ADG Perspective

January-February 2018

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Page 96 of 123

One of the most exciting parts of designing the movie was inventing the process for downsizing people. Even here we wanted to be as realistic as possible while also suspending the sequence in a sort of surrealism, a surgical surrealism. When I first read Alexander Payne's story of Paul Safranek, I was immediately drawn to the challenge of creating a world around an ordinary man under exceptional circumstances. Certainly doing Downsizing was going to be an epic undertaking, like taking on The Iliad or The Odyssey. For me, the big seduction was the possibility of inventing these new, unseen worlds. I had to pause and think. In order to best serve the story and enable the viewer to watch all of these spectacular events unfold through the eyes of this regular guy, I needed to create a world of magnificent banality. This is a very hard task. Stay flat. Don't build up. Stay clean along the horizon, like a Midwestern landscape. The story begins in Norway, where a scientist has discovered the formula to shrink people in order to save the planet. Ten years pass, and this wonderful, altruistic ideology has been exploited by people who see the downsizing process as a means to live a better and more luxurious lifeā€”for a fraction of the cost! New communities have been built throughout the United States to accommodate the ever-growing population of five-inch-tall humans. In creating this new world, I took inspiration from the American Dream era A. Illustration of Leisureland as seen from the Visitor's Center viewing corridor by North Front Studio. B. An early concept sketch for the interior of the Visitor's Center.

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