Production Designer: Nigel Phelps
Working on this set was a bit of a dream-come-true for me - I've always been fascinated with the architecture of ancient Egypt - and here was my chance to build some! Though I did not get to go on the scout to Egypt, the designer, Nigel Phelps, did, and brought back countless inspiring research photos. We laid-out the set in plan and model form in Los Angeles, and had it approved by Michael Bay before heading out to White Sands, New Mexico to build it. The amazing construction crew and I endured a summer of 130º heat to build this complex set. The ancient columns, carved heads, and much of the hieroglyphics were sculpted and molded in Los Angeles, and then shipped to the location in order to keep the site as free as possible from bits of foam debris. We also worked hand-in-hand with SPFX to spot and supervise the multitudes of explosions and crashing set walls, plus coordinate the explosions and tumbling columns that would need to occur in different scenes. It is a precisely coordinated dance between all departments to keep this kind of action safe for cast and crew - and look convincing (and fabulous!) at the same time.
All photos by L. Polizzi