‘Nine’ rushed to glitz

Production team lacked money, had to improvise, 'borrow'

The task of imbuing Rob Marshall’s musical “Nine” with all the glitz and glamor of its Cinecitta-style setting was a particularly difficult one for the film’s Oscar-nominated production designer, John Myhre, and costume designer, Colleen Atwood, considering they were tasked with producing a Fellini-level aesthetic on an Argento-level budget.

Long-delayed pic was finally greenlit for around half its proposed funding, so the film’s below-the-line staff was forced to scramble and improvise, cutting the centerpiece soundstage set to a 180-degree view instead of the planned 360, and building other sets in a rush.

“There was a lot of drawing on the plane over, cocktail-napkin kind of stuff,” recalls Myhre, nominated alongside set decorator Gordon Sim. Yet frenzied design and construction were only the beginning of the challenge.

“We had such a limited amount of prep time for the ‘Follies Bergere’ scene, and one day they just cut me off from buying any more supplies for the set,” Myhre recalls. “They literally said, ‘You can’t support John today.’ So I took a milk float — which is like a cross between a golf cart and a pickup — and drove it over to where Ridley Scott had been shooting ‘Robin Hood,’ and just started stealing lumber, pipe, scaffolding, whatever I could get my hands on, and drove it back to our set. Everything that I pilfered I immediately replaced,” he hastens to add, “but that was our mindset.”

The history of collaboration among production designer, costumer and director also helped. “Marshall made sure that we all had a very similar aesthetic,” Myhre says.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading