Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Much of the visual look of 1997's The Fifth Element was inspired by 1900 New York City, as well as the 1956 sci fi film Forbidden Planet. The look and feel of Knickerbocker New York was retained, but Luc Besson was inspired by the depth of field in the "Krell machine" segment of Forbidden Planet for his images depicting the height and depths of New York in the future.
Besson was intrigued with the way New Yorkers were in awe of the sudden verticality of their city as the skycraper came into its own. So he asked his designers and illustrators: Look at a 1930s film about someone on an balcony of a tall building in New York City. Now extend that upward by 500 feet, so they aren't at the cornice line. Note how the Statue of Liberty in one shot is still the same -- just raised on a pedestal some 1,000 feet high now. "More" was Besson's mantra, not "different".