Yesterday, we had the privilege of touring the old Elementary/Middle school in Lordstown, Ohio and it was an awesome experience. From the information that we have come across, the school was originally built in 1917 and was finally closed in 2008. Considering that the school was an elementary/middle school, it is probably safe to assume that it housed students K-8 prior to its closure. We would like to say at this time, that the property is abandoned, but is still owned by Lordstown School District and Trespassing is seriously frowned upon.
We initially contacted personnel affiliated with the school in lieu of using it to film portions of our new short film “Operation Ironhorse” after we [safely] toured the outside of the building. Once we were permitted access into the interior, we soon realized that they layout and condition were near perfect for our concepts. The building is three stories tall and although the footprint of the school may seem a bit small from the outside, once inside, you realize that it is a lot larger that expected. Classrooms and old lockers line the hallways and corridors; the paint on some walls are starting to peel away exposing concrete and brick. A lot of the furniture, equipment and misc school items have been pulled out and either re-used or sold; glass litters the floors from vandals and delinquents; drop ceiling tiles and insulation also litter the floors. Although, it is in rough condition [compared to what it use to be], standing in the main hallway of the school, you get an awe-inspiring feeling of a desolate ‘waste-landish’ vibe. For those who have seen the 2006 video game based movie “Silent Hill“, this school looks like it could be dropped right into the middle of that environment with no issues of fitting in. “As film makers, avid video gamers, and ‘urban explorers’, we could not have found [or made] such a ‘perfect’ filming site elsewhere. This building is just beautiful in its own special way.”
After about an hour and a half inside the school, we started to get our ‘bearings’; mapping out a imaginary mental layout of the school. We then spent a few more hours discussing different ideas, concepts, positional layouts and lighting possibilities. In all honesty, the only problem that we have with the building is that someone has gone through gutting the copper electrical lines for scrap; the ability to run power into the building went right down hill.
Photos of the exterior and interior will be uploaded later on; we will also post on location blogs/behind the scenes videos [from inside the school] later if we are able to work out an arrangement with the property holders.
Laythrom Media Production Crew