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THE INCREDIBLES

The Epic Design
With the characters coming into their own, the filmmakers now set out to build the richly stylized world of THE INCREDIBLES around them. The design scope of that world turned out to be entirely unprecedented—unfolding on over 100 carefully created sets that forge a witty, eye-popping alternate reality.

From the beginning, Bird envisioned THE INCREDIBLES taking place inside a distinctive universe that would be at once futuristic and full of retro nostalgia. "I saw the world of THE INCREDIBLES as looking sort of like what we thought the future would turn out like in the 1960s,” explains the director. "During that period, there were all these shows that promised people that, in ten or fifteen years, we would all have jet packs or use hydrofoils to travel across the water and then drive up on land. Today we do have some of those things but they don't quite work like we thought they would. With this film, we wanted to put our story into that type of skin. For me, it's the 1960s view of what we believed life was going to be like today.”

To help capture this very special look—and all its variations as the story unfolds—Bird collaborated closely with production designer Lou Romano and art director Ralph Eggleston (the Oscar® winning director of the Best Animated Short for 2002, "For the Birds,” who previously served as the production designer on "Toy Story” and "Finding Nemo”).

Romano and Eggleston were faced with an enormous task. Although they weren't designing "physical” sets, their job was no less creatively challenging—if anything it was even more so, because they weren't limited by the rules of existing architecture and design!

Romano explains, "Our work was about creating the entire human gamut of feelings, moods and atmosphere with shapes and colors. We wanted the overall design aesthetic to be retro but with sudden splashes of the modern, so we borrowed lines and forms from contemporary architecture and took them in other directions. As for color, the film starts off very bright and saturated during the golden age of superheroes, but then the color drains out as we find Bob working away at his boring job at Insuricare. As the film progresses, we start to bring in more color until we come full circle to the big confrontation scene at the end.”

Eggleston has his own description of the film's design: "I call the look suburban-mid-century-Tiki by way of Lou Romano,” he explains. "Throughout all our work Brad kept encouraging us to keep going to the next extreme—he simply never settled for anything less, which brought out the best in us.”

While Romano and Eggleston proceeded with their prolific designs, set sequence supervisor Nigel Hardwidge worked sideby- side with them to make sure their vision was clearly communicated to those on the technical side of the film. Much of Hardwidge's job involved creative problem-solving— assuring that artistic vision and technology would jibe. "My job is to ask a lot of questions about each environment—what does it look like, how much are we going to see of it, what time of day is it, and how are we going to create it in a way that will satisfy these guys who dreamed it up in such wonderful detail,” he explains.

"Right off the bat, we knew this film was going to be an unprecedented undertaking because THE INCREDIBLES has nearly three times as many sets as we've dealt with on any previous film,” continues Hardwidge. "Adding to the complication, a lot of the film takes place outdoors on a huge tropical island that is a couple of square miles in size. One of the first big challenges for me was the scene on the island where Dash races through the dense jungle to escape from the Velocipods. Dash ended up running at about 200 mph, which meant we needed literally to create twice as much ground as originally pla

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