Locations & Sets
When the filmmakers began consideration locations for "The Matrix," Australia immediately offered certain advantages
When the filmmakers began consideration locations
for "The Matrix," Australia immediately offered certain
advantages. Says executive producer and native Australian Andrew
Mason, "Australia has a vital film industry and a terrific
talent pool." Mason, who had recently produced Alex Proyas'
"Dark City," also filmed in Australia, provided information
and assistance in assembling a top-notch technical crew and securing
several visually interesting shooting sites for "The Matrix."
"The Matrix" was filmed on location in Sydney - on soundstages
and, for two months, on Sydney's streets and rooftops and in warehouses.
Joel Silver enthused about using Sydney as a location for the
production: "Filmmaking expertise, competitive costs and
a great spirit of cooperation all enhanced Sydney's appeal. We
also liked the diversity of the city's architecture and its general
geography; it was an ideal city for our purposes.
The task of creating the film's many futuristic sets - a total
of 30 in all - fell to production designer OWEN PATERSON. The
two biggest sets were the interior of the Nebuchadnezzer, the
hovercraft that is home to Morpheus and his followers, and the
government office building, which was incorporated into an entire
Sydney office block. This set included an enormous translight,
a huge backdrop that is lit to look completely realistic.
Says Paterson, "There's a major sequence involving a massive
shootout in an office building. Obviously we couldn't accomplish
that in a real location, so we built an enormous steel structure,
almost like a modern-day skyscraper, within a soundstage. We then
needed a backdrop of the city beyond the windows, so we used a
Explains executive producer Barrie Osborne: "A translight
looks like a 35mm color transparency blown up to a very large
size. Of course, the picture is taken with special cameras. Our
translight was 42 feet high and 140 feet long!"
Adds producer Joel Silver: "This was without a doubt the
biggest translight I'd ever seen. It meant that when we were shooting
in the office building set we could shoot right into the translight
to give the feeling that we were actually in that location. We
manipulated the background slightly, via computer-generated imaging,
to remove the Sydney Opera House and Bridge, because the movie
takes place in an unnamed city, not specifically Sydney."
"I see 'The Matrix' as a ground-breaking movie," Silver
says. "The style and the visual effects within the action
sequences are something that have never been seen before, plus
we have fighting styles and photographic techniques used in this
movie that weren't possible even six months ago. We also have
some of the most impressive stunt work I've ever seen.
"The Wachowskis are truly visionary filmmakers," Silver
concludes. "I like to think 'The Matrix' will re-define the
action genre - it really is very spectacular."
Warner Bros. Presents, In Association With Village Roadshow Pictures
- Groucho II Film Partnership, A Silver Pictures Production: Keanu
Reeves and Laurence Fishburne in "The Matrix," starring
Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving and Joe Pantoliano. The music is
by Don Davis; the editor is Zach Staenberg; and the production
designer is Owen Paterson. The director of photography is Bill
Pope. The co-producer is Dan Cracchiolo; and the executive producers
are Barrie Osborne, Andrew Mason, Andy Wa
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