Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page

CONSTANTINE

Designing, Creating And Photographing
"Heaven and hell are right here, behind every wall, every window, 
the world behind the world. And we're smack in the middle.” – John Constantine

It was an ongoing collaboration between production design, cinematography, visual and computer effects and Stan Winston's creature artists to achieve the filmmakers' vision for Constantine's rich landscape, all of it coordinated and inspired by Francis Lawrence who watched as many of his original sketches expanded to fill whole soundstages. 

John Constantine's world is a dark and moody place. Visually, it's the very definition of classic noir, with its urban night scenes, deep shadows, slivers of street lamps on wet asphalt and gently swirling smoke – all interpreted by skewed camera angles and expressionistic lighting. "The overall look,” comments Shuler Donner, "is saturated and beautiful, but gritty. It evokes a sense of period, in a way, but is totally contemporary.” 

Lawrence met with renowned production designer Naomi Shohan, whose recent work on American Beauty earned her a BAFTA Award nomination. Seeking to realistically depict specific regions of Los Angeles, "not Beverly Hills, not Malibu but downtown,” the director explains, he was particularly impressed with Shohan's natural-looking work on the urban drama Training Day, remaking that, "she really understood Los Angeles, the ethnicity and textures I liked, and we bonded instantly over the approach.” Together with location manager Molly Allen, Lawrence and Shohan prowled the city for the architecture and vistas of their story.

Among the sites selected were the Hacienda Real Nightclub, housed in the basement of the historic 1930s Eastern Columbia Building in downtown's commercial and theatre district, which provided an appropriate eclectic and underground flavor as Midnite's bar with its red-hued décor and ornately carved wood and brass detailing; the 5th Street Market, whose interiors and exteriors became the liquor store in which Father Hennessy and Balthazar have their final confrontation; St. Mary's hospital, Long Beach, which doubled as Ravenscar; and the Angeles Abbey Memorial Park in Compton, as Midnite's office and cavernous reliquary. Built in 1923, the Abbey interior features elaborate ironwork and carved limestone, which Shohan's team augmented with statures, tapestries, artwork, religious relics and an assortment of antique weapons and armor to represent Midnite's imposing collection. 

Constantine's apartment, unusually long and narrow, was designed in a place Lawrence with already familiar with, the Giant Penny Building on Broadway, downtown, whose upstairs interior office walls had been broken out to form an extended space lined with windows. Thinking it had great potential as Constantine's home base, he showed the space to Shohan, who then added metal shutters to the windows and bottles of holy water that Constantine has lining the walls for protection. 

Additionally, the production used six Warner Bros. Studios soundstages for such comprehensively constructed sets as the hospital's hydrotherapy room, in which several climactic battles rage between the forces of good and evil, and a representative section of the 101 Freeway, which occupied nearly 22,000 feet and took eight weeks to complete.

Based upon the director's premise that heaven and hell exist as parallel dimensions occupying the same space and that there is a heavenly and a hellish version of every spot on earth, Shohan explains, "I imagined the hellish transformation to any landscape would be a state of constant cataclysmic shifting – exploding, imploding, blowing, burning, decaying. Happily, Francis and I agreed that if you were in Los Angeles the quintessential hell version of the city would be a section of its infamous freeway.” 

As Constantine attempts to confirm the afterlife fate of Angela's sister, Isabel, he must

Next Production Note Section

TOP

Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
Contact CinemaReview.com

2014 6,  All Rights Reserved.

Google

Find:  HELP!

Google