Since this story takes place 50 years into the future, director Steven Spielberg - who didn't want a hokey-looking sci-fi look to his film, brought in a number of experts in different fields for a three-day symposium. The idea was to brainstorm what things might look like a half-century in the future. Since he always wanted to keep realism, Washington, D.C. with its famous monuments that also will be here, was chosen as the main site.
Some of the futuristic things you see in this film came from ideas expressed in that three- day brain session. For instance, there are billboard and other advertisements that can scan you are as you walk by and directly advertise visually and audibly to what product they think you might like.
Spielberg thinks privacy will be a thing of the past by the next 20-30 years because of technology. "They will be able to see everywhere, through rooftops, etc.," he says, adding he doesn't that's necessarily a good thing. "George Orwell's '1984' will be upon us. He just had the wrong century."
I thought another interesting comment in this behind-the-scenes feature on the DVD was from Janusz Kaminski, director of photography. He saw this movie as a film noir. "I would categorize it as such and so (paraphrasing) I had to come up with a lot of noir-like shadows, light and extreme camera angles."
Composer John Williams also saw it as a noir - with one exception (some sentimentality in this movie) and wrote the music accordingly.
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