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CHLOE: The Production
CHLOE was shot Toronto over the course of 37 days in February and March 2009. Although writer Erin Cressida Wilson had originally set the story in her hometown of San Francisco, once Egoyan became involved, he persuaded the producers to relocate to Toronto. Producer Joe Medjuck, who lived in Toronto for 15 years and who actually taught Egoyan at the University of Toronto, says: "We really loved Atom's portrayal of Toronto in Exotica and since the film could be shot in any urban centre, we thought—'Why not set it in Toronto?'—a city Atom understands intimately and where he could work with his own team.” Egoyan's team includes his long-time collaborators award-winning Cinematographer Paul Sarossy and Production Designer Phillip Barker.

The city of Toronto has such a presence in the film—from restaurants that include Café Diplomatico and The Rivoli; to locations such as The Windsor Arms and The Fairmont Royal York hotels; and background scenery which includes the CN Tower, the Frank Ghery-designed Art Gallery of Ontario and the Will Alsop-designed Ontario College of Art—that they are their own cast of characters in the film. "What's such an incredible aspect of CHLOE is the fact that we're enjoying and celebrating Toronto and taking every opportunity to celebrate specific places,” Sarossy enthuses. "As filmmakers we're often shooting Toronto as New York, Toronto as Chicago, as almost any other city but Toronto so this has been a wonderful opportunity to showcase the city and we've enjoyed the incredible liberties as storytellers.”

Egoyan was thrilled about the prospect of showcasing the city. "What excites me, as much in some ways as choosing these phenomenal actors, is rooting the story in a city I know very well,” he explains. "Focusing on this time of year, where we're emerging from winter and we're anticipating the spring, along with our choice of locations, visually explains the idea that people are trying to find places that protect them from the very brutal exterior. People trying to retreat into areas where they are not exposed or where they are protected becomes a controlling metaphor for the story itself as they're doing this within the relationships in the film and it's interesting to have a visual style which also creates the sense of shelter.”

With an office in Toronto's posh 'Yorkville‘ and a regular at the tea rooms and restaurants and bars of luxury hotels, Catherine's world and Chloe's turf suggest a certain glamour and glossiness. The notion tends to shatter as the story gravitates towards the Stewart home—a house of glass where all is "contained.”

Toronto's "Ravine House” built by architect Drew Mandel was chosen as the Stewart home. The house features a series of glassed-in cubes that hover over a ravine of forest. It served as the setting for many of the film's key scenes but the master bedroom itself was re-imagined as a much larger space in studio by Production Designer Phillip Barker. Barker's design remained true to the concept of the overall design of the home and its aesthetic and included artwork by Canadian artists Ed Burtynsky and Joanne Tod. Architect Mandel visited the set on a number of occasions.

"I'm honored that the home is playing such a key role in the film. It's as if Atom, Phillip and I have silently collaborated.”

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