About The Production
Hollow" was filmed almost entirely in England. Director Tim Burton, along
with director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki, production designer Rick
Heinrichs and costume designer Colleen Atwood, chose a style for the film that
Burton describes as reminiscent of the horror films of the 50's and 60's. As a
frame of reference, Burton encouraged his team to watch films like Mario Bava's
"Black Sunday," Roman Polanski's "The Fearless Vampire
Killers" and Hammer horror films. "They're beautiful, those movies.
They really have an art to them and those are my favorite kind of movies,"
film's fairy tale-like images are enhanced through Lubezki's highly stylized
lighting and a tightly controlled color palette that permeates everything from
set design to costumes. "We wanted an almost black and white feel, very
monochromatic with a lot of contrast," says Lubezki. The wardrobe provides
accents of color.
scouting a number of Dutch communities in upstate New York and the Hudson
Valley, where the real town of Sleepy Hollow is located, the filmmakers agreed
that Burton's vision could best be achieved by shooting primarily on stages.
While many of the villages were historically accurate, they didn't serve the
emotional side of the story. "It's more like a 'fantastic tale,' not a
realistic historical reconstruction," says Lubezki. "We have to
enhance certain elements to accentuate the 'fantastic.' The Hammers did it
without knowing they were doing it. We do it because we like it."
the filmmakers decided to build the entire town of Sleepy Hollow in a contained
environment. "What's great is to try to take something unreal and make it
real, which I feel excited about. It's always a challenge to walk that line of
unreality/reality," adds Burton.
the suggestion of producer Scott Rudin, the film company moved to London where
the combination of available stages and craftsmanship provided Burton the
opportunity to create a singular self-enclosed world. It also enabled Burton and
Heinrichs to be reunited with many of their top London collaborators from
"Batman," including art director Les Tomkins, construction manager
Terry Apsey and set decorator Peter Young.
film's strong design element necessitated that nearly everything be built and
handcrafted. "The biggest challenge was creating so many 'exterior'
settings on stage," says production designer Heinrichs, who has
collaborated with Burton in varying capacities for more than two decades.
"What emerged was a sort of 'stylized naturalism' which is very beautiful.
It's a combination of using real materials with painted backings and very
old-fashioned techniques of displaying perspective. It creates a very theatrical
and painterly feeling." By the time production was complete, Burton and his
team created more than fifty diverse sets.
photography began in England on November 20th, 1998 on sound stages at Leavesden
Studios, where production designer Heinrichs and his team built the grand and
elegant Van Tassel Manor House and surrounding orchard. The entire cast, along
with 75 extras dressed in elaborate period costumes, gathered for the annual
harvest party and Ichabod's (Johnny Depp) arrival to Sleepy Hollow.
continued at the Van Tassel estate for several weeks before moving to S
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