About The Production
Principal photography on Blade was filmed on location in the Los Angeles area
Principal photography on Blade was filmed on location in
the Los Angeles area. Production Designer Kirk Petruccelli
was responsible for creating Blade's entire world, as imagined
by Norrington and Goyer. Having worked on the gritty suspense
drama Murder In the First and the fantasy action adventure
Three Ninjas, Petruccelli brought a perfect mix of experience
and imagination to Blade.
The filmmakers envisioned elaborate production designs that would
convey the distinctions between the two different worlds depicted
in the film. While the vampire world is slick, the human
world is gritty; vampires are refined and graceful, while humans
are coarse and awkward. Hence, the environments inhabited
by these two disparate societies had to reflect the unique contrast
between humans and vampires. "The vampire world is
angular; it's hard, very reflective, glossy, cold," says
Petruccelli. "And the human world is chaotic and rusty;
it's organic, and it's in decay." The production designer
worked closely with the film's award-winning cinematographer,
Theo Van de Sande, and costume designer Sanja Hays, to establish
a continuity of atmosphere. "Color is extremely important,"
Petruccelli explains. "The camera moves continuously
from one scene to another, and you have to make sure that there's
a continuity of hue; the colors of costumes and props, even vehicles,
Petruccelli's production designs depict a sleek, sophisticated
vampire society; at the same time, they convey the influence of
an ancient culture that attains immorality. Explains Peter
Frankfurt, "This world is rooted in reality, but it's beyond
reality. It's a large American city that happens to have
a huge excavation underneath, which resembles an Egyptian or Abyssinian
In creating the film's exotic vampire world, Petruccelli mixed
modern materials and designs with ancient ones. "We
used a combination of high-tech, utilitarian shapes and primitive
materials," he explains. Petruccelli describes the
setting of the film's final scene: "It's a Temple that
was built centuries ago. Since it's a sacred place, it's
secured by elaborate cylinder locks. And there's a catwalk
which overlooks a ceremonial altar." The Temple walls
are covered in symbols, which represent a language developed by
Petruccelli and his team to suggest an ancient civilization.
The sanctuary also has certain high-tech features that resemble
a nuclear reactor, indicating a race of beings with superior intelligence.
"We wanted to convey the idea that vampires might have come
from another, more advanced universe, so we added a subtle touch
of alien to the mix."
Petruccelli's team constructed three separate sets, which were
joined together in post-production utilizing digital visual effects,
to create the 100-foot tall Temple. The structure is made
of wood and plaster, with a statuary carved in foam and covered
in a layer of fiberglass, then painted as marble. The entire
set is rigged to explode at the film's climax, when Frost transforms
into the invincible lord of the vampires. "The final
scene is all about the phenomenon of blood," explains Petruccelli.
"Blood creates life, and it symbolizes the end of life.
Therefore, red is an extremely important color in the film."
In addition to the Temple, Petruccelli and his team constructed
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