By CBSNews.com producer David Morgan
MonasteryIn a flashback sequence Parnassus' monastery in the Himalayas is visited by the Satanic Mr. Nick on horseback. Gilliam's original sketches were developed into concept art paintings by Dave Warren (who shares the original design/art direction credit) as a means to sell the film to prospective financiers.
The Real DealThe finished scene in the film -- a model shot in London with some computer effects added, including smoke and a passing bird.
JellyfishNo pink elephants here: A drunk stepping into the Imaginarium finds himself hovering above the Earth, dangling from the tentacles of giant jellyfish, gripped by what Gilliam called a "Hand-Man," in this concept art by Imery Watson. "That's what I find interesting looking at the paintings -- most of them came true," said Gilliam.
Balloon HeadIn a scene reminiscent of the director's animations for Monty Python, a giant balloon appears in a Dr. Seuss-like world. "I'd drawn a balloon with multiple faces on it," said Gilliam. "Dave Warren added the mechanical works underneath." At right: the finished film.
PrecipiceA despondent Parnassus seeks to end his immortality by hurling himself off a cliff, as his diminutive assistant holds him back, in this boiling vista inspired by Odd Nerdrum. "Nerdrum is a Norwegian artist that we discovered around the time of 'The Brothers Grimm,' and we have been pretty obsessed by it since," said cinematographer Nicola Pecorini. "The height and depth of those vistas is what we were looking for."
WagonTerry Gilliam's original drawing of Parnassus' horse-drawn Imaginarium wagon, an oddly-shaped, thin vehicle with mystical designs. "I just drew the wagon and that's what it ended up looking like," said Gilliam. "So it's nice to know people listen to me occasionally."
On LocationThe constructed wagon, built on a steel chassis with wooden fly-walls (so that its interiors could be filmed as well), sagged from the weight and was too tall to fit over or under many London bridges. Special routes had to be planned in order to move it from one location to the next.
Roll Up, Roll UpThe wagon unfurled into a stage which presented Parnassus' magic mirror to prospective "customers."
LilyPast the Imaginarium's "magic mirror," the ethereal Lily appears floating through the air in a consumerist's fantasy of heaven. For the "Shoe Paradise" scene, artist Daniel Auber took pictures of shoes from Jerome C. Rousseau's 2008 collection that were then used to build computer-based models.
High in the SkyJude Law (one of 4 actors appearing as Tony) on a ladder reaching up to the clouds in a sequence heavily influenced by the paintings of Grant Woods. "He does those rolling hills with simple trees on it," Gilliam said. "Painterly is what we were going for. It would have to be believable, but nothing in it is naturalistic."
Like an EgyptianA Venetian gondola was used for a few scenes, including one where Tony points a character towards her doom. Gilliam added an Egyptian figurehead, "which seemed right if you were taking someone to the Underworld, to Death."
ParrishLily's ideal of domestic bliss -- embodied by Colin Farrell (as Tony) -- brings a Maxwell Parrish painting to life. "Maxfield Parrish was also just perfect for that kind of Imaginarium, just the right amount of kitsch!" said Nicola Pecorini.
Blue ScreenFilming the gondola on a blue screen stage in Vancouver. Production designer Anastasia Masaro had to create parts of sets and props that matched the painterly backgrounds -- looking both real and not-real.
Ignore the Man Behind the CurtainAs Tony's world falls apart (literally!) around him, Parnassus enters with an escape route. Imery Watson created this photo-illustration of the mystic dragging what appears to be a theatrical curtain leading off to a desert wasteland.
Flying CarpetsMonks hover on flying carpets in Parnassus' monastery (above in Dave Warren's concept drawing, and below, in the finished film).
The LookFor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer), costumer Monique Prudhomme used an accretion of different styles from around the world, which the mystic would have collected on his travels over the centuries -- and which his daughter (right) might find in his trunk. Makeup designs by Sarah Monzani (Oscar-winner for "Quest for Fire") reflect the theatricality of the traveling vagabonds' "performances."
NooseJose Maria Sert's mural of the Crucifixion in Rockefeller Center was the inspration for this painting of "Tony's Crag."
By CBSNews.com producer David Morgan