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SUPERMAN RETURNS

About The Production
Principal photography began near Breeza, Australia, on a rural piece of farm land that had been transformed into a working back lot. Six miles of road constructed by the production company provided access to the "base camp,” which consisted of star and filmmaker trailers, catering and lunch tents, and trailers for every department on the film including hair/makeup, wardrobe, special effects and visual effects. Base camp was even equipped with an IT trailer capable of running an entirely wireless network internet connection smack in the middle of Australia's bush country.

All roads on the property led to the Kent Farm, where production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas recreated the iconic Kansas home of Ma, Pa and Clark Kent. From the mailbox at the end of the drive to the swinging chair on the front porch of the humble farmhouse, Dyas and his teams of designers, artists, craftsmen and construction crews built Superman's highly-detailed boyhood home. A 30-foot high barn painted in a classic oxblood red and five acres of six-foot tall corn are highlights of the farm's design and functionality.

For three weeks, the Superman Returns filming crew relocated to New South Wales in order to shoot the breathtaking Kent Farm set which was built near the little country town of Tamworth. Recreating Superman's childhood home was nothing short of amazing (new roads were created, telephone poles were installed for miles and crops were planted from seed).

For three weeks, the production commuted to the site from the town of Tamworth, where it booked up most of the hotel rooms, restaurants and pubs. It enabled the filmmakers, along with actors Brandon Routh, Eva Marie Saint, James Karen (who plays Ben Hubbard, who is courting Martha Kent) and Stephan Bender (who plays 15 Year Old Clark in a series of flashbacks) to immerse themselves in its Norman Rockwell, mid-America setting and experience everything from the blistering summer heat to some of the most beautiful sunsets they'd ever seen.

"Growing the corn out in Tamworth was a huge challenge,” says Dyas. "That particular region of Australia had been suffering through many years of drought. We actually had to create our own irrigation system just to keep our Kent Farm crops alive until the end of our shoot. It was quite an incredible achievement, and our corn fed many of the local farm animals when we finally packed up and left. It was very labor-intensive having to build so much in the middle of nowhere but I think that Bryan and I achieved what we had envisioned for Martha Kent's farm and it certainly allowed some beautiful moments to be captured on film.” Dyas adds, "From day one to wrap, whenever Bryan and I talked about the look of the film we always referenced Superman's existing universe whether it be in the comics, TV series or earlier films. This is something that Bryan holds very close to his heart so when designing each environment I was very mindful of Superman's past incarnations. Our goal was to update the Superman world, not to re-invent it. The Kent Farm was one of the first sets I had to design for this film and it was a wonderful starting point because I was able to instill a high level of classicism and romanticism from the very beginning.”

"No doubt that there is a romantic quality to the look of the movie just like there is within the story,” says Singer. "I think we successfully merged some of those iconic John Barry designs from the 1978 Donner film with the look of a 1940s romance, whether through the color palette or the visual compositions or the Art Deco facades and gleaming skyscrapers of Metropolis. It's certainly not a period piece. It's a blend of old and new which essentially gives it a real timeless feel. That was the approach we took with all the design elements.”

After completing the Kent Farm sequences, the production re

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