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Scene Stealer

'Hamlet 2'

August 28, 2008|Patrick Kevin Day

When designing the look of a feature film, the natural impulse is to make everything look better than reality. But for "Hamlet 2," production designer Tony Fanning had to rein in those impulses to make the high school production within the film appear believable. "Everything had to feel like it could be found and done by the kids themselves," Fanning said. A mirror ball in the film was constructed from shards of broken mirrors. And an Albuquerque sculptor specializing in found objects was drafted to construct the time machine in the shape of Yorick's skull. "There's not much to the set itself," he said. "It's some scaffolding and lighting and stuff. But it comes across as being a big production." For inspiration, Fanning looked back to the stage productions from his grad student days at Yale to capture the low-budget, avant-garde aesthetic. For Fanning, it's all done in the spirit of star Steve Coogan's character: "He's all about highlights and not about substance."

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