Kurt Wimmer &
6. Existence And Purpose
Lucas: That...did you talk about these vehicles and
where we got them from and stuff?
Kurt: Er...yeah, I did. I'd..I'd
mentioned that...um...I did..I talked about it at some length. One
thing I didn't mention about them, is that as they are fire engines,
they're German fire engines, they're Mancats, 1AIs...er...the big
ones...is that they were red when we got them and we had to
actually...they actually drove that thing up to Berlin on the road....
Lucas: We couldn't put it on a trailer, it was too heavy.
Kurt: No, way too big…from Munich. And that is a
monstrous vehicle. But they were red when we got them and I needed them
to be white and we couldn't afford to paint them white and them unpaint
them. It would have been just too costly. So, we discovered there was
this process that's called 'peel painting', where they basically take
strips of latex in whatever colour you want and they cover the vehicle
in them. And when you're done they just peel it right off, like a skin.
It was pretty cool and I have to say, it saved our ass.
Lucas: This is the only time in the film you'll see the
white Sweeper coats...we sort of shot them and then we realised we
didn't like them that much and so, they were black.
Kurt: You see them one more time, later on. Actually
there's ...yeah…and they also show up earlier in the video burning
stuff. Um...I actually liked them, they just had to be used
judiciously, because they become...we discovered they could become
silly, rather...rather quickly. The other was that...something I didn't
talk about... was, my production...my costume designer Joe Porro,
Joseph Porro, who's very talented, designed them and Joe just loves
colour and he had made them of an iridescent fabric and that was
probably the mother-of pearl aspect that was just something that put
them over the top.
one thing that Joe did was design these Cleric outfits which I'd asked
him to base around the sort of frock coats of a 19th century Deacon and
he came up with this design, which the cynics have described as Prada,
but I think it's great, you know. It looks like armour and I was very
specific about what Christian, or Preston would be wearing in what
scenes. You know, his gloves and his long jacket were his armour and
then, you know, the suit underneath was...was less but I think
it's...it does a great job in adding to, you know, their nobility on
one hand and their knightliness, but also their...um...sort of scary
aspects of their character.
I was worried when I was making this, that people would
think that was Prozium he was giving her, but nobody seems to have
Lucas: This...and we...there's a lot of concrete in
this movie and this concrete room was actually a fairly large room,
sort of down the hall and up a set of fairly rickety stairs. And you
took your life in your hands to actually get to this set, actually,
because we were in an unfinished subway. And, you know, we were using
these essentially, you know, what construction workers are walking
around in with hard hats and we have a crew of a hundred people walking
around in here. It was somewhat of a nightmare for me, as a producer,
as I was just worried about the danger to everybody. It was also
freezing cold. You may remember behind one of these walls, was a
massive amount of water, that the...they told us that the subway...in
the making of the subway, what they did was they pumped.... 50 feet
under the ground...under the surface of the ground in Berlin was sort
of the water table, if you will and what they had to do was sort of
pump the water out in order to make the subways. And so, I kept
thinking while we were on the set, "Oh, my God!" Like if that
wall…it wasn't made to German precision standards, you know, that wall
of water would come in here and kill us all.
Kurt: Yeah, for sure.
Also, there was...remember there was a big hole in the
centre of the room...
Kurt: ...that would cause people to plummet to their
death, you know, far below in this cavern in the subway. And it wasn't
even just a hole, it cut across the entire room...it was...
Lucas: ...it was literally a cut in the middle of the
Kurt: …I can't imagine what the practical purpose of it
is. But Christian and Emily are sitting on top of it now -we put a
grating over the top of it, which was kind of a squirrelly proposition
- and...and had them sit on it.
You know, I was bemoaning, on the other track that
I…I had two good wide shots of this room and I think I got so myopic in
the cutting of this scene that I took them out and forgot about them. I
wish that I had one in there because it really was a nice set and
through this production value has been lost because of that.