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About The Production
Principal photography commenced in Baltimore, Maryland

Principal photography commenced in Baltimore, Maryland. Location shooting began on a ferry in Fells Point and continued in locations throughout the city and in Washington D.C. In mid-January, the company moved to Los Angeles to complete production in April 1998.

Unlike his approach to many of his films, Scott did not begin the project with a special look in mind. "I wasn't familiar with the East Coast," he explains. "I didn't really know D.C., I didn't know Baltimore and I never shot winter over there and we scouted in summer when it was very hot and humid, so I was a little bit lost. I stumbled into it in a way. We kept looking at movies like 'Seven,' which was a great looking movie, the most interesting looking movie in the last few years. But I wanted to go for harder, tougher, colder. It was winter, but we were lucky and got beautiful weather."

The filmmakers decided to use multimedia in creating the look of the film and shot many of the scenes with digital cameras as well as with many of the same miniature cameras built for use by the surveillance community. "We actually shot some of the scenes using button hole cameras," says Bruckheimer. "We mounted it on the camera operator and he'd move around the room in place of one of the actors playing an NSA agent."

They also relied heavily on television cameras, monitors and still photographs to tell their story. "We tried to get away from the digital world and give it a new look," says Scott. "It's the total opposite of what they did in 'Contact'; it's much cruder with glitches in the footage to make it look more interesting. We used all the flashes and the kick and the speed changes. We used monitors that weren't functioning 100 percent."

The filmmakers also used still photographs, purchasing some of the satellite shots from a private company that monitors the earth 24 hours a day from the North Pole to the South. They have the ability to pull up photos of any location in the world at any given hour. At this point in time, only still photos are available within a 20-block radius, outside of that, moving images can also be purchased. The NSA agents in the film, to initially analyze who Dean is and begin to track him, use this method of data recovery.

Although the NSA did not give the filmmakers access to its resources or property, the company was able to shoot an aerial establishing shot from public air space well above the grounds of Fort Meade. For the interior of the NSA, production designer Benjamin Fernandez recreated a control room on a stage that was constructed using verbal information from several people who used to work at the agency.

"It was really taking a little bit of information from Steve and Marty and Larry," says Scott. "They're a pretty closed shop in terms of what information they feel is confidential, even in terms of the look of a room. We also used the Baltimore Sun articles. That was really our best form of information in terms of how the place looked to these guys. What we recreated came off a description from 2 or 3 people who all corroborated the description.

"It felt like the stock market when everyone described it," he continues. "With the guy standing in the center. That used to be Larry Cox's job for 11 years and he's what they call a collection manager. He's the guy who sat in the center and pulled in the information from all the different bays around him. There's a whole building dedicated to this and each floor has the number of employees we had in that scene.&quo


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