Developing ‘Escape Room 2’: How they made four key sets in ‘Tournament of Champions’


On a beach, two women in the background crouch. Two men in the foreground, one crawling and screaming, one holding him back

From left, Brianna (Indya Moore), Nathan (Thomas Cocquerel), Zoey Davis (Taylor Russell) and Ben Callier (Logan Miller) in a picture from “Escape Room: Competition of Champions. ”

(David Bloomer)

“I remember distinctly seated in the room when Adam looked across the table with me and was like, ‘What about a beach? ’” stated Honley. “He starts painting this picture for me and once we knew [we’d include it], the threat just seemed obvious. ”

“Quicksand was always something which was scary to me as a kid, ” said Robitel. “So initially we believed, ‘What about an ancient brow? ’ We did some really cool concept art but it just felt like a ‘Maze Runner’ movie, it didn’t feel like ‘Escape Room. ’ And then one of my Sony executives said, ‘What if it was a beautiful Cape Cod beach? ’”

The beach set was your largest of them all together to be built from the ground upward which made it the longest and most challenging sequence.

“They come out plus it looks like they’re outside but the studio was like, ‘That’s an awesome moment but we can not afford to keep the CG set extension going the whole scene, ’” said Robitel. “So I said, ‘OK, what if Indya Moore’s personality takes a photo and then suddenly the whole beach turns into this big amazing backdrop that you can feel is a wall? ’”

They custom made ordered a translight — “this massive piece of fabric with a photo that we required [of a beach] and brought in from the UK, ” said Robitel. “It was probably like three mls of fabric, like this huge curtain and again i was like, ‘Will this work? ’”


“There was only one organization in the Northern Hemisphere that could print such a large canvas for us, ” said Thomas. They camera-tested it to guarantee the patina of the cloth would give off “that lovely 1950s postcard feel. ”

Pulling it away was “inordinately difficult, ” Robitel says, because of the challenge of working with sand and the mechanisms required to sink the particular actors and scenery. “It was 20, 000 plenty of sand that they brought in from the beach in Cape City and everything that you see is practical, ” said Robitel. “It took a minute to kitchen sink somebody and it was throwing up all of these bubbles, it looked like weird porridge. Or somebody wouldn’t sink but then they would just drop. ”

“We got special effects teams [fluidizing] the sand so that it would turn liquid, ” he added. “Every time an actor would kitchen sink, they would be kicking upward all this sand into everybody’s eyes and people’s corneas were scratched. The pier itself and everything you observe sinking in the movie had been done practically, so it was almost like an Universal backstage set the way it was really functional. You could press control keys and the Crab Shack would certainly roll and teeter and start to sink. It was really cool but very, very challenging. ”