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SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

Locations, Design and Camera Work
Often referred to as "Hollywood North,” Toronto has doubled for every major city in the United States, as well as many in Europe and Asia. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World marks one of the few times that Toronto has played itself in a major motion picture.

Locations and Design

As the books are set in Toronto and because the city has the infrastructure in place to host a film the size of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the decision to shoot there was obvious. Many of Toronto's haunts that are given center stage in O'Malley's books were sure to be recognized in the film. These include Casa Loma, Honest Ed's, Lee's Palace, Pizza Pizza and Second Cup—places O'Malley says "are ubiquitous in Toronto. I have a soft spot for them.”

As Wright and production designer Marcus Rowland developed the look of the action-comedy, they knew they wanted to celebrate the Ontario city. It wasn't simply bringing lines from the novels into the movie that interested them. "I wanted to represent Bryan's artwork as much as possible, but also use the real locations that he used as reference for his books,” Wright comments. "In several key scenes, we shot the actual houses, libraries, parks and music venues that Bryan took photos of in 2003.”

Rowland adds: "We embraced all that's great about the flavor and texture of Toronto itself. It's known as one of the most multicultural cities in North America, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was shot at the real locations where Bryan drew the pictures.”

The designer explains that he used a multitude of colors to reflect the emotion of the story, down to the color of the swords that Scott and Gideon use to duel. O'Malley marvels: "Marcus did an incredible job bringing the comic universe to the screen, right down to the last detail of each character's apartment. One of the craziest moments for me was when I walked on the set of Wallace's apartment. It was as though it had jumped off the comic-book page.”

On stages in Toronto, Rowland created the apartments of Wallace and Scott, as well as Ramona's one-bedroom. O'Malley adds: "They are just as I visualized them, only more real. It's a little strange.”

For her part, Ramona Flowers felt right at home. Laughs Winstead: "It was like we were really there. All the places they've built, the clubs they've built…it doesn't feel like we were on a set at all. I wanted to just move into my apartment. It felt so authentic.”

Setups and Camera Work

Cinematographer Bill Pope, known for his stunning camera work in blockbusters from Spider-Man 2 to The Matrix series, first met with Wright when the director was in Los Angeles to publicize Hot Fuzz. It would take a few years before the two men would work together, and Pope was keen to join Wright for this production. "This is absolutely what Edgar was meant to do,” the DP compliments. "His enthusiasm is catching.”

For Pope, the hook of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was a strong one. "I read the script and realized that I've never seen this movie before,” he offers. "It was incredibly fresh and a phenomenal step up, but also a mammoth piece of work—so much so that a three-day test shoot was done months before the movie was to film, just to prove that all of the graphics, speed, wires and blue screens, irony and self-reflection would work.”

The camera style is busy, to say the least. Pope explains: "There are a huge number of shots because the movie has so many characters woven together, is influenced by fast-paced video games and moves forward by means of the edit. The camera is always moving—whip pans, dollies, cranes, zooms, snap zooms, snap zooms with whip pans off. There is no scene without all these mannerisms, and the speed and pacing is critical.”

The challenge for the cinematographer was i

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