"The first set I saw was a cavernous cave in China filled with an army of terra cotta warriors. The entrance to this cave is guarded by a 20ft stone buddha. Inside, there are boxes full of smuggled goods, ancient Chinese lanterns and signage strewn around everywhere. I've been told that there will be a fight scene in this cave where Ms Croft leaps from head to head of the rows of stone figures.
The next set I saw was nicknamed 'the washing machine'. It's a huge revolving set like the drum of a washing machine. It's about 40ft tall and has been built to steadily revolve. Itís full of deep brown jagged rocks and pinnacles. I believe that in the actual film, different characters will occupy different areas of the floor and ceiling and that there will even be different weather effects in the different areas. I'm not really sure what that means. I'm also not really sure whether you'll see this set actually rotating in the film or whether it's just a means of allowing actors to walk around on the walls and ceiling a la 2001.
The main stage at Pinewood, the '007 Stage' was filled by two sets. In one half, there's a massive clearing full of petrified trees. I believe there are going to be some kind of 'tree people' in this scene again, I'm not sure what this means. They could be tree-like people or just people that live in the trees. I donít know. I also heard that after I visited it, the director demanded that the whole set be repainted because early footage from the area had looked so unpromising.
While I was there, they were also filming an underwater sequence where Lara rides an aquatic bike through a series of rocky passageways make out of stone and coral. Her ultimate destination: a partially submerged underwater temple the other huge set occupying the 007 Stage.
This was particularly impressive it looks like something straight out of Jason & The Argonauts and, incredibly, had been built on a slant so that it looks like it's in danger of slipping into the water. I had also heard that the early scenes from this set were so promising that they were going to return and film some of the film's ending in the same place. Although I think they were going to flood much of this stage to make it look different at the different stages of the film. It's hard to say what's going on exactly.
The outdoor water tank had the top of a submarine in it and there's also another terrific outdoor set of modern Shanghai that's accurate down to the very last pot and pan. It looks great and I think they were filming there at sunset so it will probably look even better on screen. There was also a shopping mall set there as well but we couldnít see that because they were filming there on the day I visited. I caught a glimpse of Angelina Jolie and she was wearing a long brown sort of sheepskin coat costume. She looked like a period-costume character out of The Mummy."
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