colonial period's dormitory for colonial officers. The building is called Van der Wijk and is located in a city called Gombong in central Java. The establishment serves as a local tourist attraction, and is similar in size to a football field. Evans decided on this location for prison riot scene. The courtyard will showcase a chaotic fight scene involving one hundred prisoners against fifty officers. Once the location was confirmed, the building management supported the production by allowing the building to be fully closed from public access for two weeks. The first week was used for preparation and set creation, while the second week was used for filming.

Preparing the building involved a series of heavy duty operations. Evans pictured the scene occurring on a gloomy rainy day with thick mud spread throughout the entire courtyard. The mud on the courtyard surface was brought in by twenty trucks. Eight water tanks, each containing one thousand liters were placed on top of the building. Then water was sprayed through pipes that surrounded the top of the building to create the effect of heavy rain. As Indonesian sunlight changes, so did the temperature. The difference is shown clearly on camera, especially its effect on skin tone. In order to combat the issue, the massive open courtyard was covered with a custom made "silk butterfly", essentially a drape measuring 20 x 50 x 32 meters. The drape was hung and controlled by a series of slings. This allowed it to open and close when needed according to the movement of the sun.

Sugar Cane (opening scene)

When Evans wrote the script, he had the film's opening in mind. He imagined a wide shot of a vast green sugar cane plantation. Sugar cane plantations exist in several locations in the suburbs of Jakarta. Each plantation has a different harvesting period. Thus, the production schedule dictated which plantation would be used. The eventual selection was located four hours away from Jakarta.

Nightclub

The nightclub scene is where Prakoso gets trapped by Uco and Prakoso and must fight his way out while under attack by Uco's men from all sides. Some of the cinematography designed by Matt Flannery and Evans required a Jimmy Jib and the use of a dolly track. These requirements dictated the choice of nightclub location with a high ceiling and wide open space.

"The way we design our shots on The Raid 2 is very detailed and specific. We are always aware of the geography of a scene - both in terms of the choreography of fighting, blocking of the actors, but also in the camera positioning and movement. This means our location requirements are very detailed in where we need structures to be, and how the space is laid out. A lot of work is put into finding the location that best fits our needs, and in some cases we actually need to adapt the space. The nightclub specifically required extensive special equipment to achieve some long, complex camera moves, so we spent a lot of time visiting clubs and venues, measuring and walking through the camera's path to ensure we were able to get the shots as we designed them." (Matt Flannery)

After a protracted search for a suitable location, they chose a club in Bandung, a city three hours away from Jakarta. Given the complex choreography for the scene, the sling team required a certain amount of flexibility, especially to support Yayan when he had to jump off of a second floor balcony down to the dance floor. Open space that allowed for more freedom in terms of choreography and satisfied the complex technical requirements was a key aspect of this location. The filming at the night club took one week. Snow Alleyway

In this scene, an assassin targets and kills Prakoso. Evans wanted to have snow in the scene for the aesthetic effect. He believed it would further heighten Prakoso's death by contrasting red blood flowing on clean white snow. The alley used for this shot is located in Gang Gardu jati, Bandung, not too far from the nightclub.

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