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GLASS

The Production Design
Color, Claustrophobia and Character
Crafting the Glass Universe

For production designer Chris Trujillo, the Allentown State Hospital also helped guide the overall look of the film. "To go into those big, old derelict facilities and see all of that turn-of-the-century grandeur is incredible," he says. "And the fact that it was designed for the purpose of a mental health facility is also really interesting. It gave us insight into what that world looked like."

The holding rooms for each of the three main characters - Dunn, Price and Crumb - had to be both visually in sync with the design of the overall hospital, but also be retrofitted to control each man's particular powers. Character and story drove design. "Each room is tailored to who each of those men is," producer Rajan says. "David Dunn, who has a weakness for water, is in a room with a water system that can spray water at him if he tries to escape. The Horde [Crumb] is in a solitary room with lights that can control his personality changes, and Mr. Glass [Price] is in a padded room so that he's not able to break his bones. The rooms each have a personality, given the character."

Dunn's water-system room was particularly challenging to design, Trujillo says. "It was a lot to conceptualize, to figure out how to make that set really interesting and striking but also believable. The materials had to exist in the real world, and it had to be something that could conceivably be created." The results speak for themselves.

In general, Trujillo wanted to employ a subtle design aesthetic, but to use color in very specific and strategic ways. "There's a very clear color theme running through all of the sets and the costuming," Trujillo says. "The color quality is very specific in places so that the audience knows our intention. One space may have a desaturated, almost claustrophobic vibe and another may be more saturated, a little louder color. We're trying to be very specific about what we're suggesting about the psychology of the characters, based on the color of the spaces. That's very deliberate."

Nowhere is that more evident than in the room where Dr. Staple treats Dunn, Crumb and Price together, in a sort of superhero group-therapy session. "It's this enormous, fabulous room that is monochromatically in pink tones," Trujillo says. "That was a little counterintuitive for me, but Night was very confident about it, and it's pretty incredible. It's this hypnotic, Kubrick-ian, bizarre room. That was a lot of fun."

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