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About The Production
Make-up designer Ve Neill collaborated with Winston on the makeup design for these "damaged” robots. Once wardrobe and prosthetics were in place, the robot actors would sit in the chairs of Neill's "Robot World” makeup area for several hours as makeup technicians added intricate touches to each.

"My relationship with Stan Winston is really great,” says Neill. "We've done several films together and he's always so much fun. He hires the best people, who are always incredible technicians. This makes my job easier, to say the least. When we filmed the scenes where many robots worked together, we would have as many as thirty makeup technicians working at once to prepare them and touch them up. Some of them were three-hour makeup jobs.”

Spielberg, Winston and Neill wanted much subtler makeup designs for Gigolo Joe and David.  "We did several tests on Gigolo Joe, some with full-face prosthetic devices,” Neill explains. "But it looked too surrealistic. It didn't reflect Jude's warmth and friendliness, which Steven felt was very important to the role. We came up with a simple prosthetic jaw piece and a plasticized facial makeup flexible enough that it wouldn't crack or melt.”

For production designer Rick Carter, the film's three distinct segments offered different complexities in the set building process. The first third of the film takes place in the subtly futuristic, circular Swinton home. The second phase involves David and Gigolo Joe's odyssey that brings them through dark forests and shantytowns to the brutal carnival atmosphere of Flesh Fair and finally to the decadent brilliance of Rouge City. In the film's final third, many digital enhancements were employed to create the underwater and ice sequences in a world drowning in sea water thanks to melted ice caps due to global warming.

Among the many challenges faced by Carter and his crew, Rouge City proved to be one of the most complex sets to design and build.  Some of the City's buildings were built to scale. Others were created digitally and filmed on a special virtual blue screen stage. The main set was constructed  to hide a pulley system that Michael Lantieri's special mechanical effects crew utilized to create the chaos of an "amphibicopter” gone amok in one crucial scene.

"Originally, we had a bigger stage,” Carter reveals. "We were going to spend a million dollars more to create Rouge City. But it became clear that this money would be better used by ILM to digitally create a more expansive city than we could ever build. We would re-dress the set often, so that you really never knew where you would be in it. ILM came up with a virtual digital space on a blue screen stage to further the illusion of a vast city, which was quite groundbreaking technically.”

The blue screen set was unique in that it was designed as a virtual digital environment in which actors could walk through a set and be seen 360 degrees on a monitor which housed all the surrounding scenery in sync. This was achieved by mounting a series of hundreds of unique bar-coded ‘targets' on the ceiling of the soundstage that acted as monitors of points in space.  When a camera moved about the set, the monitor showed the entire "dressed” set on special software that integrated the actors with their programmed environment.

"We had about 800 targets on the ceiling,” says Muren. "Each one had its own separate identity. A video camera scanned them while its software identified them. This way, we could generate the buildings around the actors digitally, giving Steven more choices for shoot


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