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THE BOURNE IDENTITY

About The Production (Continued)
Another critically important visual element of The Bourne Identity fell to French costume designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud. Rather than dip into his mastery of haute couture - so elegantly displayed in Indochine and East-West - the designer made much grittier choices in dressing Matt Damon and Franka Potente.

"We decided early on to keep a very simple look for Matt as Jason Bourne," said Gayraud. "The character begins with clothing borrowed from the fishermen who save him - very old, very dirty, a torn sweater, a filthy parka. He later begins to establish his personality, but his clothes must never draw attention. He wears practical clothes, the kind you might buy in a military clothing store - T-shirts, jeans, boots. Later, as he needs to gain respectability to gain entry to offices and decent hotels, he wears a simple long black winter coat.

"As Marie, Franka has two looks in the movie," Gayraud continued. "The first is her gypsy/artist look, which is very cool. Our key hair stylist, Kay Georgiou, created multi-colored hair for Franka, very post-punk and on her, extremely attractive. This contrasts with a more conservative look that she affects later. We fabricated every single piece of wardrobe for Franka nothing was store-bought."

Gayraud patterned Nykwana Wombosi's (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) uniform and civilian dress after Zaire's ex-dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and Uganda's di Amin Dada. The character's numerous wives are dressed in a startlingly beautiful array of African and western designs.

The Czech Republic's capital of Prague, which has played virtually every city in Europe recently, primarily doubled as Zurich, Switzerland for The Bourne Identity.

"Unless you view Zurich from far back, in which you see its relationship to the lake, it's not a highly visual city," Crowley observed of the city the production scouted before settling on film-friendly Prague. "We knew that we could select locations in Prague that would be even more dramatic than what we could find in Zurich."

"I expected Zurich to be big and imposing because of the presence of all those banks," added production designer Weil, "but it's a lot more provincial - neat, clean and sweet, sort of a cross between Strasbourg and Berlin."

However, what Weil and his production team created in Prague, assisted by special effects supervisor Philippe Hubin and visual effects supervisor Peter Donen, exceeded neat, clean and sweet. Large swaths of downtown Prague were expropriated by the filmmakers and redressed as Zurich, with tons of faux snow both on the ground and floating to earth, often abetting the real snow in wintry, sub-freezing Prague. Joined by a contingent of highly skilled and experienced Czech film personnel, The Bourne Identity took full advantage of what the city had to offer.

A defunct branch of the HypoBank - on its way to being completely refurbished as a luxury hotel - was cannily converted by Weil, supervising art director Bettina von den Steinen and set decorator Alexandrine Mauvezin into the United States Consulate in Zurich, one of the most important backdrops in the story. It's here that Bourne, under suspicion by Swiss police, tangles with Marines and other security personnel and suddenly connects with Marie. Three stories of the Consulate were created within, including the huge Visa Room and office space above.

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