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Although The Texas Chainsaw Massacre takes place over the course of one day, the film presented many unique challenges for costume supervisor Kathy Kiatta. Like the production design, the colours in the clothing were to be washed out earth tones. They also had to have a vintage look but go through as much of a transformation as the actors themselves. "It would have been nice to do real 70's vintage pieces," notes Kiatta. "But because we needed doubles, triples and quadruples of everything, we had to buy new stuff and make it look old by ageing the clothes."
The costume supervisor notes that after initially creating a worn look for the clothes, by beating them and over dying then washing them, the costumers had to launder the clothes after their use in a set-up. "We finished every piece of clothing off by applying dirt to them," says Kiatta. "Every time we did laundry we had to reapply the dirt, which made it a very intensive show. Jessica's character alone had her clean look, her dirty look and then her almost dead look which required three different stages of ageing her tank top."
Though the budget is modest by Hollywood standards, Michael Bay feels the artistry and care Marcus Nispel and his team infused into the film will transcend any preconceptions audiences have about it. "That's the school I come from," Bay comments. "Even though we had no money to do this, we had to have high production values. Marcus is a great shooter and it starts with him. But I had to beg, borrow and steal, and call in every favour I had in terms of sound mixers and musicians. I guess [New Line Cinema co-chairman and CEO] Bob Shaye said it best. He said, 'You can tell it was very lovingly produced.' We took care. I think it's a really good-looking movie."
With the production schedule - which included practical locations in the Texas towns of Austin, Taylor, Martindale, Hutto and Walburg - nearing its final days, cast and crew alike grew to emulate the characters' bonds in the film. "I didn't go into this with too many preconceived notions of what this film was going to be," says Marcus Nispel. "I had definite ideas in terms of authenticity, performance, and a certain reverence where death was not peppered with a joke or anything gratuitous. Sure, I wanted to do some damage and break a lot of things and make a lot of noise, but almost from the first day it turned into something where the main focus of the film was these five young adults. They were not just cannon fodder for Leatherface. They suddenly became people who you want to root for and hopefully everyone will really care about what happens to them."
As principal photography wrapped in Austin, Texas on September 21st, 2002, all involved felt they had shared in a unique film experience. "Everything about this film totally surpassed all of my expectations," Jessica Biel reflects. "The material really tested my emotional and physical limits, but one of the things that gave me great comfort was having filmmakers like Marcus Nispel and Michael Bay at the helm. Everyone involved had a really great time making this movie, which usually tends to bleed into the final product. I hope that everyone who sees this movie, along with being completely terrified, gets a sense of the great enjoyment that our cast and crew had making it."
"What we're trying to do is create a visceral experience," says Michael Bay. "We want a no-holds-barred, not-joking-around movie about your worst nightmare. You're stuck in this town and you can't get out. It's like a bad dream. I just wanted to go back to the thrillers that I grew up with, where the terror was real."
"Audiences are going to be devastated by what happens over the course of the movie," predicts Andrew Form. "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is about raw emotion and terror, and with the exception of The Silence of the Lambs and The Exorcist, I can't remember a movie where the terror and fear resonate so deeply as they do here. This film isn't about flying limbs and blood spurting at the camera, it's about watching these characters make decisions that every audience member would make in those life and death moments."
Marcus Nispel (Director)
German-born Marcus Nispel started his career in advertising as an art director for Young & Rubicam in Frankfurt, Germany. He came to America on a Fulbright scholarship in 1984 at the age of 20 and made his directing debut in 1989 with a series of music videos for C&C Music Factory.
While living in New York, Nispel founded and operated his own production company, Portfolio Artists Network, before merging with RSA-USA, and then joining MJZ in 2000.
To date, Nispel has directed over 1000 commercials and music videos. His commercial clients include: AT&T, Audi, Canon, Chase, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Fidelity, Kodak, Levi's, L'Oreal, Marlboro, Mercedes, Motorola, Nike, Panasonic, Pepsi, RCA, Showtime, Sprint, Sprite, Unisys, UPS, US Postal Service and VISA Gold as well as MTV, ABC, CBS and NBC.
His music videos include over fifteen #1 songs and several breakthrough videos for artists such as the Spice Girls, Simply Red, Puff Daddy, Bush, No Doubt, the Fugees, George Michael, Janet Jackson, Elton John, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Cher, Mariah Carey, k.d. lang, Tony Bennett, C&C Music Factory, Bette Midler, LL Cool J, Bryan Adams and Gloria Estefan.
Nispel has been awarded numerous international advertising accolades including several Clio Awards, the Moebius Award, the Grand Prix at the BDA Awards, honors from the New York, Houston and Chicago Film Festivals and the Art Directors Club. His work has garnered 12 MTV Music Video Award nominations resulting in four MTV Music Video Awards, including a 1993 MTV Best European Video Award for "Killer/Papa was a Rolling Stone" by George Michael. Nispel has won two Billboard Awards and Music Video Filmmaker Association Awards as well as the MVPA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
Marcus Nispel has been the subject of two documentaries and was featured in Time Magazine's year-end issue "Best of 1996" for his Fidelity Investments campaign, "A Time Has Come Today." In 1997, Nispel was featured as a speaker at the AICP MOMA Show. The AICP has honored him with several awards and his work is now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. His work has been highlighted and screened at the New York Film Festival, the Art Director's Club and at the Film and Broadcast Museum in Frankfurt.
In 1996 he was honored at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's "Cross Cultural Dreams" retrospective of his music videos. He was featured in a chapter of Armond White's book on the pop revolution and was a recipient of the Black Achievement Award for the positive portrayal of African Americans in mass media.
Nispel has been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Details, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, AdWeek, AdAge and Creativity.
Scott Kosar (Screenwriter)
A graduate of UCLA, screenwriter Scott Kosar's second feature, The Machinist, a psychological thriller starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Jason Leigh, is now in post-production. Kosar is currently writing Salem, a supernatural thriller for Columbia Pictures.