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About The Location
Everyone concerned found that the incomparable Hawaiian Island of Kauai was the perfect spot to make Touchstone Pictures "Six Days, Seven Nights"—the first choice of noted production designer J

Everyone concerned found that the incomparable Hawaiian Island of Kauai was the perfect spot to make Touchstone Pictures "Six Days, Seven Nights"-the first choice of noted production designer J. Michael Rival As Riva remembers, "I've worked with Ivan Reitman in the past and what he does is just send me off to find the right environment. So I got on a plane and flew 18 hours to the South Pacific and spent approximately 5 days in Samoa, Fiji, and then traveled all through the French Polynesian Islands.

"It was a remarkable journey and where I got most of my inspiration-the whole time, shooting lots of videotape for references for what our rustic, thatched sets were to look like, because, you must remember, none of this film is set in Hawaii."

Riva was further challenged by the script: "There's a third­world quality to the environment of this movie which is absent on the page, but key to the film's setting. The idea of the movie is about two people who get shipwrecked on an island in a place that they have no familiarity with. I immediately found when I went to Tahiti what a 'third­world' kind of country it is, which is part of the charm of being on a desert island where you don't have contact with the outside world-and that lent to the certain amount of jeopardy the script holds for our two characters.

"So I had to recreate that type of environment, and given the fact that we were shooting in Hawaii, which is very much Americanized, and has malls, and shopping centers, and various fast­food restaurants, you have to create that sense of obscurity and distance for the actors and director, because the tendency is to think that things are civilized, and the atmosphere that you're trying to create is non­civilized, dangerous, and without a lot of help around."

As Riva concludes, "It was a very challenging task to create that feeling of a deserted island in the middle of nowhere. We really had to be very selective about what we picked, and where we picked to film, and to keep in the back of everybody's mind that we're not on American soil, we're in Tahiti, which is very French, very foreign, and very carefree."

Luckily, Riva had shot on Kauai previously, proving a tremendous advantage. ''I knew of a few very specific places that were perfect for 'Six Days, Seven Nights,'" he says. "Most of them, unfortunately, were very hard to get to, inaccessible to a large degree. Our two 'foundation sets' were the resort and its restaurant which we designed based on something that had been shown to me in Tahiti."

"There were lots of other locations to create a deserted jungle island," adds Rival 'We had to go to some remote areas either by boat, or plane, or helicopter, and on foot. The great thing about Ivan is that he really responded to them as much as I did. It is an extraordinarily beautiful island, and it touches your soul, and I think it touched his soul as well. When I turned to him and said, 'I know it's difficult to get here, but this is where we should be,' he was already far ahead of me. Without a director's approval on remote locations like that you don't go to those places. You can dream all you want. Ivan was brave enough to go."

Riva also credits Harrison Ford with the choice of the DeHavilland Beaver, which proved to be perfect for the film. "Harrison knows planes. I know what looks good and what doesn't,<


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