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While inVancouver, British Columbia for the X-Men 2 Press Conference, Comics2Filmwas also allowed access to the X-Jet set. Production Guy Dyas walked us throughthe ins and outs of designing the jet, and how it was used in the movie. By thetime we saw the X-Jet, filming on it had been pretty well completed, and it waspretty beat up. What we viewed was the interior of the jet, which had been splitinto two for filming and greater ease of movement. Though Dyas was a bit painedby the bumps and bruises he saw on the X-Jet, he was still able to fill us in onthe details.
It has beenpreviously noted that much more of the movie this time around takes place in theinteriors of the X-Jet, from 20 to 50 minutes approximately compared to the fewmoments in the first film. Also, there were more team members to fit this timearound, so Dyas needed to show more of the jet for action and conversationalpurposes. Dyas own take on the new X-Jet was as follows "We didn't want tototally redesign it. We just wanted to update it and make it moreelaborate."
When asked aboutthe front and the back of the jet being separated, Dyas' take was this."When we wanted to put the X-Jet onto what we call a 'gimbal,' to get somemotion, the combined length of the X-Jet was far too long and heavy to do that,so we actually designed the set to separate in the middle. So we can basicallyput each half onto a riser and move it around."
Dyas revealedthat Storm and Jean Grey sit up front in the X-Jet. He also talked about thebasic design of the front compartment. "There is a navigation seat off tothe left. The seats were hand made from original designs. The whole front of theX-Jet lit up with orange lights. It was really quite nice." He alsomentioned that he incorporated the "X" logo into the seat belts andany other part he could, keeping with the theme started in the first movie.
Dyas also talkedabout the console. "All the consoles are live. We obviously had a graphicdesigner in my department putting together computer graphics, original computergraphics, to show here. A lot of it related to scenes in the film, various beatsthat happened. As I've said, largely what turned on is orange. It just sort ofcomplimented the blue (interior) really well. There is a lot of computer screensand switches throughout the film, so I tried to give them a family of colors. Sowhen you're in the X-Jet it's orange and where we are about to go it was more onthe green side (Stryker's Lair) and then there is another area where it was moreyellow and white."
The interior ofthe X-Jet was a light blue, to get away from the "junky interior" feelDyas felt had been overused in seeing the typical black and steel. Dyas added"I wanted to go for a very clean look, but at the same time the set is veryplain and simple, but the seats themselves are very complicated. They sort ofstand our almost like pieces of sculpture in the middle, which is quitenice."
The back part ofthe X-Jet was very spare, with lockers for costumes in the front and otherwisebare space. The lockers actually had clear panels, so you could see thecostumes inside. Dyas said the lockers were put in so that the X-Men couldquickly board the jet and change later. The back end was pretty well banged up,so I speculate that some of the action sequence happens there for sure.
On the back ofthe front piece there was a label that read "holographic emitter" onit. Dyas explained "that's the device that runs in the center of theopening/doorway, which is basically a three-dimensional television screen. It'san old idea really. What's nice about this is that we decided to design it intoa doorway and it's really just for a story beat where they're showing somethingin the middle of the doorway. A character walks through and breaks the beam, soit kinda stops for a second. It's a nice interactive animation moment, butobviously that's going to be created in CG."
After seeing theinteriors of the X-Jet, it appears to be quite an important set for the movie.The exterior was shown to us at the production offices, and it has beenradically redesigned from the first film, with more aerodynamic curves andshapes. Dyas seemed quite excited with the end result as he showed us around.