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AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS

About The Look
On one of the lengthy overseas flights to scout locations, recalls production designer Perry Blake, he and Frank Coraci started talking about Fogg's jetpack that seems to scare off his valets— until Passepartout. "I talked about it being very futuristic, as if Phileas is really a forward-looking visionary, not just from the 1880s.”

Expanding on Blake's suggestion for the jetpack, the duo determined the ‘visual language' of the film. The pair was drawn to the imagery of the 1950s. "We liked the '50s because they were the years when people tried to project what the future would be like. You saw flying saucers and rocket ships and those kinds of things,” says Blake. "We tried to integrate that into a movie that took place in the 1880s. It was ‘future retro'.”

The idea of ‘future retro' threaded its way throughout the film. The filmmakers borrowed from time periods ranging from the 1880s through the year 2100. "We tried to take pieces of what we already knew so that as you see different elements of the movie you think, ‘Oh, maybe that's where that came from. If Phileas Fogg really invented the first one, then this is how it turned into something else,'” says Blake. With such disparate terms as "period,” "ahead of its time,” "classic” and "future-retro” being used to describe "Around the World in 80 Days,” cinematographer Phil Meheux had a challenging assignment. Director Frank Coraci decided that "we wanted a classy, authentic, period look… colorful but dirty. Phil Meheux was great, because he combined modern camera placement with period lighting.”

Coraci strived for a hybrid between period and non-period throughout the film. "We took things from the period, then we pushed the styles,” says the director. "Phileas' look was almost 1960's mod. The helmet on the jetpack was like a skateboarding helmet. Jackie's goggles remind me of snowboarding goggles.”

The director also wanted a colorful palette in the film that didn't step over the line into childish. "We would take the color scheme of a particular set and then give it some vibrant color,” says Blake of the process, "but then we sort of aged it down, so it blended in more.”

Costume designer Anna Sheppard helped achieve the film's festive feel. An Academy Award® nominee for both "The Pianist” and "Schindler's List,” Sheppard worked with Jackie Chan previously on "Shanghai Knights.”

"This was a very unusual project for me because I'm considered a war specialist after designing costumes for ‘Schindler's List,' ‘The Pianist' and ‘Band of Brothers,'” says Sheppard. "This is completely different, which is why I enjoyed it so much.”

Sheppard relished the artistic freedom afforded her on "Around the World in 80 Days.” "This is a film with flying machines and other inventions that obviously are from a fairy tale. You had to think differently about period costumes. I didn't have to feel obliged to follow every rule. I could bend the rules to the requirements of the film.”

Although research is an important preparation tool for any movie, says Sheppard, "It was very much your personal interpretation of the period that's mattered on this film.”

Even on a flights-of-fancy film like this one, the costumes are crucial to the actors' performances, stresses Sheppard. "Wearing these period clothes for twelve hours changes your approach to them, and makes you feel like you really lived in that period. Everything is different,” she explains. "So it's not only the experience of dressing people that way, it's also the actor responding to the costumes—making them walk differently and sit down differently and behave differently.”

Creating costumes to reflect countries as diverse as India, China, and England was a tall order. Finding the fabrics, th

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