Articles Having been in the trenches of the First World War on the territory of the film studio in the London suburb of Livsden, Kinopysk personally saw how difficult it was to be a goddess in 1918. 12 May 2017
Home superheroine DC Comics A wonder woman exists in pop culture for more than 70 years, and only now she has attained a full-fledged film debut. The film Patty Jenkins will tell the story of the character’s appearance from the youngest years of Diana Prince until she went to war to save the world. Film Search as part of a small group of journalists from different countries went to the London suburb of Livsden to watch the shooting process and communicate with all who are involved in it.
Rainy year 1918
February of 2016. In the street, the dog cold, but it does not interfere with the shooting of the film “Miracle Woman”, which take place at the studio Warner Bros.. slightly away from the queues at the Harry Museum (we already wrote about it somehow). On the territory of the studio there is a huge back yard – a backlit on which continually build up impressive sizes of scenery for different Warner blockbusters. Because of their size, they can not be placed in pavilions, and besides they are required for outdoor filming. On the one hand, it is very similar to the real location, and on the other – this is the studio space where everything that happens is much easier to control than in the outside world.
On this gigantic wasteland, specifically for the “Wonder Woman,” was built a whole Belgian village of the First World. Or, in any case, its main square with all its adjoining buildings, the central one of which is the Gothic church. However, all of its gothic style in the form of stained glass and spiers remained behind the scenes, and only the facade of the ground floor was rebuilt. When working on the second, the decorators got tired and just stuck a strip of green screen.
The church stands in a separate building in the back of the square, and on the sides of it there are rows of different shops, cafes, hotels, bars, ateliers and other institutions useful to the inhabitants of the Belgian village. Everything is done in detail and with love. In the grocery store neat rows are tin cans, in the fish store under the glass in artificial ice lie convincing fake mackerel, and on the table at the shoe lay out tools, pads and unfinished shoes.
We are led around the village by production designer Aline Bonetto – an incredibly friendly Frenchwoman, two-time Oscar nominee for working on Jean-Pierre Jeunet films. She is happy to talk about how she came up with the whole concept design “Wonder Woman”, only slightly based on the original comics. “This place is a historically faithful reconstruction of an ordinary village in the north of continental Europe,” says Bonetto. “I was born in one of those, and most of them have not changed much in the last hundred years.”
Right in the center of the square there are massive trucks with gray screens-scatterers. Obviously, with their help, the necessary light will be created. On the street no more than 2-3 degrees of heat, but merciless February sun does not even think of hiding behind the clouds, and for this scene you need cloudiness. Near the church stands a black tent with monitors – there is based the director Patty Jenkins and her assistants.
Today they are shooting a battle scene in this very Belgian village, in which Diana, with the support of Steve and his brave friends, smashes German occupants into splinters. But while the film crew is preparing, installing equipment and creating a dirty mess, pouring water on the ground with water from a hose (the weather in 1918 was rainy), we are led to the pavilion to tell everything about the project, show costumes and props and boast the rest of the scenery.
The Island of the Amazons Temiskir
Unit Publicist Lee-Anne sits us in a spacious conversation, the walls of which are lavishly hung with photographs and reproductions of the concept art. And she also tells – perhaps, too in detail – the plot of the picture, spitting on spoilers and not sparing our feelings.
If you do not go into details, then we are waiting for a fairly linear story about the emergence and formation of the title character. In the first act of the film we will be told about how Diana Prince spends his childhood and partly youth in his homeland, the island of Temiskir, in the company of athletic and beautiful Amazons. All this came straight from the Greek mythology, so Bonetto (with whom by the end of the day we became friends so that at parting they hugged and exchanged addresses) did not hesitate to turn to the ancient aesthetics when creating the island of the Amazons.
Zeus created this island, hiding it from the eyes of the world, and gave the Amazons a mission to protect people from his brutal son Ares. “The influence of Greek aesthetics is very strong here,” says Bonetto, pointing to the concepts of Themiscira. – But it is also a very organic place, where there are many elements of wild nature: waterfalls, natural fountains, walls of untreated stone. All this creates an interesting mix, because, in addition to traditional antiquity, there is also purity, primordiality, purity. “
The integrity of belligerent beauties, among whom, of course, belongs and Diana, manifests itself in the fact that many of them have never seen men. And here on the beach of Themiskiry, the plane of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), the pilot of the First World War, crashes, and this creates a serious conflict. First, Steve has to prove that he is not a camel and that he arrived here by accident, without destructive intentions. And then he talks about war, grief and deprivation, what inspires Diana to accomplish: after all, the Amazons live here not only to train and eat grapes. Diana takes a sword and a lasso, puts on a military swimsuit and goes along with Trevor to save humanity.
Here we are very timely led to the dressing room, where Oscar winner Lauda Lindy Hemming kindly prepared for journalists a whole gallery of images and pinned it to the shaky wall. Some of the earliest concept artworks even draw actors who probably claimed different roles, but they did not get it. So, for example, Diana is depicted with the face of Olga Kurylenko, villain Maru – poured Marion Cotillard, and Hippolyta appears with features Nicole Kidman.
Hemming gives us to feel the basic costume of the Wonder Woman, which looks as if it’s made of metal, but in fact it’s just a light and comfortable skin. At first glance, these armor look so that no one can climb in them, let alone waving their arms and legs in them. But between the plates rubberized latex, providing freedom of movement, and if you unfasten all carefully hidden fasteners, the suit easily falls apart.
