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THE MECHANIC

The Mechanic Sets Up Shop In New Orleans
A film's location ultimately ends up playing a character in the film. For The Mechanic, that character is New Orleans. As Bill Chartoff describes, "the mood and atmosphere of a location bleeds as if through osmosis into the feeling of a movie.”

The decision to shoot The Mechanic in New Orleans was made primarily based on the fact that the city has an international feel and could stand in for multiple geographic locations (the film's various settings include Chicago, D.C., and South America).

Location Manager Batou Chandler scouted the city and surrounding areas for just the right locations. She had seen the original film and used its tone and energy as inspiration -­ though the filmmakers would ultimately take a more modern approach to the look of the new version.

The locations were incredibly diverse. Key locations used in the film include the New Orleans World Trade Center which, though just a shell from Katrina, stood in for a high-­rise hotel; a house/wellness center with a mid-­ century modern feel in the bayou which served as Bishop's home (they scouted this location by boat as Bishop would seemingly live in an isolated dwelling only accessed by waterways); the french quarter for Bishop's sultry lover's apartment; and a house in the city that looked like a dwelling out of Palm Springs for the setting of a hit on an opposing assassin.

Many of the locations were virtual facades due to Katrina damage. The filmmakers built out the interiors of some (such as ‘the Palm Springs house') and built interiors on a stage for others (such as the ‘hotel's' penthouse apartment, where another hit takes place).

Production Designer Richard Lassalle has been working with West for some time now on various projects so when Simon asked him to head to New Orleans, he was delighted to hop on a plane. All of the sets had to be laid out in careful detail but none reflected character as extensively as Bishop's house.

"I designed Bishop's house to be modestly sophisticated,” notes Lassalle. "Bishop is a craftsman and his home had to reflect that.”

They shot at the house location (which was built in the ‘50s as a Catholic retreat) at the start of the film's schedule but Bishop's ‘war room' was built separate from the house. The production shot this room's interior scenes at the end of the film's schedule due to the large amount of research props (a reflection of the extensive research Bishop conducts on each of his assignments) that had to be gathered. 

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