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Miami: The Hot Zone
Having completed their expansive work in New York City and Connecticut, the "Shopaholic” company, including Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy and Leslie Bibb, flew south for two final but eventful weeks of shooting in the tropical, sensual Babylon by the sea: Miami, Florida. "Jerry Bruckheimer suggested that for the scenes in which the buttoned-up Luke finally gets some fun out of life, it had to be somewhere that forces him out of his routine,” notes P.J. Hogan. "It made perfect sense for that to be in Miami, where everybody loosens their ties. There's a freedom about Miami, the sense you can be anything you want to be there.”

Again, one of the world's most famed and influential stores swung wide its doors to the "Shopaholic” company when Prada permitted the shooting of a scene inside their gorgeous store in the Bal Harbour Shops in which Becky tries to educate Luke on the finer points of fashion. "It was very difficult to get Prada to allow us to film inside their store,” says Hogan, "because they're obviously very conscious of their image. But I think that the names of Jerry Bruckheimer and Patricia Field had a lot to do with getting us access. The Prada store in Bal Harbour was just beautiful, stunning, and it was a real pleasure to shoot there.”

This was followed by scenes inside the atmospheric Art Deco-style lobby (including its distinctive tank full of almost iridescent jellyfish) of the Hotel Victor on Ocean Drive. The production arranged its biggest set piece in Miami: a Latino street festival which revels in the city's heady cultural stew. "I love the multicultural aspect of Miami, so I wanted to make sure we got some Cuban influence into the movie,” says Hogan.

The location selected was Espanola Way, built in the 1920s as a quaint, mini-Spanish village for artists and bohemians, replete with brightly colored colonial style edifices and plazas. With multi-hued lanterns hanging overhead and Latino music and food spicing the air, it's on this location that choreographer JoAnn Jansen created a Cuban folk dance called the "danzon” for a sequence in which Luke surprises Becky by loosening up and literally taking the lead.

Everybody had a great time making the movie. The stars and filmmakers especially appreciated Kinsella's presence on the set. She served as an associate producer, consulting and watching her character come to life and helping to make sure that Rebecca Bloomwood manifested herself on screen in a way that would be pleasing to her character's millions of fans. When it was discovered that Sophie Kinsella was on set, the response from some members of the public was as though a movie superstar rather than a literary figure was present, with the "Shopaholic” creator happily signing autographs or chatting with her fans.

"It's great to have Sophie on the set,” Hogan says, "because as I said to her many times, she's the Rosetta Stone. She gives me insight into the shopaholic, even beyond the books.”

"It's an amazing asset to have the author there with the director and the rest of us explaining the core principles of the characters,” adds executive producer Mike Stenson. "Having the point of view available to you of the person who actually created those characters was enormously helpful.”

With the rigorous shoot behind them, Jerry Bruckheimer, P.J. Hogan and their team now faced the equally arduous task of post-production. Jerry Bruckheimer, one of whose trademarks dating back to "Flashdance,” "Top Gun” and "Dangerous Minds” has been featuring cutting edge soundtracks, was determined to bring the best of today's artists to the aural landscape of the film. And so, working with music supervisor Kathy Nelson, the producer invited the current crème de la crème to record new songs for "Confessions of a Shopaholic,” including Pussycat Dolls ("Bad Girl”),<


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