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Cinematography And Design
The complex drama and action Spielberg conceived for the film demanded a number of large-scale believable sets and intimate synergy between all departments – from lighting to design to visual effects to the massive special effects and stunt sequences. Using both practical locations and soundstages at three major studios, Alex McDowell's art department created preliminary sketches and storyboards that, once approved, gave way to Ron Frankel's animatics from Pixel Liberation Front, a company which helped Spielberg and McDowell create 3D, moving storyboards to pre-visualize virtually every scene in the film, saving the production potentially millions of dollars in tests.

Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, who has worked on every Spielberg film since 1993's multiple-Oscar-winning Schindler's List, points out that the large scale sets and visual effects required all departments to work closely together. "More than any other production I've been involved with, I would say this is the movie where all the departments collaborated the most," he says. "We incorporated our own ideas to the sets in terms of lighting and how the camera is going to move. There are sequences where the camera moves through an entire house and that has to be designed to fulfill that kind of demand. So, to maintain coherence of the images and continuity of the lighting and visual style, we had to become involved in building the sets and working with wardrobe months in advance."

Spielberg saw Minority Report as a noir film from the beginning. "I said to Janusz I wanted to make the ugliest, dirtiest movie I have ever made," Spielberg remembers. "I want this movie to be dark and grainy, and to be really cold. This isn't a warm adventure the way A.I. was. This is, rather, the rough and tumble, gritty world of film noir."

Consequently, Kaminski and Spielberg worked to create a visual world that would mirror Anderton's dark, emotional and psychological journey. "We wanted to create a world that feels realistic, kind of seedy, and full of shadows," Kaminski describes. "We wanted it to be a dangerous world."

To achieve this affect, Kaminski designed the lighting to allow for such elements as darker shadows and grainy skies, and used a bleach by-pass process in developing the film to desaturate the colors and create a grittier world. "Normally, when you develop the print, the film goes through a process in which the emulsion gets bleached out," Kaminski explains. In skipping this process, "the highlights become much more severe in terms of not seeing any details. The blue skies get eliminated; the shadows become really dark; and the grain structure gets altered, making it grittier. The movie takes place in the future, but we wanted to create a world that feels realistic but also dangerous. Lighting the movie with heavy contrast and not allowing the viewers to see any details in the shadows, automatically creates a sense of danger."

The main set pieces broke down into several sections – Anderton's apartment, where we are first introduced to a device called the Mag-Lev, a network of magnetic "roads" for advanced magnetic cars running both horizontally and vertically throughout the city; Pre-Crime headquarters and the area called the Temple, where the Pre-Cogs are kept; and the Hall of Containment, the state-of-the-art suspension chamber where murderers are stacked end to end in pneumatic tubes. For both the Mag-Lev track and the cars, a synthesis between practical effects, real cars and functional models, and visual effects elements was essential.

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