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On Location
Assembling his loyal team of key collaborators and artisans, Eastwood commenced production on a film that would make a sprawling footprint, from London and Paris to San Francisco and Maui.

"The ideas in this movie are universal,” says Damon. "It deals with questions that people are grappling with all over the world and always have been and always will be. So, I think it's great that it's a big story with such an international feel, and that we went to all these different countries to capture that.”

Because the action would be interconnected, Eastwood worked with production designer James J. Murakami to ensure the audience would know where they were at any given time. "Clint wanted each story to have really unique, identifiable settings,” Murakami says. "So, it was important to capture the modern, sleek look of Paris, and the middle class feel of San Francisco, and then the distressed look of Marcus's London. The places in many ways mirrored the character whose story is being told.”

Costume designer Deborah Hopper also denoted the individuality of the main characters in their clothing. She affirms, "The costumes for the central characters had to reflect the personalities of three individuals in different parts of the world and coming from very different circumstances. It made it a very challenging project for me in terms of the costume design.”

To further differentiate the stories, Eastwood and his longtime director of photography Tom Stern utilized the process of digital intermediation (D.I.), in which the print is scanned to allow the color timing to be processed digitally. "It's subtle but each city has a slightly different look to reflect what's happening in each part of the story,” Stern explains.

Production began at Chamonix in the French Alps, facing Mont Blanc, where Marie visits Dr. Rousseau. "It felt like being in paradise,” raves Cécile de France. "The experience was truly magical.”

The company moved on to Paris to shoot Marie's return to her home city. French location manager Antonin Depardieu was able to secure numerous spots that would convey the sense of Marie's sophisticated world. "Marie reflects the fast-paced, polished and modern aspects of Paris,” Murakami describes. "But at the same time, tradition is all around her.”

French locations included Place de la Madeleine, as well as the Palais de Chaillot, facing the Eiffel Tower. Marie's apartment was located in a 19th century stone building on Boulevard Malesherbes, where their nights of shooting brought out legions of Eastwood fans to cheer on the production.

Hopper dressed Marie in luxurious fabrics and textures with a strong color palette, incorporating cashmere and leather, and using Hermès scarves as accents. The designer remarks, "Marie is a woman of the world—confident, chic and very feminine. After her near-death experience, her look changes and there is less emphasis on fashion. She dresses more casually and in softer colors and appears more accessible and open to what can happen.”

Following the week in Paris, the company moved to London, where UK location manager Martin Joy had secured permission to shoot the flat Jason and Marcus share with their mother at the city's Chancellor Estates, nicknamed the Elephant and Castle. "Those particular projects were built about 40 years ago and were intended to last only 30 years,” Murakami offers. "The government has wanted to destroy them and clear way for new housing. It's a rough, desolate place, so it was a really fitting home for our characters.”

A particularly striking location was the Charles Dickens Museum, the only surviving London home of the Victorian novelist, where he wrote two of his most famous books, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. The museum allowed Eastwood and company to shoot Matt Damon in the sequences in which George joins a small group touring the narrow house. "They were very cooperative about having us in there,” says Eastwood. "And we were very respectful in taking our time to not damage anything.”

Here, George glimpses the portrait called "Dickens' Dream,” which depicts the author asleep at his desk with characters from his novels floating in the air around him. "When George sees it, he realizes that he's connected to this guy who has got all of these ghosts in his head, who are there with him all the time,” Damon reflects. "It was pretty amazing to be able to do that scene in the actual place with the actual portrait.”

As London is where the stories converge, the visual landscape of London moves from Marcus's urban surroundings to a gentler, Victorian environment, including the vast Alexandra Palace, which became the site for the London Book Fair. To complete the setting, the crew assembled publishers to set up booths within the spectacular landmark, along with 275 extras to act as fair attendees, salespeople from the different publishing houses and authors.

Additional locations included the scenic Victorian arcade at Leadenhall Market, and Conway Hall, which stood in for the Centre for Psychic Advancement, as well as the Liverpool and Charing Cross Underground stations, and the Mayfair and Columbia Hotels.

Having wrapped up a good portion of the European locations, the production reconnoitered two oceans away in San Francisco, where George Lonegan makes his home.

Like his counterparts in the other cities, San Francisco location manager Patrick O. Mignano sought out sites that would immediately identify the city, including Crissy Field in Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, as well as the C&H Sugar Company north of the city, which provided the industrial setting of George's workplace.

They found George's apartment on historic Nob Hill in an apartment within sight of the Transamerica building. "I'm from the Bay Area, so I know the neighborhood, and the apartment we chose is very typical of a lot of apartments in that area,” Eastwood says. "The building is not constructed in absolute squares. The entrances have angles to them, so when you go in with the cameras, you can cover things from interesting sides rather than just four walls. But it's a great old neighborhood with an Italian restaurant underneath, so we thought it was perfect for George.”

The tiny, 700-square-foot space required Eastwood, Stern and camera operator Steve Campanelli to squeeze into the tight spaces, often with a SteadiCam, to capture the shot. But this quality also helped the director hew closely to each character's experience, underscoring that while the film's canvas is large, the human drama is intimate.

That dichotomy is never more apparent than in the tsunami sequence, which would involve location shooting in the town of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui. "We considered a lot of different places to shoot that sequence,” Lorenz notes. "We needed a sort of alleyway that led to the beach, where people could run up to get away from the wave. Front Street on Maui just made the most sense for that.”

To capture the moment when Cécile de France and a small child are caught in the massive wave, Stern and Campanelli put cameras on surfboards and took them out into the water, followed by Eastwood himself. "I'd not seen Clint jump in the water before, but it's pretty typical of his directing style,” says Lorenz. "He wants to get right in there and be a part of it, so he can make sure he gets what he wants and be able to point the camera in every direction.”

"We were amazed,” Kennedy remembers. "I mean, the water was such that the waves were quite big. It was almost impossible to keep the camera on the little surfboard. And Clint just dove in,

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