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RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION

About The Production
To realize the expansive vision of Resident Evil: Extinction, production ventured south of the border to Mexicali, Mexico, where long stretches of empty desert provided the ideal canvas for the daylight-set terror in the film. "We wanted to take it out into the desert, have these awesome desert landscapes and create a Las Vegas that's buried in the desert sands,” Anderson describes.

Acclaimed production designer Eugenio Caballero, who earned an Oscar® for his work on Pan's Labyrinth, was charged with creating a number of weathered, sun-and-sand- blasted environments in the desert that would contrast the sleek inner workings of Umbrella's underground labs.

"For me, it was a very new thing to make a zombie movie in the daylight,” says Caballero. "That's a huge opportunity for design because you can play with textures and colors you don't usually see in this kind of film.”

Working in Mexicali, where temperatures soared to over 130 degrees Fahrenheit, Caballero supervised a crew that would need to take precautions to offset the effects of such extreme heat and winds not only on his crew but on the sets themselves. The construction crew was required to carry emergency kits for dehydration and heat effects, and also worked very early mornings and late afternoons to avoid the hottest hours of the day. "In Mexicali, we had great locations, and we wanted to incorporate the elements of those landscapes into our designs,” he comments. "But working there, the sun and the temperatures were amazing. We also faced the challenge of keeping those sets in place against the wind, so we made huge scaffolding structures to hold the sets in place.”

One of the most exciting sets for the production was the post-apocalyptic Las Vegas that the desert sands had reclaimed, which they set in Algodonez. "You've got a bit of the Statue of Liberty sticking out; you've got abandoned casinos sticking out of the desert,” Anderson describes. "Eugenio he has done an extraordinary job on the sets.” "We physically built part of a Realto Ponte, a beautiful architecture piece,” Caballero says. "Also, part of the Eiffel Tower and some exteriors of casinos, so these are all the images you see on the Strip emerging from the sand.”

"Seeing something like Las Vegas destroyed and half-buried in sand, it's just so epic,” comments Milla Jovovich. "It's bigger than life. The crew worked so hard to make it real, so it was pretty inspiring.”

This very real practical location was further enhanced through visual effects.

"Everywhere you look you want to see a casino,” comments visual effects supervisor Evan Jacobs. "You're in the middle of this canyon of buildings. So, using the ‘hero' structures built on-set we were able to add to that using the natural ‘blue screen' of the desert sky, which was always blue. So, we were able to put casinos at the tops of these sand dunes.”

An 80 X 40 foot miniature of the post-apocalyptic Las Vegas Strip was created by New Deal Studios in Los Angeles. "Then we did a big motion control pullback on that set and ultimately used it for backgrounds for other pieces of the scenes,” Jacobs adds. Another sequence involved a motel in the middle of the desert with a gas pump in the front. "We built everything because to give the sense that these huge sand dunes were moving little by little to cover our sets,” says Caballero.

The third important set involved the weather station that is constantly swarmed just outside the reinforced fence by Undead. Caballero set his sights on a natural dry lake bed called La Pintata. "It's a beautiful black mountain with a flat line of sand along the bottom,” Caballero describes. "It's a very magical, almost lunar landscape. It was like being on Mars.”

To create the interiors for the underground Umbrella facility, production found an ide

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