Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page


About The Production

Principal photography on "PAYBACK" commenced in Chicago on September 17, 1997.

Chicago was chosen as a location because the city has a big urban look to it and some of the best-designed, Greek and Deco power buildings in America. Yet the age, the character and the alleys, have a harsh and rusted appearance. The filmmakers wanted to visualize a city that was deteriorating. They didn't want modern or mirrored buildings or things that were shiny metallic-just old stone buildings that were cold and gray.

According to Helgeland, part of the feel of the movie "will be a little rough around the edges and not polished at all. It's very stylized, very suited for a black and white movie. I'm also trying to make the time period very non-specific. You never know what city you're in. It's not Chicago; it's not New York. It's a place that exists in a movie, a great place to trap the characters and see what makes them tick. You'll never see a building that was built after 1940. You'll never see a mall. Cars are older cars, nothing newer than an '89. The movie's also got an ironic slant to it that reveals some dark humor. Mel's character is the straight man. No jokes. Just funny stuff happening all around him in a twisted sort of way."

"One of our biggest challenges was how we were going to visually communicate the story," says director of photography Ericson Core, "so we used the 'bleached by-pass' method of processing the film to reduce the colors to bare minimums."

"The city is definitely a character," continues Core. "If there's ever an image of sky, it is broken by jagged pieces of buildings. We are locked inside this city. The city's a pretty strong character and that's Porter's world. You feel that in the grittiness of it. My lighting and the type of film stock are based on the characters of the script. Super 35 has more grain, more grit and it helps us in depicting these surreal characters. It adds to the noir quality of the film, a lot of shadows, a lot of edge, a lot of darkness."

"We're trying to keep Mel's character centered and specific most of the time," says Core, "showing his character as a very single-minded, very determined person traveling through this world, a visual metaphor of sorts. We may use several off-centered angles of other characters, then come back to one single shot of Mel."

For Richard Hoover, blending his production design with the use of the "bleached by-pass" process, which leaves the original black and white negative on top of the colored layers of the film stock, created a new challenge.

"To get rid of color in the city was a lot tougher than we thought," admits Hoover. "The yellows were too bright, so we had buckets of brown pigment, mixed in. We had to have a painter in the morning ready to paint out the red curbs which would wash out at the end of the day's filming."

"I had to take the color out of the wardrobe," says costumer Ha Nguyen. "So, I concentrated my designs to take advantage of the fabrics, textures and unusual cuts-gray suits, white shirts, funky hats, sleazey jackets, trashy skirts, spiked heels. All Vegas cheap and city cool."

"It's retro, "says Gibson, "in the way that Brian is shooting it. Nobody's wearing any bright colors. There's some pretty wacky stuff in it -- its harsh, gritty, ironic and funny. You're gonna see things done that one can't do in polite society."


Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.

2018 1,  All Rights Reserved.


Find:  HELP!