During one of his published interviews, “Total Recall”Director, Len Wiseman said that his approach with the movie was to build practical sets wherever possible. “Of course, there’s a lot of CG in this movie, because there are certain things you just simply can’t do,” he notes. “But if you can make it real, then I try to do it. I love to build it and draw it, create it and shoot it.”
Early in August, the DIY Networkaired “Hollywood Builders: Total Recall” which was a documentary-type entertainment special insight into the physically constructed sets of the movie. Nearly 500 people joined forces to build “Total Recall’s” sets, including some of the best carpenters, welders, painters, electricians, and scenic artists in the business. They used various tools such as diamond core bit drills, wood blades, diamond blades, etc. to build the elaborate sets. The movie is trying to do as much practically as possible. They built real sets for the red light district, New Asia, the hover cars, and more of the shops and vehicles. Computer Graphics were used to take away wires and to amplify the practical sets.
“Total Recall” has a U-shaped set that holds plenty of small shops and restaurants, as well as small alleyways where the fringes of society will exist. The center of the U will be filled with water and have boats coming and going. Five major scenes take place on the set. After filming those sequences, the set will be turned into the red light district.
Another other massive set is the China Falls set which was built on one side of the soundstage at Pinewood Toronto. This is the location where the huge fight scene happens. The top of China Falls is hundreds of feet across and at least fifty feet high in some areas.
On the other side of the same soundstage, the production built the inside of China Falls, complete with one of the cars that take you from one end of the Earth to the other. There are fifty chairs per car and inside of the car and the location was mostly white. Another great aspect of the set is that the production made it so a camera can spin 360 degrees around.
How cool is that?