Set Decorator Susan Benjamin SDSA International has paired with Production Designer Michael Corenblith for a number of great projects, including depictions of true-life stories, from The BLIND SIDE to FROST/NIXON and THE FINEST HOURS, to SAVING MR BANKS and THE FOUNDER...so we knew the gritty realism of THE HIGHWAYMEN would not only ring true but also have a compelling artistic quality. We’ve talked with her often about the creative process and decisions made for many of these projects. This time, she gives us another great perspective, an index of how they brought about the story, shot entirely on location...
Enjoy! Karen Burg Editor
From Set Decorator Susan Benjamin SDSA International...
THE HIGHWAYMEN tells the story of the Texas Rangers who hunted down and killed the infamous outlaws/killers known as Bonnie and Clyde. Following the lead of the director, John Lee Hancock, Production Designer Michael Corenblith and I worked hard to illuminate the existing conditions in the United States that lead to the creation and tragic demise of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
The country was in the midst of a Great Depression, the gap between rich and poor was ever widening, and new technologies were changing the way laws were enforced throughout the States. Although the events depicted occurred in 1934, the story of these celebrity outlaws and the men who caught them is as relevant today as it was then.
Making this film in a record cold and rainy winter in Louisiana was a labor of love.
And so I bring to you…
The Highwaymen Set Decoration Index:
Number of States filmed in: 2 – Louisiana and Texas
Number of Louisiana Parishes filmed in: 11
Number of States Set Decorator and Buyers shopped in: 11
Number of States driven in by Texas Rangers Hamer and Gault to find Bonnie and Clyde: 5 – Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana [See Map.]
Average Cost of gas in the United States in 1934: 10 cents [$.10] per gallon
Average Cost of gas in the United States in 2018: $ 3.55 per gallon
Number of Miles Set Decorator put on rental car: 15,000 miles
Number of Sets dressed: 56
Median family income, 1934: $1,160
Number of Migrant Camps built by Set Decoration: 3
Oklahoma migrant camp
Dallas slum, Bienville
Parish Louisiana Logging camp
Number of new tents purchased: 20
Cost of new tents: $11,169.68
Number of days filmed: 40
Set Decoration Budget for the movie: $476,000 for purchases and rentals.
Special thanks to the SDSA International vendors in LA who never stop supporting us even when we stray elsewhere:
History For Hire
Warner Bros. Props and Drapery
And the Atlanta SDSA business members who make it all happen in points south:
Made to Measure
Georgia Prop Source
Antonio Raimo Gallery
Set locations map...
The locations map shows the myriad places where the production filmed in Louisiana for scenes that took place in Texas and Oklahoma!
See next image for detail...
Set locations map, detail...
See Susan's notes below for specifics!
Map of B&C movements...
Texas lawman Frank Hamer states,
“Outlaws and mustangs always come home.”
He and his partner Maney Gault work from that premise.