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Thursday, February 27, 2014

How The Her Filmmakers Created A Utopian Los Angeles Of The Not-Too-Distant Future

Good insight on the worked on location of Los angeles in HER:

In the not too distant future, the skyline of Los Angeles will be full of 80-story high-rise towers. The air will be clean, the traffic nonexistent. Parks will thrive on rooftops. It will be a simple bullet train ride to the sea or the mountains. At least that's the LA writer/director Spike Jonze envisions in his new film Her, a Twenty-First Century love story about a man named Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls into a romantic relationship with his computer operating system, Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).

"The future LA is convenient, comfortable, and bespoke," says production designer KK Barrett, who has collaborated with Jonze on four films. "We cleaned up the city—we took away things that weren't of interest—and celebrated buildings and architecture that were of interest to us. In Herit's a new city with curvaceous buildings and things that amuse us rather than things that felt brute."

Their Los Angeles is a clever amalgam of locations in the real LA and in the Pudong business district of Shanghai, famous for its futuristic skyscrapers and raised walkways. If you look closely, you can see Chinese signage throughout the film. "We didn't hide it," says Barrett. "It's part of what LA is and what LA will become. We embrace the signage."
Barrett says he had a lot of questions when he first read Jonze's script because it lacked "visual exactness. So we collaged buildings together—we found buildings we liked—Pudong had the best visuals we could find—and it didn't matter that it was China. We selectively edited our collection of buildings into our film to make our new world—and we took out things we didn't want to show. And it becomes a new whole."

To read the whole article, click below: