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THE CAVE

About The Set and Creature
Producer Andrew Mason describes the sets: "Pretty much every corner of the studio facility was full of bits of set. And most of them had water in them. A couple of buildings had to be specially built because we wanted something that was twice as big as any available stage here. The studio also built a very large pool on the back-lot to house our underwater sets. We had a brilliant production designer, Pier Luigi Basile, and a whole team of Romanians, Italians, Germans and Czechs who made organic looking sets that are sculptural masterpieces.”

For Richard Wright, the issue was not the size of the soundstages but what went in them: "My biggest worry was the water. How do you do a movie that takes place in, around or under water for almost the entire film, and do it safely, affordably and in a way that looks good? That was a real challenge for a number of reasons. You can drown in it. When the electricity is around, it becomes complicated. And when you're simulating waterfalls and rivers, and some of our tanks were 20 feet deep, there was water treatment and water flow issues. There were issues of water clarity; how clear should the water be? Can we shoot it cloudy one day and then two days later have it be perfectly clear? And you can't forget the health issues; are people going to get sick going in and out of the water all the time? Water adds a layer of complexity that you can't possibly imagine until you actually go through it yourself.” Stunt and Diving Teams:

Over the course of the production, in the tank in Romania and at the Yucatan location, the aquatic filming crew put in a total of over 3,500 hours underwater. Including training dives and the film tests the figure jumps up to nearly 4,000 man hours underwater.

Richard Wright says of finding the underwater team: "There are not a lot of people that do underwater photography. We were going to shoot eight or nine weeks of underwater footage on this film, and it would have been an incredibly huge undertaking to try and do it the Hollywood way - bringing in 20 people from Los Angeles to give it the big feature film look. We went the opposite route. We wanted people who shot cave documentaries, to give us that realistic edge. "

"We were very lucky in finding Wes Skiles and Jill Heinerth, who are among the top cave divers in the world. We looked at their body of work and knew instantly they were the ones for us. So Andrew Mason, Bruce Hunt and I went down to Florida and spent a couple of days just following them around. We realized that not only were Wes and Jill utterly capable technically of shooting our movie, but that these were the people our movie was about! They put themselves in harm's way for no money just because they want to, and because it's there. Every so often on set Jill would say something and it would end up in the script the next runthrough. Gary Lucchesi agrees: "I do think we modeled the team after Jill Heinerth's group. Like our cast of players they were people who all had different personalities, but they were all fun people who were excited about what they do.”

Patrick Tatopoulos is responsible for some of the most exciting movie imagery in the last 15 years. Bruce Fuller from Patrick Tatapoulos Designs explains how the creature came about: The whole concept behind our creature is that he is an albino in a cave. So he's blind, and his senses are acute. That's why he has echo locators like a bat. The hollow head design is reflective of that because all the sound can come in there and reverberate inside the head. That's how he finds his prey because his eyes are fairly useless at this point. So we think about bats; and we think about moles; and try to combine elements of all the different underground creatures with a human.”

"Once Patrick does his designs we have to figure out what it looks like in 3-D,<

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