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About The Production
Director Scott Derrickson's stylistic approach to the making of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL was informed by the example set by filmmaker Robert Wise, who directed the original film. "One of things I've always respected about Robert Wise is that there isn't really a ‘Robert Wise style,'” Derrickson says. "He didn't impart his style on a film. He put the story first and then built a style out of that story. For this film, I tried to establish a process with the crew that would create a style that serves the story the best way possible.”

This process was led by an intensive collaboration between Derrickson, production designer David Brisbin, director of photography David Tattersall and their talented teams of artists and artisans. Like the science and technology that powers the story, Derrickson and company grounded their design concepts in the real world. "We wanted to make a film that had a stylish look and a distinctive quality in terms of color, lighting and set design, but we didn't want to push the boundaries of reality too far,” the director says. "The film is expressionistic and stylish, but we tried to root it in reality so that you don't feel as though you are watching a comic book movie or a graphic novel movie.”

The first key step in Derrickson's process of conceptualizing the look of the film was developing a color palette. "He is obsessed with color,” says Brisbin, who previously worked with Derrickson on "The Exorcism of Emily Rose.” "It's very important to Scott to find a color code for the whole film and be very rigorous about how it's applied. You can have an enormous football stadium set and there'll be one red tomato far on the other side, and he'll say, ‘David! What's that red doing there? We don't do red.'”

"I think color is one of the most effective aspects of cinema,” Derrickson explains. "When I think of movies I love, the color palette of the film is inextricable from the film itself. I think about ‘GoodFellas' and that movie was green and a dark maroon red. ‘Taxi Driver' was this kind of dirty taxi yellow color. There's a certain palette control in really good films that becomes part of your memory and what you take away from them in the end.”

Derrickson applied a similar discipline to the selection of the color palette for THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. Together with Brisbin and Tattersall, he compiled an eclectic batch of images for inspiration, and ultimately boiled the collection down to twenty stills that form the tabula rasa for the film. "I don't like too many colors in the frame, and at the same time, I don't like a wash of just one color,” says the director. "We went through each scene and talked about controlling and compressing the palette in a way that feels real and yet immerses the audience within these particular colors for the duration of the film so that when it's over, you're left with an indelible impression of what they film looked like.”

This yielded a design scheme anchored by one or two colors per set – primarily bluegreen and orange – with the rest of each environment bathed in neutral tones. "The Flash Chamber is a good example of how we compressed our palette,” says Brisbin, describing the converted missile silo in which Gort, Klaatu's massive bio-mechanical bodyguard, is subjected to a battery of diagnostic tests by military technicians. "Among the twenty images we settled on was a photograph of a gray field with orange lava flowing through it. The orange is very bright, almost livid. We decided that these two colors – gray and orange – would be our ‘zone' for the Flash Chamber.

"It's a pretty complicated matrix to hit the color marks that Scott is after and still keep everything looking real,” Brisbin elaborates. "The great thing about collaborating with Scott on design and color issues is that he wants to arrive at a very specific and<

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