About The Locations
With the casting process
underway, producer Alan Marshall brought long-time Verhoeven collaborator Allan
Cameron to Los Angeles as "Hollow Man"s production designer. Work
began on the pictures primary setting, the
gigantic, secret underground laboratory featured in Andrew Marlowes screenplay.
It is one of the largest single motion picture sets ever constructed.
The Sony Pictures studio
in Culver City, California, had just the stage to house this enormous facility,
which consisted of labs, an observation and recovery room, medical supply areas
and labyrinthine tunnels. Sony's historic Stage 15, approximately 360 by 160 feet
and over 40 feet high, was long famed as
the largest sound stage in the world.
Cameron found the design
project intriguing. "I wanted to create a closed atmosphere that in the
beginning feels like a safe home for this family of scientists," says
Cameron. "But as Sebastian deteriorates, the laboratory becomes more
threatening and claustrophobic. It is a very interesting setting for the third
act when everyone is trapped inside with this horrible, invisible force. It is an ideal setting as the
film becomes a haunted house movie."
Marshall recalls, "In
the story, we decided that the facility was originally a Cold War bunker that
had been essentially abandoned 30 years ago. Within that graying shell, the U.
S. government has now built a high-tech, hush-hush laboratory."
Adds Cameron, "You
have this shell that contains old air-conditioning and air-filtration systems
along with rusted machinery and aging electrical systems. We separated the old
portion of the bunker from the new with stainless steel walls and large expanses
of plate glass, creating a vivid juxtaposition of old and new. I designed a
large, S-shaped corridor that curves through the complex so that you are never
sure what is around the corner. We also installed masses of pipes and conduits
in the ceilings where Sebastian could hide above his victims."
A particular challenge was
a sequence in which the sprinkler system floods the main corridor and we see a
partial "Hollow Man" materialize through the falling water. Cameron
and special effects coordinator Stan Parks, calling on years of film experience,
devised an enormous circulating system that could reuse the water and keep it
heated for the actors comfort.
challenge was the construction of a tall elevator shaft that serves as the only
physical link between the laboratory and the real world. It is in this deep
crevice that the film reaches its deadly climax as Linda and Matt desperately
try to escape a hellish inferno and a friend gone mad and invisible.
"We decided to build
this set abutting the large parking structure at the studio," explains
"This allowed us to
take advantage of the fact that it has floor levels every 10 feet, and we could
shoot from countless angles."
In addition to filming on
the Southern California soundstage, the unit hit the road for a location shoot
in Washington, D.C. "The film needed to be opened up from time to
time," producer Douglas Wick states, "to intensify the isolation of
the lab. Going on location to Washington, D. C. accomplished that."
Producer Alan Marshall elaborates, "Our goal was to find locations that
were identifiable as the capital, but not typical of the District Of Colu
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