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Location & Costumes
Raboy and MacPherson's unique stylistic approach also infused the production design of several key locations and set pieces. "The filmmakers kept saying to me ‘think of this film as almost having the visual style of a drama,'" recalls production designer Amy B. Ancona. "Glen and Marcus wanted to keep the tone really dark in almost every set, so we kept a lot of sheen on the walls and used a lot of really rich colors which enabled the cast to move around without having to take light off the walls."

One of the greatest challenges for Ancona and her production design team was finding a strip mall that could be transformed into the largest, most central set piece in the film. "We tried to find a practical location with some character that we also thought we could have fun with," says Ancona. "The location also had to have a lot of interesting shooting angles because we were going to be filming there for three weeks. We found a really great location in Torrance and had a lot of fun converting it to what we wanted because we were able to push it a little out there creatively with stores like Holy Moly's Donut Shop and Pimp and Ho's clothing store."

"To reference reality and reconstruct it into movie form is a major amount of work and Amy did a great job," praises Marcus Raboy. "She had to take over an entire strip mall, redesign it and come up with a balance between reality and comedy that reads funny quickly. It was a big challenge and she really made the most of everything and put together some great looking sets."

Costume designer Dana Campbell drew upon her experience working in the same capacity on Next Friday. "Because I worked with Cube before, I was familiar with most of the characters in the film," says Campbell. "He has a clear vision of what he wants and uses great adjectives which enable me to visualize the character wardrobes without having to ask many questions. When someone tells you a look, you're trying to get more of a feel from which to build the character. Cube wanted to keep the look of the wardrobe really simple and progressive which gives the film a very realistic look."

Campbell showcased her creative talents and was pushed to her stylistic limits by the ever-flamboyant pimp character of Money Mike. "I have never spent 15 hours shopping in stores with one actor," laughs Campbell. "I had some ideas for Money Mike because I have dressed Detroit and Chicago pimps before. We had three different show-and-tells, and then the filmmakers picked out the outfits. His look is a Detroit pimp, but with his own style and flavor."

The costume designer continues, "With his character we were always big on the details, especially his shoes. Just before production started, I was having them covered and the guy who was doing the work made a mistake on one of the pairs of shoes the day that I went to pick them up. Sometime mistakes can be a blessing in disguise because I decided to use one of each pair and that turned out to be his signature look in the film."

Throughout the course of the 38-day production schedule, fans were a constant presence, often reaching in to the hundreds. While on location, Ice Cube never passed on an opportunity to greet fans, sign autographs and take photos. "When he does that type of thing you watch with amazement," says producer Matt Alvarez. "He understands the more time he spends with his fans, not only does he keep them<


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