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The Big Apple Meets Beantown
While "The Departed” is set entirely in Boston, principal photography on the film was accomplished in and around the cities of both Boston and New York. Production designer Kristi Zea, who had earlier collaborated with Scorsese on "GoodFellas,” observes, "‘The Departed' does have some of the same elements as ‘GoodFellas,' but, of course, this film takes place in Boston. Because we had worked together before, Marty could refer to things we had done back then and say, ‘Remember that thing we did on ‘GoodFellas?' I want something like that…only, what's the Boston version? I'd scratch my head and say, ‘Well, I'm not sure, Marty, but we'll find out,'” she laughs. "It was great to do another film with him.”

Almost all of the film's exterior scenes were shot in Boston at such sites as Boston Common, Boston Harbor, Chinatown, and, of course, South Boston, known to the locals as "Southie.” Traveling outside of the city, the company also filmed in the neighboring towns of Braintree, Quincy and Mark Wahlberg's hometown, Dorchester. In New York, the company stayed primarily outside of Manhattan proper, instead having areas of Brooklyn double as Boston, mostly for interior scenes.

"The fact that we shot this movie in two different cities is not unusual,” Zea relates, "but in this case, the differences between New York and Boston are pretty evident as you drive around. Outside of downtown Boston, most of the structures are quite low and there is lots of sky, whereas most of the New York sky is filled with high-rises. It's very difficult to do much in New York that looks like Boston from an exterior point of view, which is why we stayed mainly in Brooklyn. In Boston, there is also a specific style of New England architecture that doesn't exist in New York, like the three-story wooden houses with front or back porches on each floor. That is something of a signature Boston look that we made sure to have in our film. Another element that was fascinating to me is the "brutalist” mode of architecture, which is the cement look that certain buildings were designed with in Boston, including City Hall and the Hurley Building.”

Juxtaposed with the city's historical landmarks, the imposing, cement-gray Hurley Building, in the heart of Boston's Government Square, was selected to serve as the exterior for the utilitarian headquarters of the Massachusetts State Police. Zea and her team then created the interiors of the headquarters on a cavernous soundstage in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York. "We decided to carry over the gray and brown palette of the existing structure, which really worked well for those sets,” she says.

Director of photography Michael Ballhaus took a similar approach in lighting the police headquarters. He offers, "Police stations are normally lit with fluorescents, but I didn't want to do that because fluorescents create a wash of light, which has no tension. I decided to use direct light and shadows to add variety and texture to the atmosphere.” Ballhaus, who had previously teamed with Scorsese on six films, states, "I don't think Marty and I have ever talked so much about lighting. The whole movie was somewhat influenced by film noir. We lit it almost like a black-and-white film, especially in the police station, which didn't have much color. But even if you don't have a lot of color, color is still something you can use in a dramatic way.”

Costume designer Sandy Powell utilized color to set Jack Nicholson's character apart from the rest. She comments, "Basically, everybody else is in ordinary street clothes in neutral tones of black, brown, gray and beige. That's pretty much it.

Originally, we were just going to make Frank Costello blend in, but after meeting Jack, it was obvious he wanted to take the look a little more to the extreme in terms of color and design. Costello


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