About The Production
Principal photography began on location in
Vancouver, B.C., in July 1998. The Greater Vancouver area doubles
for Whidbey Island, Washington; Evergreen, Colorado; and San Francisco.
For the last quarter of the movie, the production moved to New
Beresford says: "The setting of the film is the northwestern
part of the country, and Vancouver and Seattle are extremely similar
physically and very close geographically. Vancouver is a spectacular
city, a port city with huge mountains behind it, and the contrast
between it and the heat and exoticism of New Orleans helps the
story really work."
In determining the look of the picture, production designer Howard
Cummings says: "We start out in a place (the Pacific Northwest)
that's mostly natural colors in greens and browns, then move to
New Orleans, which is all about neon-colored lights. Also, our
main character is in a prison for quite a while, so it's very
"At one point, she makes a decision to go on the run, so
I added all these red neon lights outside the window while she's
thinking that she's going to cross the line and actually break
the law. After that, the movie gets heavily layered with colors.
It starts with a very monochromatic look and ends up with a very
colorful look as the drama increases."
As for filming in New Orleans, co-producer Richard Rothschild
says: "The European look of the French Quarter is great,
but that look presents a challenge. Production companies need
a lot of space to lay out vehicles and equipment and cameras and
lights, and essentially, there is no space in the Quarter. There
is no space to stand, no space to work, and no space to get out
of the way of the hundreds of tourists who flock to you every
time you start to shoot."
The cast and crew rose to the challenge, however, and the production
was able to capture the unique atmosphere of New Orleans. One
important scene, a charity gala at a hotel in the French Quarter,
was actually filmed in the courtyard of the historic Hermman-Grima
House, which is open to the public and located adjacent to Bourbon
Street. The interiors of the film's hotel were shot in a mansion
in Vancouver. Other sites included the Prince George Regional
Correctional Facility in the northern part of British Columbia,
which the designers actually had to make uglier; and a historic
above-ground cemetery in New Orleans.
The wardrobe also plays a big part in the movie because, Judd
says, "it helps define the immense contrast between my former
life and the things that are meaningful to me when I get out of
prison. So it starts with very comfortable casual, kind of very
expensive clothing - Libby being unaware that she and Nick have
been living beyond their means."
Libby goes from wearing Armani at her trial to work shirts and
jeans in prison. "And for most of the time I'm looking for
my son," Judd says, "I'm wearing the same way-too-big
linen pants, which sums up how intensely focused I am on getting
my son back to the exclusion of anything else, fashion included.
Then there is the beautiful Armani gown that I wear for the auction,
a gown I need in my search for Matty, but which I have to steal
because I can't afford one anymore."
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