OT: Dawn of the Dead

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  • 03-31-2004, 05:36 PM
    ForeverAutumn
    OT: Dawn of the Dead
    WARNING: If you don't want any spoilers for the movie, don't read this post.

    I'm not a big fan of the horror movie genre, but we went to see this last night because it was, quite literally, filmed across the street from the townhouse complex in which I live.

    It wasn't good. Don't see it.

    But....it was very cool to see how the film scenery was edited, given how well I know the neighbourhood that it was filmed in, and we even watched some of it being filmed.

    Across the street from us is an old mall which is currently being torn down to make way for more townhouses and condos. Before beginning the demolition of the mall, Universal rented it out to film Dawn of the Dead. According to one of the cops doing security, they gutted the mall (which was a dump) and rebuilt it so that it looked really nice.

    There is a fountain in the mall which was ugly cream coloured tile. For the movie it was covered in really nice grey marble.

    There are signs on the outside of the building that said Crossroads Mall. Those signs were never actually put up. They must have been digitally added.

    There is one shot of the outside of the mall, in the movie, where they pan out to show the full length of the building. Well, in reality, the building was half the size. They used computer imagery to add on a whole section of the building and erase a set of train tracks that run alongside the real building. They also erased the very expensive condo building that you would see behind the mall from that view.

    When they pan out from the roof of the mall to show the neighbourhood, where our townhouse complex should be, there are apartment buildings. These buildings don't exist where they are shown (I doubt they exist at all)

    The characters walk out of a tunnel and run up a little hill to get to the mall. As they run up the hill, you can see the mall. I know the tunnel that they were in. There is no hill there and there is no hill beside the mall. So, there had to be three cuts there. The tunnel. The hill. The mall.

    The hospital emergency room door is the door to our neighbourhood hockey rink and community centre.

    In the movie, there are a lot of scenes filmed from the roof of the mall. They were really on the roof. We could see the "Alive Inside" sign painted on the roof and we saw them filming up there. However, the people in the mall communicate with a guy on the roof of a building across the street. That building does not exist. At least, not where it's situated in the movie. So all of this communication had to have been filmed seperately and then edited together.

    We watched them film a scene where they escape from the mall in altered shuttle buses and the buses are attacked by Zombies. This was filmed in the mall's parking lot in front of a green screen. There were about 200 extras playing zombies. In the film they made it look like thousands of zombies.

    We missed seeing them film the big explosion scene. That was the night of the Rolling Stones SARS festival. Bummer.

    I found it fascinating to see the alterations that they were able to make. I know that there is a lot of technical and special effects in movies, but it's really cool to be able to watch a movie and see exactly what was changed and how it was changed. It made me wish that I had taken some photos of the mall and surrounding area before the demolition started. Too bad the movie didn't come out a month or two earlier. Before half of the building had been torn down.

    I can't wait for the DVD to come out so that we can pause scenes and really disect the scenery!
  • 03-31-2004, 07:29 PM
    Dave_G
    Was that you coming out of Victorias Secret with 400 bags of panties?

    Dave
  • 03-31-2004, 09:39 PM
    surgeandoj
    That's awesome, i love trying to pick out the digital scenes in a movie. I haven't seen it yet but now i'll have something to look for. I just saw The Lady killers in which they did a horrible rendering of a garbage barge especially of the wake. But i've rarely seen well rendered water. Thanks for the insight into this movie!