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Setting The Scene

Principal photography on The Family Man began in November 1999, in Teaneck, New Jersey, and Sleepy Hollow, New York, where fall foliage was still in evidence. Special effects supervisor John Richardson and his team had to transform the neighborhoods into a picturesque winter wonderland to set the snowbound Christmas scene, and dust the streets of Manhattan with a mini-blizzard.

The newly dressed winter facades had curious neighbors stopping by for a look.

Cast and crew then moved to Manhattan in December to film throughout the city and take advantage of the scenery that was now festooned with holiday decor.

Following a holiday break, production resumed in Los Angeles to shoot the majority of the film's interior scenes during a seven-week span of filming at locations that included the elegant Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel, the Los Angeles International Airport and suburban homes in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys.

Cast and crew then moved to soundstages that housed the sets for the Campbell house and the Wall Street corporate offices.

Production designer Kristi Zea, who crafted the visually unique looks for such films as Beloved, Sleepers and Philadelphia, designed across a wide spectrum to capture the two very diverse worlds of Jack Campbell: from his Manhattan penthouse, which reflected a highly evolved sense of style and taste, to the comfortably cluttered and kid-friendly suburban household.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of her design concept was how to illustrate the very sophisticated tastes of Jack Campbell the financier. Says Zea, "It was a challenge for the simple reason that everybody has his own opinion about what good taste should be and what a high concept design should look like."

One aspect of Jack's Wall Street life on which everyone agreed was that he should be an avid art collector. With that in mind, Zea and her art department opted to give Jack's apartment and office spaces a decidedly modern and spare look accented with an eclectic art collection featuring Rodin sculptures and paintings from such renowned artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombly and Francis Bacon. The filmmakers and Cage were all very much involved with Zea in the consideration of artwork.

All of the artists graciously allowed their work to be reproduced exclusively for the film.

The minimalist look of Jack's corporate office and apartment provided an essential starting point to establish Jack's simple, well-ordered life of luxury, in counterpoint to his segue into the more chaotic, layered and cluttered atmosphere of family life.

Zea was especially pleased by the opportunity to work in close collaboration with award-winning cinematographer, Dante Spinotti, whose work on The Insider and LA Confidential brought him Academy Award nominations.

"I have never worked so closely with a cinematographer on the lighting of a set," said Zea, referring to Jack's opulent office space. "It was so exciting. We wound up designing the lighting within the set so that Dante could shoot without adding any extra lights. It looks remarkable on the screen."


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