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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 exist.

"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 character.
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