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G-FORCE

On Location
Environments Real and Virtual It was the task of production designer Deborah Evans, supervising art director Ramsey Avery, and their expansive art department team to create the environments, both real and virtual.

"We designed the sets in close conjunction with Hoyt, because that's his world,” says Evans. "We had a lot of meetings with Hoyt and the visual effects department to work out how to combine the real sets with their virtual needs.”

In fact, even the real sets began in virtual form. "We built virtual sets in the computer,” explains Evans, "which we would then hand off to visual effects and the pre-visualization artists so they could create animatics with Hoyt's hand-drawn storyboards. That way, when we designed the sets, it would be perfect for the action.”

Adds Avery, "It takes a lot of going through storyboards and figuring out exactly what's real in a frame and what's not real in a frame.”

The largest set created for the film was Dr. Ben Kendall's impressive, albeit jerry-built, Biological Intelligence (B.I.O.) Lab, constructed in an old, converted locomotive factory in downtown Los Angeles (in the film, the B.I.O. Lab has the false cover of "ACME Exterminators”). "We designed the lab so that it looked like it was cobbled together on a budget by Ben out of salvaged military containers and aeronautical parts,” explains Evans.

The boxy environments for the GForce training and living spaces were all fully constructed, right down to the last simulator and beach chair. The B.I.O.

Lab has a central workstation which controls the training facilities, including elliptical trainers, a mini RV driving simulator, wind tunnel and pneumatic dispatch, which resembles old-fashioned units in office buildings utilized to move mail throughout the building, but in this case, is intended for quick G-Force escape. In fact, the tubes were part of the old locomotive factory, cleverly adapted by the filmmakers.

"The whole G-Force world is in containers,” says Evans. "We built a gymnasium for Darwin and Juarez out of an executive aircraft's fuselage. Everything was fabricated out of metals, scraps and recycled electrical components.

"Speckles is the tech/communications guy,” continues Evans. "We used old cell phones and telephone parts for his environment, and unlike the other members of GForce, who sleep in bunk beds, Speckles sleeps in an old cereal box. Blaster's the rock-and-roll guinea pig, so he has a little boom box in his environment, rock posters and a bigscreen TV.”

The theme of living and working in recycled containers extended to Ben Kendall's house. Evans and Avery found a home in Redondo Beach, Calif., constructed entirely from shipping containers. In contrast was Leonard Saber's mansion, which was shot at the Sharpe residence at Lucky Dog Ranch in Somis, Calif. The sleek, post-modern structure was designed by world-renowned architect Zoltan Pali. For "G-FORCE,” however, the visual effects artists amended Pali's design by digitally adding a second story to the one-floor home.

Other locations and sets for the film included the colorful Elia's Pet Shop, which temporarily houses G-Force and introduces them to a host of other animals, including Hurley, a delightful trio of mice and a not-so-delightful snake. The exterior of the shop was actually filmed in the real Elia's—a neighborhood fixture in East Los Angeles—and a fully tricked-out interior set was then designed by Evans and filmed at The Culver Studios, which also housed Saber mansion interiors, Ben's home laboratory and the interior of the command vehicle, mounted on a highly sophisticated, computeroperated, six-axis motion base. The Goodman house, where Juarez and Blaster are temporarily adopted, was on a leafy street in Pasadena. The suburban stree

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