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Wanna call the cops? I'll tell you who's on duty. - ABEL

Walnut, California, where Lakeview Terrace was primarily filmed, is located about 25 miles east of Los Angeles. The cul-de-sac on which Turner and the Mattsons live is set against the magnificent hill and canyon terrain of the area. 

"One of the things I wanted to do in this script was set the story against a backdrop of the way we live here in Southern California,”says Loughery. "We think we're safe and secure, but nature has its own ideas. 

"The community where Abel, Chris and Lisa live is built right into the side of these hills and it's constantly being threatened by mudslides, earthquakes and fires,” he explains. "In this story, almost from the day they move into this house, there's this sense of this fire that's out of control and slowly approaching. As the drama heats up between these characters, there's this real kind of apocalypse just over the other side of the hill.”  The specificity of the location required finding homeowners willing to give up their houses for five weeks and a community that would accept a film company on their street for the 25-day shoot. 

The filmmakers took advantage of an unusual tool in the first stages of their search—Google Earth, an online service that provides users with an aerial view of entire neighborhoods. "We looked at a lot of houses,” says production designer Bruton Jones. "We explored different neighborhoods and then just went up to people's doors and knocked. I have to say, our society can be very trusting. Because, here we were, strangers, standing there saying, ‘Hi, we know you have a pool in the back of your house. Can we look at it?' ”

"We ended up in Walnut, which is a traditional, planned community,” says Jones. "It ultimately met a lot more of our requirements than the alternatives. It had many of the visual references in the script, particularly the way you can see from one neighbor's yard into the other and from one window to the other.”

"Although we were in a suburban neighborhood, we didn't want the houses to be cookie cutter kind of houses where each one is exactly the same,” says LaBute. "We wanted the contrast between our two main houses to be strong. Even though the cul-de-sac had mostly Spanish style homes, including Abel's home, we were lucky to find one for Chris and Lisa that is kind of a faux Cape Cod home.” 

Lakeview Terrace was the production designer's first experience working with LaBute. "What a director brings to a script automatically sets the tone of the shoot,” says Jones. "And with Neil, he brings a lot to the table. He's a bit controversial and very cerebral. There's often a subtle subtext going on underneath, which allowed me to explore things a little bit more than usual.”

LaBute and Jones decided to create interiors that reflected the lifestyles and values of the two families to provide a visual illustration of their differences. "We talked about color and about the furnishings,” he says. "Abel's home is more of a warm, nurturing environment that centers around kids, as opposed to the Mattson's more hip, cool environment.”

The filmmakers were also trying to create a visual reflection of the climbing temperatures, blazing fires and flaring tempers. To create a cohesive look, the filmmakers and department heads tried to put together the sets, lighting and costumes that would reflect the film's fiery themes

Jones continues, "For the Turner house, we added little red elements. We wanted to show that Abel was the impetus of the dynamic relationship with his neighbors. To the red, we added oranges and yellows throughout the house—subtly—so that you could just see it in the background.

"The color palette of Chris and Lisa's' surroundings is a reflection of who they are both internally and externally,” says the designer. "Chris and Lisa'


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