Gattaca in Marin

My neighborhood near San Rafael, CA is home to the gorgeous Marin County Civic Center, where the office scenes in Gattaca were shot.

This weekend Tantek and I recreated the scene at 00:07:52 of the film in the exact spot where it was originally shot.

Notes about the photo: shot with a Canon 20D mounted on a tripod with a 30mm Sigma lens, at f/4.5, 1/125 seconds, ISO 400. In post-processing I brought the exposure up one stop and tweaked the white balance as well as other Photoshop futzing. We figured that the Gattaca team was using a longer lens — size of Ethan/Uma : doorway and water fountain ≠ size of Tantek/me : doorway and water fountain, and a longer lens (shooting from further away) would fix this difference in relative sizing. We were using only the natural light coming from the skylight two floors above. It looks the film version was lit mostly from the right with much less overhead light — perhaps they shot this at night with only artificial light?

I didn’t have a good Uma suit, having happily divested myself of most of my formal business-wear when I moved to California. Thus I wore a top that seemed Gattaca-esque in the spirit rather than the letter of the film’s style.

Tantek writes:

Trying to imitate an actor’s pose, gaze etc. really gives you a new level of respect for the precision of what actors do, and how much fine control they have over things like shoulder positioning, head positioning/tilt, eyes/gaze, even facial muscles. Nonetheless it was fun, and exciting to see how eerie it felt when we got closer on each such detail with each successive attempt.

We want to try this again, preferably on a day when more of the Civic Center is open. Now I just need to find the perfect Uma-as-a-scientist suit.

~ by linoleumjet on November 5, 2007.

2 Responses to “Gattaca in Marin”

  1. That’s fabulous! I’m really impressed at how well you two recreated the moment. Have a great time perfecting it!

  2. Great stuff – Gattaca is one of my favourite films, and always under-rated, so it’s good to see somebody else showing some appreciation! Your recreaetion is great :-)

    As an aside, even if the film was shot in the day they probably blacked-out the skylight to give them complete control over the lighting.

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