WILD WILD WEST
Production Design, Sets
Sonnenfeld and Peters were supported by an outstanding production crew, many of whom Sonnenfeld has collaborated with on previous outings
Sonnenfeld and Peters were supported by an
outstanding production crew, many of whom Sonnenfeld has collaborated
with on previous outings. These include production designer BO
WELCH, who rejoined Sonnenfeld following their successful effort
on "Men in Black," which earned Welch and set decorator
CHERYL CARASIK an Academy Award nomination.
Other alumni include visual-effects supervisor ERIC BREVIG from
Industrial Light and Magic and RICK BAKER, four-time Academy Award
winner for special-effects makeup, most recently for "Men
in Black." Editor JIM MILLER worked with Sonnenfeld for the
sixth time, following the films "The Addams Family,"
"Addams Family Values," "For Love or Money,"
"Get Shorty" and "Men in Black."
Award-winning cinematographer MICHAEL BALLHAUS, Academy Award-winning
costume designer DEBORAH L. SCOTT, Academy Award-winning special
effects supervisor MICHAEL LANTIERI and second-unit director and
stunt coordinator TERRY LEONARD (who worked as a stuntman on the
television series) also joined the filmmaking team.
Early in the preparation process, production designer Bo Welch
began working with Sonnenfeld to conceptualize the specific look
of the film. Recognized for his design achievements in such films
as "Batman Returns," "Edward Scissorhands"
and "Men in Black," Welch is lauded for his ability
to create a stylized world in which characters could realistically
"I knew that the style should be big and manly but also totally
stylized," says Sonnenfeld. "I wanted everything to
be unique and sort of futuristic but within the context of 1869,
so it's very Jules Verne-like."
"From a design point of view, you get to do it all in this
film," says Welch. "It's not really a Western, but rather,
retro-science-fiction with a Western backdrop. What could be more
interesting to design than a science-fiction world of 1869 inhabited
by an evil futurist?"
Working on "Wild Wild West" was a new experience for
cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, who is perhaps best known for
his frequent and lauded collaborations with directors Martin Scorsese
and Mike Nichols. For Ballhaus, the task of taking on a film that
was extremely technically complicated was exciting and a bit daunting.
"The film definitely doesn't look like a period movie,"
says Ballhaus. "Barry has a very specific style of shooting
with wide-angle lenses and very warm light. I've never shot a
closeup with an 18mm lens, but part of the fun of this experience
is doing things I never thought you could get away with. I think
comedy has a different set of rules."
The filmmakers were also fortunate to have the expertise of Academy
Award-winning costume designer Deborah L. Scott, whose efforts
for "Titanic" garnered her the Oscar. "The challenge
of this film was to approach it not only from a period point of
view, but also from a comedic point of view, which I had never
really done before," says Scott.
Scott's creations included the hundreds of extras' clothes for
Loveless's costume ball and the soldiers and dignitaries in the
Loveless Lair, as well as hundreds of extras on location for the
Silverado and Promontory Point scenes. Smith and Kline praise
Scott and her long-time assistant and illustrator DAVID LeVAY
for their exciting takes on the costumes that help define each
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