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DOGMA

About The Design
To bring the whimsy of DOGMA to life, Kevin Smith wanted a look somewhere between reality and unreality, in the slightly skewed, eye-popping style of his favorite comic-books. To get this look, he surrounded himself with a group of dedicated visual artists who could help transubstantiate his dream-like storyboards into tangible sets and effects. "These guys really gave their all," says Smith. "The special effects team went all out and there was this kind of guiding spirit of 'let's put on a show.'"

"This is the first time either of us has shot a movie in which we had to deal with questions like are the angel wings working properly," sums up Scott Mosier. "The biggest thing was that we really had to let go and invite more people to the party. There were many more arms involved - special effects, CGI, visual effects and it was a huge amount of information to process and control. The ante was upped and we lost a bit of our innocence."

Key to the effort was the work of production designer Robert Holtzman. "When I read the script, I immediately knew it was going to be a real challenge," admits Holtzman. Not surprisingly, Holtzman felt Smith's script read like a graphic novel. He envisioned the look and feel of the story as a comic-book sprung to life, splashed with implausible colors and broad strokes that could have come from the ink of an artist. "I started looking at a lot of comic books for color and design ideas," he explains. "I used several blank walls and full walls in the background to give the film more of a sort of hand-drawn feeling. We also used colors like pumpkin, bray blues and dark grey in situations where you would normally use white to give the film a very surreal and abstract look."

"One of the great things about working with Kevin," continues Holtzman, "is that you can bring in a whole table full of ideas and he just starts thinking as far out as you want him to and then at the last minute he reigns you in. I really wanted to create a whole other world with this movie that reflects Kevin's view askew universe, which has a logic of its own."

Among other things, Holtzman built the train that takes Bethany, Rufus, Jay, Silent Bob and the two renegade angels towards the New Jersey climax; the set was then propped on tire tubes that could approximate a chugging motion. Holtzman also had fun layering in lots of subtle mythological symbols from various religious traditions - something for the fans who like to ponder the details.

Adding to the otherworldly feel of DOGMA are the creations of Vince Guastini, creature effects supervisor, who worked laboriously to design the Golgathan, an ancient demon that rises from the bowels of the earth or, in this case, modern plumbing. Guastini also created the prosthetic angel wings for all of the non-human beings, celestial or otherwise. Jason Lee explains his character's demonic attachments: "Vince really made my horns look realistic. I couldn't feel them on my head and they only took about twenty minutes to put on."

Charlie Belardinelli, the film's special effects supervisor, took on the task of engineering all the mechanical effects, including the film's pyrotechnics and shocking creature entrances. "Kevin basically laid out exactly what he wanted and I collaborated with the visual effects people and the creature effects people to bring it to life. It was a lot of fun," says Belardinelli.

Capturing the whole thing on film is director of photography Robert Yeoman. "So nervous was I abo

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