DREAMING THE FU­TURE

Pro­duc­tion designer Scott Cham­b­liss on cre­at­ing a new vi­sion of to­mor­row…

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Tomorrowland: a world beyond -

Did you ref­er­ence the orig­i­nal theme park at­trac­tion when you were designing the movie?

Oddly enough, we didn’t take any cues from the ex­ist­ing To­mor­row­land. In fact, we specif­i­cally de­cided to avoid that. It didn’t suit our story’s pur­poses at all. The ti­tle is a bit mis­lead­ing in that re­spect. Be­cause it’s the first thing you would think. But To­mor­row­land in our movie is quite its own thing.

There’s a grand his­tory of designing cities of the fu­ture. What in­formed To­mor­row­land’s aes­thetic?

We started as ur­ban plan­ners. The writer, Da­mon Lin­de­lof, cre­ated this won­der­ful, 35- page back­story of who in his mind the founders of To­mor­row­land were. He posited that the great­est minds of the late 19th cen­tury un­til at least the first half of the 20th cen­tury got to­gether to cre­ate this dif­fer­ent ver­sion of city life. Peo­ple like Edi­son and Tesla and Eif­fel. Thirty dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters over the span of a few gen­er­a­tions were sup­pos­edly the au­thors. With that, we started con­ceiv­ing, “Okay, what would they do to­gether to make a co­her­ent ur­ban plan?” Then we just kept go­ing… If tech­nol­ogy con­tin­ues evolv­ing the way that it does, what we see in To­mor­row­land could be a vi­sion of the world 40 to 50 years from now, con­ceiv­ably.

What were the great­est de­sign chal­lenges you faced?

There were some large col­lab­o­ra­tive set­pieces and lo­ca­tions that weren’t al­ways in To­mor­row­land. The Eif­fel Tower plays a big role in the movie, and also the 1964 World’s Fair. In ad­di­tion to the in­tri­cacy of all th­ese dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods and styles that we had to man­i­fest in great de­tails – ve­hi­cles of the past, present, and fu­ture – the hard­est thing was to make sure that th­ese dis­parate time pe­ri­ods and en­vi­ron­ments worked to­gether as op­posed to start­ing to look like they were from dif­fer­ent movies. It’s all about keep­ing a co­her­ent re­la­tion­ship be­tween all of our times and places.

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