Men in Black: About The Production

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Principal photography began in mid-March, 1996. The film followed a 17 week production schedule filming on local location in Los Angeles and on 5 soundstages at Sony Pictures before moving to New York for several weeks of filming on practical locations in and around Manhattan.

Prior to the commencement of production, the filmmakers began collaborating with Rick Baker in the spring of 1995. For more than a year, Baker and his colleagues at Cinovation worked to design and create a host of alien creatures to populate MIB.

Included in the menagerie are body-suit performers and fully-automated creatures guided by the skillful hands and voices of more than 30 puppeteers who've worked extensively on projects like Babe, The Muppet Show and Short Circuit. Baker's creations in conjunction with Industrial Light & Magic's visual effects work will integrate seamlessly into the carefully designed world of the Men in Black.

The distinctly '60s retro-environment of the MIB was created by production designer Bo Welch, a two-time Academy Award® nominee who has received critical acclaim for his exceptional ability to blend fantasy and reality. Welch is supported by art director Tom Duffield and set decorater Cheryl Carasik.

Set in contemporary New York City, one of the principal sets for the science fiction adventure comedy is the Men in Black Headquarters, an homage to 1960s corporate architecture and a vision of the future as it might have been imagined in 1964. The set has been constructed on Sony Pictures soundstages 12 and 15, the largest continuous soundstage in the world where movies like The Wizard of Oz and Hook were filmed.

Welch points to a number of influences in designing the Headquarters set for MIB including renowned 20th century Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, the designer of the TWA terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy airport and an inspiration for the set's design.

"Since the MIB were established in the early '60s and Headquarters serves as a kind of Ellis Island for these aliens, I felt it should have the look and feel of an airport." says Welch-
Set decorator Cheryl Carasik and property master Doug Harlocker have dressed the sets with recognizable items from the '60s, as well as customized objects from present and future to give further definition to a top-secret agency we could only imagine.

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