Will Ferrell & Anna Friel star this summer in “Land Of The Lost,” a humorous remake of the cult 1974 Sid and Marty Krofft TV show. The movie follows the adventures of three adults when they inadvertently stumble into a mysterious land of dinosaurs and other dangerous creatures.
Bringing that world to life in 2009 though, was no small task! Here are some fun facts about the movie, which is slated for release on June 5:
At the height of production, Bo Welch and his “Land of the Lost” art department team occupied six sound stages on the Universal Studios lot. It is the largest Universal Pictures production ever to be filmed on the Universal lot.
On Stage 27 on the Universal Studios lot, the art and construction department team saved time and money as they repurposed rock faces, trees, and mossy surfaces to create three distinct huge set pieces, the Forest, the Pylon Plaza, and Sleestak Temple Plaza. These three sets were the largest in scale built on the entire film.
Stage 12, the largest stage on the Universal lot, housed the Home Cave set where our Marshall, Will, Holly, and Chaka seek refuge from Grumpy. Reminiscent of the Home Cave in the “Land of the Lost” television series, with red rock walls and an opening for Grumpy to get a peek inside.
Also shot on Stage 12 was the Feeding Station where Grumpy waited for his next meal, and the Crevasse set where baguette shaped rocks served as escape bridges from Grumpy, hot on the heels of our cast.
On the stage, huge 32’ red rock walls were constructed. Each nook and cranny in the rock handcrafted by the twenty-eight sculptors working on the film. Using saws, picks, and thick hot gage wire, these sculptors took huge rectangular blocks of Styrofoam and shape and sand until the desired result.
The interior of the Devil’s Canyon Mystery Cave was constructed on Stage 29 at Universal. This is where Marshall, Will, and Holly would unsuspectingly be taking a raft ride thru Will Stanton’s cheesy tourist attraction when the greatest earthquake ever known would hit and pummel them over the cataract into the “Land of the Lost.”
The Devil’s Canyon Mystery Cave tunnel stretching over 200 feet long was built, and then filled with 40,000 gallons of cloudy milky water. This winding cave with ceilings 13 feet high, housed 3 ½ feet of water. The floor of the set was sprayed with Rhino liner, a rubber coating used in pick-up trucks to make it waterproof. The raft was on a track. When the earthquake hit, Michael Lantieri and his sfx team would pump the water thru at ten thousand gallons a minute to create fierce class 5 rapids.
Another amazingly visual set was built on Stage 28. The Caldera set was built as a 360-degree circular set complete with removable walls. The illuminated floor was coated with a yellow molten lava floor that housed the one hundred plus handcrafted dinosaur eggs on pedestals.
Regarding the earthquake in the Sleestak Temple: Lantieri and his team took pieces of the set rock walls and cut them apart in big giant pieces that are 20 feet by 30 feet. Then they attached motors and hinges to the pieces so it shakes and loosens up the parts and moves out of synch; much like a real earthquake.
There were 30 custom Sleestak foam latex suits built for “Land of the Lost” by Spectral Motion four months before filming began. Each skintight suit weighed about thirty pounds and needed to be slipped onto the performer only after they were lubed up with KY jelly. Each performer was tall to begin with, but the 5” heeled boot inside the Sleestak suit made them the likes of 7’ tall. Each Sleestak head was made from a custom head cast of each performer. The snap on grotesque toenails added another 12” to the length of each foot.
Will Ferrell co-starred in the Kevin Smith film, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” in which he played Federal Marshall Willenholly. He was named after the ‘70s TV show “Land of the Lost” characters — the name was a combination of all three character names: Marshall, Will and Holly.
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