Earth's surface is destroyed by an apocalypse. Facing extinction, 'The Builders' create a city of artificial light to shelter humanity deep underground. They lay the groundwork for escape in a lockbox with a timer. At zero, they must emerge from the city as it was not built to last forever. The plan goes awry when the box is lost after a tragic death. As the lights dim overhead and food supplies run short, Doon (Harry Treadaway) and Lina (Saoirse Ronan) discover the secret of the box. But their efforts to save the city are in danger of being thwarted by the greedy mayor (Bill Murray), who has stolen the city's food for himself.
Last year I had the chance to travel to Ireland and see the massive sets built for City of Ember. The entire city was constructed in the same warehouse as the ill-fated Titanic. That location was chosen because Production Designer Martin Laing (Avatar) and Director Gil Keenan (Monster House) needed a space seventy feet high. I've seen a set or two in my day, but the size and detail of Ember was truly extraordinary. Each building was designed to be shot from the front and the back, so the camera work would be seamless in transition. The costumes and exteriors are original with no references whatsoever. The city is a world unto itself, so there could be nothing recognizable.
It was great seeing the finished product, which looked even more magnificent on film. We have a star in the making with Director Gil Kenan. He gets nothing but raves from Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, and Tim Robbins. Check out below as they discuss Gil and working in the City of Ember.
City of Ember hits theaters everywhere October 10th.