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OBSESSED

Looking Obsessed
When designing the set for Obsessed, the filmmakers challenged themselves to create a tense, eerie atmosphere within a domestic setting. "This is a psychodrama and a thriller, so I thought, ‘We want a touch of Roman Polanski about this,'” says Shill. "It's got that uneasy edge to it.” On board as director of photography was Ken Seng, whose work Shill admired in his previous Screen Gems production Quarantine. "It didn't look like typical Hollywood; it didn't look cosmetic,” says Shill of Seng's work. "It looked real, and that was something that we were all very interested in.” 

Seng hoped to create an updated Hitchcock feel, using a wide variety of shooting styles. "We have some really gritty scenes inside the hospital and in the kitchen, hand-held with very long lenses and people going slightly in and out of focus. I think that really breathes a lot of energy and life into those scenes,” says the DP. "Then we have a lot of those Hitchcock-style dolly moves in the office and in the house, where things are slowed down and it's a very subjective kind of camera.”

Another star of Obsessed was the Charles' house, where most of the drama would take place as well as the final action sequence. The house has special significance in the film, Gainor explains, because it represents a family's hopes and dreams, which are literally shattered by the end of the film. The filmmakers set out to find a dream home for the fictional family, and decided on a craftsman house in Alta Dena for all exteriors, built in 1923. The size of the house helped to set the film's uneasy atmosphere. "It's a little too big for just Sharon and the baby because Derek is out at work all the time,” says Shill. "It's a little awkward and a little bit eerie.”

For the action-intense interior scenes, the studio decided to build a set versus filming inside an actual house. "We asked someone if we could go in their house and smash through the attic and destroy the living room ceilings and so forth, and they said no,” says Gainor. "So we set out to construct the perfect environment.” The filmmakers believed a controlled environment would be the best place for the actors to focus on their highly emotional performances. A sound stage also offered safety advantages, and was beneficial because the filmmakers did not have to worry about the time of day.

Creating the Charles' house interior was an eco-conscious process, with a touch of old Hollywood. The set was constructed on the Sony lot on two 15,500 square foot sound stages. The house was a reincarnation of a craftsman house built for Screen Gems' The Stepfather, which had previously been an apartment complex for the film Quarantine. Of recycling sets, Gainor says, "There's so much waste that goes into films, and when you take a set and reuse it you're being more green. It's cool to preserve the environment as best you can.”

The Charles' home had to be luxurious and cozy at the same time. "Warm and fuzzy is kind of what Shill asked for,” says production designer Gary Steele.

A key space in the Charles' house set was the living room, built with a 25-foot ceiling to house a chandelier, which would become the centerpiece for the film's climax. "It's all about emotion until somebody is dangling from a chandelier two stories up,” Gainor says of the deadly final scene. The chandelier had to be custom made after the crew was unable to find one that was big enough.

To dress Obsessed's sexy cast, the filmmakers brought in fashion-savvy costume designer Maya Lieberman. "Maya was great,” says Knowles, "She is such a fashionista.” Lieberman's job was to create a distinctive look for each character that conveyed his or her unique personality. The result was a wardrobe of designer clothes.

As a beautiful young wife and mother, Obsessed's heroine Sharon had a style all her own. "We talked<

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