THE REPORT...a riveting thriller based on actual events... Idealistic staffer Daniel J. Jones [Adam Driver] is tasked by his boss Senator Dianne Feinstein [Annette Bening] to lead an investigation of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, which was created in the aftermath of 9/11. Jones’ relentless pursuit of the truth leads to explosive findings that uncover the lengths to which the nation’s top intelligence agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law, and hide a brutal secret from the American public. –Amazon Studios
“Spending years in a windowless room, Jones learns that it is not only the buildings that collapsed that dreadful day; they were followed by a kind of moral collapse that afflicted our leaders and the CIA,” says Writer-Director Scott Z. Burns.
“Going back to George Washington, the prohibitions against torture are inherent in our country’s identity — and yet we were quick to abandon the moral high ground...”*
“...We have laws and ideals not for the days when life is easy, but for the days when we see our world shattered by terror and cruelty. The wisdom in those laws is there to guide us when we are blinded by rage and grief, but instead America and our leaders moved toward what Dick Cheney readily admitted was the “dark side.” The psychiatrist James Gilligan once said: “Violence is an attempt to replace shame with self-esteem.” And it is this ill-fated attempt by the CIA under Bush and Cheney that Jones chronicles in the 6,700 pages of the full Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report.”*
“The truth is not always welcomed by history — or by politics — and Jones finds that the American government would have preferred to keep this grim story hidden rather than confront it and inspect its lessons. And so, THE REPORT is not just the story of brutal and ineffective policies that were pursued and then lied about, it is also the story of one public servant — a Senate staffer — who worked for years to expose the truth to the world...”*
The first-time director/longtime writer/producer, mentored by friend and associate Steven Soderbergh, wisely reached out to Production Designer Ethan Tobman and Set Decorator Rich Devine SDSA to bring about compelling, accurate sets to establish historic credibility and visual acuity. This was truth-telling, and the sets must reflect that, yet at the same time convey mood and atmosphere.
See the photo gallery above for key Washington DC sets, and how they helped the story unfold.
Devine gives us an insider look at the insider look!
[Editor’s note: The visceral scenes of torture are strongly depicted in the film. We are not revealing them here. See the film. Definitely see the film.]
Tobman, Devine and their teams had steep challenges of budget and time, but adapted to the requirements and limitations, and more than met the director’s mandate.
Devine notes, “I honestly didn’t think we would be able to pull it off. Anyone with a lick of sanity would have turned it down flat. The scope of the story was enormous and the budget was anything but.”
“Without Ethan's clear vision, a dedicated and experienced crew and a solid backing from our production team, it never would have happened. I was extremely lucky to have such talented assistants and a truly amazing team of dressers. We all laughed a lot, bitched a lot, drank too much shitty coffee and somehow got it done. We are so very lucky to have such an amazing bunch of suppliers, prop houses, florists and artisans in this city.** So many of them pulled small miracles to help us make this happen.”
“We were all very proud of the project and I, for one, was happy to be part of it.”
*Excerpted from “Writer-Director’s Statement” Amazon Studios “Final Credits”
** Devine would like to especially acknowledge the SDSA Business members with whom he worked on this project:
Arenson Prop Centre
AMCO/American Screen and Window
Alpha Companies Motion Picture Rentals
Bridge Furniture & Props
CIA conference room...
“Conference rooms in the film work as a formal framework for the unfolding of history. From bland, non-descript rooms where functionaries preform the day-to-day background work of the government, to the grander, more ornate rooms of the real power brokers.
As Dan’s investigation gains more and more importance, so too, do the rooms he inhabits...”