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X-MEN 2

About The Production
One of the less daunting, although critically important, decisions made by the production was where the second film would be shot. In 1999, "X-Men" spent five months on location in Toronto. This time, however, the filmmakers agreed that it made more sense to film in Vancouver.

"We chose Vancouver because it had larger stage spaces to accommodate our truly gargantuan sets and we needed snow – and lots of it – for the third act," says producer Ralph Winter. "The Canadian Rockies are not that far from Vancouver which was convenient for us." Winter also states that Vancouver's relatively close proximity to Los Angeles was another important consideration.

Filming began on location in Victoria, the capital of the province British Columbia, where Hatley House at Royal Roads University served as Professor Xavier's mansion. Although the production utilized several non-studio locations in and around Vancouver, the majority of filming took place at the Vancouver Film Studios and the Mammoth Studios, a former Sears department store warehouse, where the production built the single largest sound stage in North America. In fact, X2 is not only the biggest budgeted movie to ever shoot in Canada but it was also the biggest "build" in terms of sheer scale, time, personnel and studio space square footage.

Much of the responsibility of that work rested on the shoulders of production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, who is one of the new members of the X2 team. It was Dyas who oversaw the creation and construction of twenty massive sets.

"We got to expand upon the wonderful work like the underground blue walls of Xavier's mansion and, of course, Cerebro, both created by ‘X-Men' production designer John Myhre," says Dyas. "Designing this film was easier in some respects than the first ‘X-Men' because so much had been established in that film."

In developing the look of X2, Dyas, a former illustrator, personally created over 2,000 drawings, from thumbnail sketches to fully rendered Photoshop art. "Bryan wanted me to give him scope," says Dyas. "He wanted ‘X2' to expand in terms of exteriors; he wanted more scale, more vistas. The look of the film had to reflect the expansion of the story. X2 had to feel bigger and be visually more imposing. You don't ever want to sit through a film and feel that you're in the same place you were three years ago."

Dyas endeavored to give X2 a wide range of aesthetics, from classical to modern, and from high tech to vintage 1930s architecture. The film has both a more sophisticated look and a more comic book-like feel than its predecessor, with high contrast lighting and exaggerated camera angles. Dyas' designs provided the opportunity to open up the world of the X-Men to everything from beautifully manicured Italian gardens to barren snowscapes and derelict architecture. "Every few minutes you're in a new environment," Dyas continues, "discovering new parts of the X-Mansion, X-Jet and locales new to the saga."

Dyas' creations include an abandoned Gothic-style church; a science museum built in a glass walled building (filmed at Vancouver's Plaza of Nations), replete with scale reproductions of prehistoric dinosaur bones; a classical Victorian mansion; and Stryker's Base, a concrete bunker-like structure situated underneath a dam at Alkali Lake.

Stryker's base, complete with a three-story-tall water spillway, occupied over half of the 113,000 square foot Mammoth Studios stage. The production ran over 60 miles of electrical cable throug

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