Costumes & Special Effects
"Sleepy Hollow," Atwood's research focused on period paintings and
visual descriptions of costumes from books. "There were no existing
photographs," comments Atwood, "but since this film is not a history
lesson, the work becomes very impressionistic."
the film's opening scene, Depp wears a constable's uniform which Atwood
describes as incredibly chic. "Uniforms of the period were beautifully
made," she says. "They weren't the polyester we have today." Once
Ichabod travels to Sleepy Hollow, he essentially wears one costume in varying
stages -- a long black waistcoat with hand-sewn gold trimming and a hand-printed
silk lining that kicks back light when he moves. "People didn't have a lot
of clothing unless they were incredibly wealthy," Atwood explains.
"The idea with Ichabod's costume was to make it very minimal, sleek and
long in feeling, a sort of shadowy feeling to his character."
more elaborate costumes were worn by the villagers of Sleepy Hollow -- each one
intricately crafted by Atwood and her team from specially chosen fabrics.
"They're sort of like country folk that are five or six years behind the
minute," says the designer, "but with the maximum amount of trim and
gear to show their money on the outside." The most extravagant dresses
belonged to Lady Van Tassel (Miranda Richardson). "She's definitely ruling
the roost. When a character aspires to something greater than what they've had,
they take it to a whole different level."
of Atwood's favorite costumes is a black and white dress worn by Lady Van Tassel
in the film's climactic chase scene. "It was such a challenge to create,
and the way Miranda Richardson wore the costume was fantastic. The original
inspiration was that it reminded me of bark in the forest. I wanted it to fit in
the woods, but still be very grand and of her own world. Miranda really
understood what the architecture of the dress was, that it went from light to
dark. When she walked in it, she walked straight forward and then turned to the
side, so you got the play of light on the costume."
Hollow" features several action set pieces, including stunts, pyrotechnics
and special effects. Among the highlights: a masterfully choreographed fight
scene between Ichabod (Johnny Depp), Brom (Casper Van Dien) and the Headless
Horseman (Ray Park), and a suspense-filled coach chase through the Western
Woods. The latter was filmed inside Leavesden's 'flight shed' where designers
built a 400-foot-long forest.
coordinator Nick Gillard, whose recent film credits include "Star Wars --
The Phantom Menace," brings originality and humor to every action sequence.
In addition to choreographing the fight scenes, Gillard, along with horse master
Steve Dent, also gave riding instruction to the entire cast. Depp's horse,
Gunpowder, is a Belgium carriage horse. The Headless Horseman's horse,
Daredevil, was brought over from Seville, Spain and trained from scratch.
"Spanish horses have the best nature," says Dent. "You just have
to work with them for ten minutes and they're revved up like a Ferrari."
capture the film's horror, filmmakers used the latest special effects and
make-up techniques. Creature effects artist Kevin Yagher admits his greatest
challenge was finding unusual ways for people to die. "Tim wanted very
stylized decapitations, nothing that we've seen before," explains Yagher.
In one instance
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