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AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS

About The Production
"An American Werewolf in Paris" was filmed on location in France, Luxembourg and Holland. Having only a couple of weeks to shoot in Paris, the filmmakers were forced to duplicate much of the City of Light at Studio Luxembourg, including building their own "Eiffel Tower" on an interior sound stage. Several important exteriors-such as the famous Pere­Lachaise Cemetery where rock music legend Jim Morrison is buried, and the site of one of the film's key "transformation" scenes-had to be replicated as well. According to production designer Matthias Kammermeier, "Because we had only a few shooting days in Paris, we had to use the days as much as possible to show the city at its best. The rest we had to do in Luxembourg. It was very difficult."

The production ended up building a lot more than they had planned, but in some ways it gave them more control over the look of the film. One problem was finding a real church in which to shoot. When the director and producers spoke to priests in both Paris and Luxembourg about using their sanctuaries, the clergy took it all very seriously. They believed that the devil exists in werewolves and were genuinely frightened that the devil would slip into the story's fictitious werewolf.

It turned out that production designer Kammermeier built sets on 70 locations with 21 studio sets. The Eiffel Tower nearly became one of them. Producer Richard Claus explains, "Two weeks before shooting began we still did not have permission to shoot on the Eiffel Tower. Just in case, we had video taped a radio tower in Berlin and a model at a theme park and visual effects supervisor John Grower had come up with a digital version by the time we had lunch with our French co­producer and the lady from the French Government. Luckily by the end of the meeting she could see no reason for us not to shoot there.

"The difficulty all along had been that the Eiffel Tower used to be the meeting place for anyone who wanted to commit suicide. In our script we had a suicide attempt, kids climbing up the sides, a bungee jump and we wanted permission to shoot all over the Tower."

Director/writer/executive producer Waller's team shot in Paris over a period of two weeks. Not only had they been allowed to shoot anywhere they wanted on the Eiffel Tower, but the lights were also left on all night for the shooting. Usually the three giant switches that control the lights are turned off at midnight.

The move to Luxembourg meant production designer Kammermeier's sets had to be ready. "As the studio stages were very low I had to find a factory or warehouse that had ceilings high enough to accommodate the 40­foot green screens," he explains. "lt also had to be wide enough to build large sets. We found an abandoned factory at Wecker that had apparently been used to build part of Saddam Hussein's super­cannon. I built the church there, Jim Morrison's grave and the platform of the Eiffel Tower, which was one of the most time consuming efforts "

Thirty feet off the ground, Julie Delpy was asked to jump from the platform. "I'm terrified of everything, especially heights!" the actress says. "This has been the most physical movie I have ever done," she explains, "and doing it helped me conquer a lot of fears."

There were three different underground locations to represent the catacombs connected to the church. A part of them was shot at Trois Glands, a historic site near the European parliament and various sections were built by Kammermeier on the stages at

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