THE TRUMAN SHOW
Behind The Scenes
"From the network that never sleeps - broadcasting live and unedited 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, around the globe
"From the network that never sleeps - broadcasting live and
unedited 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, around the globe...with
Truman Burbank as himself, taped in the world's largest studio,
one of only two man-made structures visible from space (the other
being the Great Wall of China), comes the longest running documentary
soap opera in history, now in its 30th great year - 'The Truman
---"The Truman Show" announcer
Principal photography for "The Truman Show" began on
December 9, 1996 in Seaside, Florida. In March of 1997, the cast
and crew arrived in Los Angeles to complete the balance of filming
on stage and local locations.
A unique series of challenges faced the filmmakers in bringing the world of "The Truman Show" to the screen. The unusual storyline, coupled with Weir's own vision, dictated a specific location which could become the almost-too-perfect town of Seahaven, a town completely enclosed within the world's largest soundstage .
Weir had considered using Los Angeles studio backlots to create
Seahaven from scratch. "The town needed a feeling of having
been purpose built, and built all at one time, as with any television
or movie set," notes Weir. When certain logistical challenges
rendered the idea impractical, Weir and production designer Dennis
Gassner began scouting several areas along the coasts of California
and Florida. Wendy Stites, the film's visual consultant, brought
to Weir's attention an old article from an Australian architecture
magazine about the planned community of Seaside, in Florida. When
Weir and Gassner visited the town, they knew they had found Truman
Burbank's hometown of Seahaven.
"It looked like it had been built for our show. I knew we
could enhance it to create the ideal setting for Seahaven,"
Built along a beautiful stretch of beach property in northwest
Florida, Seaside is a 90-acre planned community founded by developer
Robert Davis and his wife, Daryl, in 1980.
Comprised of over 300 cottages used by year-round residents and
vacation guests, Seaside features its own local post office, art
galleries, antique shops, boutiques, bookstores and restaurants,
all within walking distance of each home. The residents of Seaside
conform to a unique building code, wherein each cottage is required
to adhere to a neo-Victorian style of architecture - no ranch
houses, no Colonials, no split-levels. Every home features a white
picket fence, but no two fences on the same street are alike.
And each of Seaside's streets lead to the ocean. The storybook
cottages, which are all painted in cheery pastels, carry individual
names, such as Eversong and Ain't Misbehaving, and
feature porches, ample windows, and wide eaves.
"The script drove the design, but the visuals of the film's
Seahaven really came from this community. It is a highly architecturally
designed environment--a kind of neoclassical, postmodern retro
world, and quite unique," recalls Dennis Gassner. "If
I got stuck on an aspect of my designs, I could take a ride on
my bicycle around town, and would always find something which
would stir an idea."
Director Weir, whose previous films had all been set somewhere
in the real world, either past or present, relished the opportunity
to develop a look, environment and history for a fictitious, long-running
"If you're going to create a world, you can imagine what
it might be like in the future, or you can draw f
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