22 JUMP STREET
Production designer Steve Saklad says that Lord and Miller were clear in
their direction: they wanted a realistic design into which they could drop the
madness of Schmidt and Jenko. "There was a sense that we had to be honest and
not an out-and-out comedy film when it came to presenting the college world,"
says Saklad. "There was a sense that if these guys are in a real world with
recognizable college students around them, the comedy would play much better."
As a result, in creating the college environments, Saklad used sepia-toned
images to create a history to the institution - and piled on the gags from
there. In naming the on campus buildings, Saklad used names of fonts to create
the fictitious Helvetica computer center, Bookman Memorial Library, Garamond
Quad, and Clarendon Hall, all based on font names. (Though it should be noted
that another building - the Benjamin Hill Center for Film Studies - is the
background of a back-and-forth chase that is missing only the familiar strains
of "Yakety Sax.")
In a nod to one of the film's running gags - that sequels have to be bigger
and more expensive than the first film - the Jump Street team have big, bold new
headquarters. Which means, practically speaking, it's out with Korean Jesus at
21 Jump Street and in with Vietnamese Jesus across the street - a front for
their new high-tech and ultramodern headquarters.
For the Jump Street unit headquarters, Saklad and his art department team
located a neoclassical church in New Orleans that had been abandoned since
Hurricane Katrina. After reinforcing and cleaning the building, they transformed
it into the Vietnamese church.
In the center of the headquarters is a cube (get it?!) that serves as Captain
Dickson's office. "Surrounding Dickson's office was this shimmery, sexy glass
and perforated metal, and a series of cubicles and bulletin boards, and task
stations," Saklad explains. "It was all lit by elegant LED strips that could go
any color of the spectrum. Since the rest of the movie is in college frat halls,
grubby attics, and back alleys, we wanted the headquarters to have a 'Wow
The film's biggest set piece is the climax, which takes place in the
fictional town of Puerto, Mexico.
The sequence was filmed in Puerto Rico, with the beach party filmed on the
sand as hundreds of extras danced to the beats of the world-renowned DJ Diplo.
"We got an installation of a stage and graphics, hundreds of screaming
students in states of undress, filling the beach with red cups and other vices,
spread out all over the beach. It was quite a sight," says Saklad.
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