World War Z (2013)

For this assignment, I am analysing the supermarket scene from the 2013 film World War Z starring Brad Pitt.

Supermarket Scene


(M Linsey 2014)


This scene takes place in a supermarket, where people are frantically running between isles with their trolleys overflowing with products, desperately grabbing at as many essential things that they may think they need to survive. It is evident even to someone who has not seen the entire film that this behavior is a result of dire circumstances. The props, location design, costumes, sound and actors all contribute to create the mood of desperateness and chaos. It is immediately made apparent that disaster has struck by the complete lack of order present. The family that this film follows, as well as everyone else in this scene are trying to gather as many vital items as they can, and the usual consciousness of being civil is no longer relevant or important. It is instead replaced with fear and the instinct to survive. The raw human emotions of vulnerability, fear and survival are key in this scene, and every single element within this it plays a part in creating this effect. They were all carefully selected to communicate these moods and messages to the audience.


In order to illustrate how I could recreate this scene, I will provide a list of all the main things that made it successful in portraying what was intended- a chaotic, disorderly supermarket- and exactly where I would find the materials, locations and whatever else necessary. Even the smallest details which may not seem so important when first viewing the scene are essential in some way.



To begin, the first thing to address would be to decide where the scene is set. The scene in World War Z only really covers one location – a simple supermarket. It is not a particularly extravagant one with a big brand name, but instead seems to be  a local one, with the name ‘NJ Mart’. At the very beginning of the scene, the audience is able to see an outside view of this supermarket, establishing the location for the audience. When recreating this scene, it would be quite difficult to use a real supermarket. Asking the owners if I could temporarily trash their store to film a single scene may not go down all that well. Instead, I could film the outside of a real supermarket briefly to establish the location just as the scene did, and then set up the inside of a studio or old warehouse to make it look like a supermarket. This way, I can get the exact look I want for the scene freely. There are also supermarkets that one can rent that can be specifically used for filming, which would be a lot more practical. Places like these were found in London, which is very accessible, and screenshots of the websites are shown below.

This website shows where I can hire an empty warehouse, where I can set up props to make it look like a supermarket.
This is a screenshot of a website where I can rent supermarkets for filming purposes.
An interior view of a supermarket available for filming.

Location 5113

4This screenshot shows an online form I can fill out to inquire about filming in one of the supermarket locations. It includes the entering of contact details, purpose and title of the project I wish to use the space for and description of what I require from the location. (screenshot taken from



The floods of people flowing in and out of the supermarket and up and down the isles within this scene play a huge part in showing the chaos that is occurring. Hiring extras is therefore essential. They are self proclaimed have the UK’s largest and widest selection of extras who are readily available for filming. people of varying ethnic backgrounds, looks and ages are all available, and you are able to select the exact shape, height, race, age or skills you want your extra to have. There are multiples of agencies across the UK that supply walk ins and extras, such as Another online service that offers extra’s is one called Extra People. It offers the same as casting collective, and has the same rates. For hiring actors and extras fro filming, There are three main union agreements used in and around the London area that are subject to both of the casting sites. They are the FAA/PACT Agreement, The BBC Equity Agreement and ITV Equity Agreement. As an independent filmmaker recreating this scene, I would fall into the FAA/PACT Agreement.



This shows the rates for a corporate company to hire extras and walk ins per day.


Main Actors

There are multiples of websites that feature actors who are readily available for work.,, and all look like gret websites that let you get in touch the actors that you want.


(Screenshot from

Health and Safety

The presence of a health and safety team is absolutely essential. There is so much opportunity for accidents to take place on the film set, whether it is from performing a dramatic stunt or simply tripping over when running down a hill. Three essential things to have on the film set would be a first aid kit, a person with appropriate training and skills who’s sole responsibility is to aid any sort of injury that may take place, and a list that details all of the potential hazards on the film set, that everyone  is made aware of. Suitable first Aid kits are available for purchase online.


Two particular parts in this scene have the potential to lead to accidents and certain precautions must be taken.

The first one is less likely, where two men are seen wrestling the woman to the floor. Although their handling of her is quite brief, a crash mat may be necessary to reduce the possiblity of any kind of injury. Often, in an attempt to make a scene that shows violence as believeable and impactful as possible, directors and actors can get caught up in their job and forget that real injuries can occur.


The second part that can lead to a more serious injury is the shoot off between the actor Brad Pitt and the man who shot at him first. The type of guns most liekly used for this were blank guns, and if aimed directly at a person, can cause serious injury. Also, if anything goes wrong witht thsis prop and it malfunctions in some way, there could be very serious consequesies- many people have been known to get badly hurt or even lose their life from the careless handling of a blank gun. It is for this reason that someone should be solely responsible for the handling, loading, and unloading of the gun, beside form the actor.






SUPERMARKET ITEMS (should be provided by the supermarket location.)





(Screenshot taken from website

There are multiples of different types of imitation guns used in films. Some of them include blank guns, function guns, rubber guns, suicide guns. Blank guns are the most realistic looking, and were most likely used in the scene being analysed. They are extremely close to real guns, except that they do not fire a shell or bullet. They do however, contain gun powder and they fire blank cartridges, that create a realistic ‘bang’ noise and quick flash. As scene in the supermarket scene, a blast is actually seen coming out of both guns between the two male characters, so the gun could not have been sealed, a simile rubber make, or a detailed toy gun like the other ones listed. In the website shown above, blank guns are available for hire online.



This shows the different models of guns that would be available, and the price if I were to purchase instead.


(Screenshot taken from website


This trolley is available for rent as a prop for the supermarket. Also, if a fully furnished supermarket studio is used, trollies may already be available.


(Screenshot taken from


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There is a part in the scene where the main Actor gets medication from the pharmacy section of the supermarket. Over the counter medicines and drugs can be used to depict this. The above screenshot shows boxes of medicine that are almost identical to what is shown in the film scene.




To make promotional posters to put up around the supermarket in order to set the location further, I can design my own and customize it as I see fit. I can then print them out in bulk and at a reasonable price at a printing company such as the one shown above.

(Screenshot taken from

Costume Design

The costume in this scene was designed to make the actors in the supermarket and the main family involved look like average people. The family seems like middleclass people, so the clothing that will be hired should suit this. Companies that design costume specifically for film and entertainment can be seen below. An alternative however, would be to purchase no brand clothing, as most of the costume design companies mainly cater for extravagant costumes rather than what is used in this scene.




An alternative however, would be to purchase no brand clothing, as most of the costume design companies mainly cater for extravagant costumes rather than what is used in this scene.


For the part in the scene where the policeman is featured, a police uniform can be hired. Screenshots are shown below.



(Shooting Stars Uniforms no date)






Primary Research

Examples of primary research I would conduct when researching this production would include physically going to the locations that I have found online and have a thorough look at its interior, exterior and places that surround it. I will make sure that the supermarket is spacious enough for the camera crew to easily move swiftly between the isles. Furthermore, with the heaps of extras running around the supermarket too, the space should not be limited and cramped at all.

In addition, I would also have multiple actors audition in front of me. They would act out pieces of this scene and read the lines that their character is required to say.  Having seen this, I would be able to choose the people who are best suited for the role.




Hart, E. (2013) Are blank-firing guns dangerous? Available at: (Accessed: 09 November 2016).

fie D foe and Limited, S.F. (no date) Moving image education. Available at: (Accessed: 14 November 2016).