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FIDO

About The Production
Shot on location in the stunning Okanagan Valley of eastern British Columbia, Canada, amid rolling hills, crystal clear lakes and lush vineyards reminiscent of Tuscany, the FIDO production crew found a surprisingly picture perfect 1950's era hometown for the Robinsons, their Fido and the new world company known as ZomCon in the small community of Kelowna. 

"The first thing to break for me as I saw the town and felt the 1950's vibe,” said Production Designer Rob Gray, "was that socialist branding was such an important branding in American advertising back then.” 

"Hung-over one morning, following a Mercedes a little too closely, I saw the balance and strength through the three lines of their hood ornament. It spoke to me about the factory and ZomCon: built without any concept of people living there. It would, in fact, morph into becoming the ZomCon icon.

"Even the name itself, ZomCon, was taken from 1950's cars—the Fairlane, the Falcon—they were written with such beautiful script. All these little ‘50's icons which were used after the war to help convince everyone the world was now in a better place. Surprisingly, Kelowna had a huge vintage car club and we found dozens and dozens of perfectly maintained 1940's automobiles to turn into ZomCon company cars. Something about the air in Kelowna but none of these cars had rusted or even grown old. It was as if time had stood still in more ways than one.” 

Kelowna's wide, maple tree-lined avenues and post-WWII historic-registry homes also brought a remarkable authenticity to the fictional Willard. But it might have been the unexpected find of a nearby abandoned Hiram Walker whiskey plant that would stand in for the ZomCon headquarters that brought the town firmly into focus as the set for FIDO. 

"The plant was perfect as ZomCom headquarters,” said Writer/Director Andrew Currie, "ZomCom, which is both corporation and government, simply the force running Willard and the world, controls everything within the fence that surrounds Willard: they control the safety, the domestic zombies, the funerals, the products that people use every day… finding such a perfect spot for that so close to our idyllic suburban Willard was a coup.”

"It was the building of this suburban American dream that was such a lie that I thought Willard was like,” explained Gray as he addresses the look of Willard's façade. "Sort of like Levittown (Levittown, PA, the first American subdivision). The first lie is that everyone's going to be okay.

"When we arrived in Kelowna, we found this perfect little bubble. Houses built in 1947, '48. A canopy of maples. No sidewalks. It was a great palette to start from. We had four houses on the street as our hub of the main story and then everything else becomes an adjective of the noun.

"I knew Andrew wanted the look to be very Douglas Sirk, very Technicolor with that color saturation so important to the look of the 1950's. We also wanted a very minimal palette, really no more than three main colors, because if you control the color, you control the world. This world of Willard is almost the preamble to Doris Day singing from every window. 

"When the bottom starts to fall out of the Willard world, the colors begin to shift and drop out too.”

"I love that Technicolor look,” admitted Currie. "The influence for FIDO was to make this bold, colorful, widescreen film with an orchestral score but at the same time have a subversive quality of zombies and the boy and his dog storyline. 

"Visually, that meant a lot of crane and dolly shots, very smooth, very controlled and composed images. That was important to me, to pull of a world you hadn't seen before, to pull off something unique. And I think to capture that unique, odd world it needed a unique, odd style—at least unique for a modern film.”

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