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BLUES BROTHERS 2000

About The Locations / Costumes
Cameras rolled on Blues Brothers 2000 on June 3, 1997 and continued through early September

Cameras rolled on Blues Brothers 2000 on June 3, 1997 and continued through early September. Although the story begins in Chicago, the action in the film spans five states-Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi and Louisiana. And, the filmmakers wanted to ensure that the places The Blues Brothers traveled, evoked the feeling of driving from Illinois to Louisiana-an interesting task for production designer Bill Brodie and his art department, since the majority of the film was shot on location in and around Toronto.

"Things don't change all that much when you cross a border: cornfields are cornfields and roadside diners in Kentucky look pretty much like roadside diners in Ontario," explains Brodie. "Besides, as our director likes to remind people, Casablanca was shot in Burbank."

Matching the topography became more difficult for the art department once The Blues Brothers traveled to the more southern states; it seems tropical plants, Spanish moss and kudzu vines aren't exactly abundant in Ontario. A little ingenuity goes a long way and with the delivery of five tons of authentic Spanish moss direct from Florida, Brodie and his crew had one of the most important elements necessary to transform a former park on the outskirts of Toronto into the lush grounds of Queen Mousette's Louisiana plantation. While the greensmen were dressing the grounds with the harvested moss, kudzu vines fashioned from silk and chickenwire and skeletons of previous visitors, Brodie and art director Dan Yarhi were busy overseeing the construction of the facade of Queen Mousette's mansion, a magnificent antebellum structure which exuded all the ambiance of the plantation mansions found in the old South.

Modeled on a drawing found in an old history book, construction of the 100­ by 50­foot facade took workers almost six weeks to finish. Once the structure was in place, the painters and set decorators took over, painting and plastering the mansion's surface with a finish that, despite its decrepit and weather­worn look, reflected that opulence and splendor of what it must have looked like in its heyday. Gas lit torches, creeping vines and even live alligators were added to enhance the look and feel of mystery. The interior of the mansion, built on a Toronto soundstage, reflected quite a different look. Vibrant and colorful, the inside of Queen Mousette's, which was fashioned partly after House of Blues, captured all the magic and spirit of the Mardi Gras. With walls covered with Afrocentric art and larger­than­life masks and sculptures of Albert Einstein, "Satchmo" and a giant gorilla, the festive dwelling was the perfect location to stage the Battle of the Bands.

"Queen Mousette is a 130­year­old voodoo queen," explains Brodie, "so John and Dan were quite anxious that her house reflect the mystery and magic befitting her character."

Other sets built or created for the film included the interior, exterior and burned­out aftermath of Willie's Stripster Club, Malvern Gasperon's junkyard and the tent site of Reverend Cleophus' revival meeting.

Elwood's release from prison was filmed at the Millhaven and Bath Correctional Institutions located outside Kingston, Ontario, where, despite the communication ban, which prevented the crew and the inmates from speaking to one another, the inmates made their sentiments known when they dropped a white sheet with the words "Blues Brothers Rule" from one of the windows.

An empty fairground in<

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