Production Designer: Scott Chambliss
It was an exciting challenge to work on a set that was supposed to look like an upside-down riverboat that had been cast down from the sky. In designing it, we first established what we wanted the undamaged boat to look like, and made construction documents for it. Then both myself and designer Scott Chambliss would go down to the stage and draw on each wall how we wanted it broken and angled. We went through a fair amount of trial and error with construction to find the best and quickest way to get convincingly damaged walls and floors - and keep the environment as safe as possible for the cast and crew. I've worked on a number of sets that are supposed to look heavily damaged - they are not as easy to do as you might think. And this one also had to accommodate for rain inside the set!
The other large set I was fortunate enough to work on was the underground, alien-carved cave complex. This was built and sculpted out of wood and foam on stage at Universal Studios, CA. Many of the walls and large boulders were made modular, so that we could change the arrangement of tunnels and rooms to suit each scene. Though made mostly of foam, these pieces were coated in plaster, and still quite heavy. The Grip Department built a gantry system over the set to assist the moving of major set pieces, as well as lighting rigs. There were a large number of things that needed to move, and this system helped tremendously.
All photos by L. Polizzi