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SPIDER-MAN

Getting Started
Principal photography on Spider-Man began on January 8, 2001, on Stage 29 at Sony Pictures Studios, site of Peter Parker's home, where he lives with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Stage 27 became the location for the arena wrestling scene, where Peter is pitted in a seeming mismatch with the fearsome Bone Saw McGraw, played by wrestling star and actor "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Over 1,000 extras roared at the antics of Savage, as his Bone Saw McGraw tormented Peter Parker in his makeshift Spider-Man outfit.

"We wanted to build a set where the crowd was right on top of the contestants," explains director Sam Raimi. "We wanted Tobey, as Peter, to feel like he was in this fishbowl, and have the intensity and power of the crowd working on the combatants as they fought."

Raimi worked closely with Production Designer Neil Spisak to create the atmosphere of the wrestling ring:

"I asked Neil to create a very steep rake to the seats, so that the crowd is right on top of the cage where the fight takes place," recalls Raimi. "The crowd provides a lot of energy—they want to see this new contestant just be ripped to shreds."

This scene comes at an early point in Peter Parker's transformation into Spider-Man, where he is not fully in control of and aware of the extent of his powers.

Actor and longtime Raimi collaborator Bruce Campbell portrays the ring announcer for the wrestling match, during which he whips the crowd of onlookers into a frenzy as the match grows more and more intense.

The former Boeing Plant in Downey, Calif. became one of the sets used for the Times Square sequence, where the World Unity Festival is the setting for a terrifying surprise appearance by the Green Goblin. Back on Sony's Stage 27, a corresponding set featuring a hydraulic collapsing balcony was used as MJ dangles precariously high above Times Square.

"The Times Square/World Unity Festival sequence was very complicated and was shot at a number of different locations," recalls Raimi, who credits Production Designer Spisak, Visual Effects Designer John Dykstra, ASC, Special Effects Supervisor John Frazier, Stunt Coordinator Jeff Habberstad, Storyboard Artist Doug Lefler, the actors and numerous other crew members for their contributions to the success of the sequence.

"We shot plates for the optical effects in New York's Times Square, and we shot the building structure itself on Stage 27 of the Sony lot," says Raimi. "Neil Spisak and his art team designed and built a three-story skyscraper section on stage with a breakaway balcony piece, where a lot of the action took place, and then elements were shot in Downey, where we constructed a street scene of Times Square. Still other pieces were shot in the computer, so it was a very complicated, multi-dimensional sequence. It required months of planning."

Neil Spisak's challenge for this scene was to create the various building portions so that the final sequence was seamless.

"I replaced one entire building which is in Times Square with a building that our art department conceived and designed," explains Spisak. "In addition to the hydraulic balcony on Stage 27, there's another piece which is the ground floor of the building, and the surrounding area on the street level of Times Square. This whole sequence of Peter covering the World Unity Festival for the Daily

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