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BLADE

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, are critical."

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 structure."

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 numerous<

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