In fact, this outfit of Diane was invented by Michael Wilkinson, who worked on the picture “Batman vs. Superman”, where Diana appears in the battle in full parade. Hemming also had to make completely different costumes for the rest of the Amazons, while maintaining them all in the same style of the Temskir. She shows us pictures and photographs of the regal Hippolytus, the warlike Antiope (Robin Wright), their subordinates in the local army. All Amazons have combat armor, costumes for everyday life, and loose cut coats.
Hemming says that she was particularly curious about the contrast between this fictional world, inspired by the aesthetics of antiquity, and the very real 1910s of the 20th century. In this she tried to be as realistic as possible and easily used both evening dresses of the Art Deco era and the design of the military uniform of British and German soldiers of the First World War.
Her endless costume shop, where you can not see the horizon, is divided into separate zones with hangers and shelves. On the left side, all of them are made with playful hats and shoes with heels, and with the right side – with helmets, crocheted boots and weapons. “I was very interested in creating a contrast between just three worlds, so different and so fascinating,” Hemming shares.
Leap to an imaginary bell tower
After the tour through the pavilion and conversation with producer Charles Rowan and director Patty Jenkins (we will publish this interview separately closer to the release of the film), we are warmed and again lead to the street. Bonetto is waiting for us at the exit from the building and suspiciously inspects the shoes on each of the journalists. “Only those who put on high boots or rubber boots can go with me,” she says mysteriously. And only here we remember that we were warned about this in a letter. And the thing is that now it’s time to plunge into the dirt in your ears.
Bonetto leads us confidently on the battlefield – a vast wasteland with a rare vegetation and a sea of muddy liquid, bewitching blustering in the sun. Along the side of this impressive location are dug trenches – a huge labyrinth of tunnels with wooden rods and bags instead of walls. We cautiously get down there on the shaky stairs and then again find ourselves in the mud. Buckets and metal washbasins are hanging along the walls of the trenches, boxes are everywhere, ammunition is lying around. The land is covered with boards, but they can not cope with the amount of dark matter that the filmmakers generated, trying to make this place as ugly and frightening as possible. In the corner on one of the corners of the labyrinth is an officer’s suite – a separate room with a brick floor and other luxury items, including a telephone and a telegraph.
After a lot of digging in the mud, we return to the Belgian village, where the shooting day has already begun. Gal Gadot – tall, stately, in a tiara, with a make-up and in a long black down jacket – stands next to the director’s awning and listens to instructions from Jenkins. Next to them are huddled two guys with huge portable heaters, exuding hell’s heat for many meters around. It seems that the heaters got only the main star of the film and the director.
Jenkins announces the rehearsal. The gadot rushes into the frame, looks up towards the church, turns and screams to people running around the corner: “Back, here you can not, it’s not safe here!” Apparently, the enemy is firing from the imaginary bell tower, and the heroine is looking up again and exposes forward forearms with massive bracelets, apparently reflecting bullets. Around all this time, the guys with bottles, of which oozing smelly, but, I really want to think, safe gas are celebrating. On the ground here and there are scattered foci with undamped fire. On the street lies an upturned tank, and the real one. As we reported, next week it will be picked up and made to rumble through the field.
The rehearsal ends. “Undress!” – Shouts the assistant director, and Gadot pulls off a down jacket under the cheering crowds of the public. She begins to jump, not to die from the cold, and on command “motor!” Runs into the frame. “Bam!” – Again screams pomrezh, and the actress puts forward forearm. From the door of the photo studio the girl falls out, and Gadot pushes it in with the words: “Do not go outside!” Amazon with Temiskiri shows a touching concern for the Belgian villagers.
Our group is kept outside so we can watch enough of the scenes, but we quickly become bored with cold. We decide to go to the bar and immediately find ourselves in paradise. It’s very hot there: in the corner there is a gun and it scorches the present with life-giving warmth. Especially for us there are monitors, headphones, chairs. We can not understand what prevented us from coming here earlier, before we froze our innards.
In this ancient, century-old bar, very cozy. The windows are closed with shutters, there is a piano in the corner, bottles with different drinks are crowding on the bar. It’s a pity, they are not real, otherwise they would be very useful to us after the cold weather. On the monitors perfectly visible and heard the whole scene. Apparently there’s a sniper sitting on the bell tower, Steve on the roof of the other building, and three of his friends, hidden behind the massive metal door, are hiding from Yuan Bremner, Said Tagmaui and Eugene the Brave Stone, a real Indian, who, as usual, “always everywhere nishtyak. ” On the damp earth lie dead soldiers, and after the command “removed!” They fall apart as freely as if they are sunbathing. While the film crew is preparing for the double, in the frame appears awfully sleepy Chris Pine and complains to the director for a life, something lazily chewing.
Jenkins does not insist on a lot of takes. She protects the Gadot, who obviously suffers in her suit in such and such weather. Therefore, pretty soon the shooting of this scene ends with an impressive leap of the Miracle Woman right at the bell tower (this, unfortunately, we had to think out) and the rapid use of it by an annoying sniper.
Gal Gadot and Chris Pine come into the bar – and no, this is not the beginning of the anecdote. The actress exhales loudly, exclaims: “My God, how good you are here!” – and then he starts uncovering. All present in the room for a couple of seconds lose the gift of speech: close and live, with a full make-up and in a suit, it looks amazing. During an awkward silence, we manage to make out on her shoulder a shadow drawn by the shadows, framing the biceps. This is such a cunning trick of makeup, giving the muscles an additional relief. Cinema, of course, is an art of deception, but on the screen, only the musculature of the Wonder Woman is slightly exaggerated, and not in any way its beauty.
(Interview with Payne and Gadot, we also publish closer to the release of the film.)