Top 10 Movie Sets Ever Built:
It takes amazing acting talent and polished camera crews to make a great movie. But you absolutely need stunning movie sets to make an epic film. Take a look at the top 10 movie sets ever built:
The Atoll – Waterworld (1995)
The thousand ton floating set, costing $22 million, used every piece of steel in Hawaii, and was constructed on the water. Measuring a quarter mile across, the set even rotated, so the camera crew could shoot the set at an angle that would avoid the shore and make it look completely surrounded by water.
Gotham City – Batman (1989)
Designed by Anton Furst, the set for Gotham City measured over 4 million square feet. Furst deliberately clashed architecture styles to “make Gotham the ugliest and bleakest city imaginable” and make it look like a city rundown by crime and corruption.
The Roman Forum – Cleopatra (1963)
The Roman Forum built for the Cleopatra movie set was twice the size of the original forum, and reportedly more expensive, especially as it had to be built twice! It was so expensive it nearly bankrupted Twentieth Century Fox.
Metropolis – Metropolis (1927)
The Metropolis was one of the most innovative movie sets of its generation. Filmed on a futurist inspired city set, it measured 60,000 square feet at miniature scale. Complete with trains and cars, they even had live action extras on the miniature set using cleverly placed mirrors.
Dogville – Dogville (2003)
Dogville is the epitome of set minimalism. The Dogville set was stripped back beyond basic, which forced outstanding human performances and emotions to tell the story.
Bricksburg – Lego Movie (2014)
One of the most exciting animated movie sets, the whole film was digitally made using actual available Lego pieces by 3D modelers who built the city up Lego brick by Lego brick. Although it sounds tedious, it would be a childhood dream come true to Lego fans!
Hobbiton – Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003)
The set for Hobbiton is filmed on a former and current sheep farm in the Waikato region in New Zealand. The set was scouted when Peter Jackson flew over in a helicopter. It took over 9 months to build, and it’s still used today as a popular tourist attraction.
Moscow – Dau (Unreleased)
A recreation of 1950’s Moscow, this set measures 5 stories high across two football fields. Hundreds of extras in the film were made to act in character over a three-year period even if they weren’t being filmed, facing a fine if they were caught out of character.
Apollo 13 – Apollo 13 (1995)
Ron Howard couldn’t build a set in space for Apollo 13, but decided to do the next best thing. The set designer built the set of Apollo 13 inside NASA’s KC-135 airplane, nicknamed the “vomit comet” which could achieve zero gravity for 25-second periods. The cast and crew made over 600 zero gravity dives and spent nearly 4 hours weightless.
Deep Core – The Abyss (1989)
James Cameron’s The Abyss is one of the most impressive underwater movie sets of all time. Along with the set designer, Cameron built an underwater diving platform in a 7 million gallon tank in an abandoned nuclear plant. It was filled with water and the entire film was shot underneath using a 26 person diving crew. It was an impressive feat of engineering that had to endure constant leaks, lightning strikes, chlorine burn, algae infestations, and power outages.
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