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Solving The Case Behind The Scenes
According to producer Charles Roven, creating a uniquely entertaining look for Scooby-Doo was as crucial as crafting an entertaining script and casting the film with a talented ensemble of actors. "We wanted to give the film a tremendously vibrant, visual style, and I believe we achieved our goal," Roven says. "Bill Boes, our Production Designer and Leesa Evans, our Costume Designer, helped to create an exciting film with a vast array of extraordinary sets and costumes. David Eggby, our Cinematographer, did a great job in saturating the screen with visual eye candy, and Raja pushed everyone's imaginations to the limit."

"I describe this movie as a ‘lighting cocktail,'" jokes David Eggby, who has served as Director of Photography on visual effects-laden films like Pitch Black and Dragonheart. "Raja really wanted the colors to ‘pop' off the screen, and Bill Boes did an incredible job of designing sets that radiate with bright, poppy colors. Since the film takes place predominantly at night, it was a challenge to capture those vivid colors while lighting to give the illusion of dark exteriors. Also, Bill's sets were quite big and many of them required extensive lighting; each set required a different approach to the lighting scheme. The trickiest set to light was the cavern, where the film's finale takes place. There really wasn't anywhere to hide any lights, so I designed a special lighting system."

In designing the sets, Bill Boes had to take into account the requirements of the camera department and visual effects team, as well as remain true to the spirit of the original Scooby-Doo series. "We incorporated all of the cartoon conventions into our visual language when we designed the sets," Boes says. "There's always a mysterious castle with medieval suits of armor and skeletons; there's always a library; and there's always a hidden door somewhere. And there are splashes of wild colors everywhere, because the series debuted at the tail end of the ‘60s psychedelic era, so we really played up that aspect. For instance, the exterior of Spooky Castle is purple, but the interior is blue. Each room and every door is a different color. We really went totally over the top, but we always kept within the original visual landscape of Scooby-Doo."

In addition to the sprawling sets built on six sound stages at the Warner Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, the production also relied on a significant amount of location work. The film's dynamic opening sequence was filmed inside the (no longer functioning) Tennyson Power Station in Brisbane. "That power station is like something straight out of the cartoon!" Boes reports. "It looks just like all the old factories in the series – the ‘50s architecture with its glass bricks and the smoke stacks provided the perfect framework for us to build the Wow-O Toy Factory set."

The other major location utilized by the production was the Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort on Moreton Island in Queensland, which doubled as Spooky Island, the freakily fun theme park for college kids run by Emile Mondavarious. Boes rooted the Spooky Island design in "Polynesian, Tiki and Voodoo influences," he says. "Lots of weird masks and faces. Tons of variety and color. We had a huge amount of fun designing it." (The Scooby-Doo Visual Effects team also contributed to the overall look of Spooky Island, digitally enhancing Spooky Castle as well as the amusement park rides.)

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