Thursday, December 23, 2010

Smallville Filming

The Cloverdale welcome sign.
The show is produced at BB Studios in Burnaby, British Columbia. Initially, production was going to be in Australia, but Vancouver had more of a "Middle America landscape". The city provided a site for the Kent farm, as well as doubling for Metropolis. It also provided a cheaper shooting location, and was in the same time zone as Los Angeles. "Main street" Smallville is at a combination of two locations. Portions were shot in the town of Merritt, and the rest was shot in Cloverdale. Cloverdale is particularly proud of being a filming site for the show; at its entrance is a sign which reads "Home of Smallville."
Vancouver Technical School doubled as the exterior for Smallville High, as the film makers believed Van Tech had the "mid-American largess" they wanted. This kept in-line with Millar's idea Smallville should be the epitome of "Smalltown, USA". The interiors of Templeton Secondary School were used for Smallville High's interior. Over the course of season one, the production team repainted most of Templeton in Smallville High’s red and yellow colors, and stuck large Smallville High Crows logos everywhere. The team painted over so much of the school that the school eventually adopted them as their official school colors. The students became so accustomed to the filming crew, which had to shoot during the school semester, that when class was released the filmmakers would stand aside and the students would casually move the filming equipment aside to get to their lockers, and then venture to their next class without paying the crew much attention.
The Kent farm is a real farm located in Aldergrove. Owned by The Anderlinis, the production crew had to paint their home yellow for the show. Exterior shots of Luthor Mansion were filmed at Hatley Castle in Victoria. The interior shots were done at Shannon Mews, in Vancouver, which was also the set for the Dark Angel pilot and Along Came a Spider. Movie house Clova Cinema, in Cloverdale, is used for exterior shots of The Talon, the show's coffee house.
The show is told from Clark's point of view, so the color scheme and camera selection of the show is an illustration of Clark's interpretation of his environment. When he is safe at home the colors used to illustrate the environment are "warm and gentle", with an earth tone; the camera movement is also "very gentle". When Clark is keeping his secret, but there is no danger around, the lighting is more neutral and the camera moves around more. When there is danger the lighting becomes colder, and the camera shifts to a handheld to allow for more "extreme angles". With Metropolis, the crew attempts to instill the image of a "clean, hard-lined architecture", with blues, purples, and reflective metallics used as the dominating color of the scenery. The same concept is used for the characters. Lex is usually given a "glass, steel background", while Lionel receives a white or "clinical blue" background. Lex typically wears a lot of black, grey, and "cool tones" like purples and blues. Clark is represented by red, yellow and blue, like the traditional Superman costume. He is also represented by the colors of the "All American", red, white, and blue.


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