Father Geek here with a very special report from our Euro-AICN editor, Robert Bernocchi, from the beautiful sets of THE GANGS OF NEW YORK in Italy... 67 great photos and 3 different video tours...
Check it all out below...
Hi people, as you have already understood from the headline, I was lucky enough to visit the Gangs of New York sets in CinecittÃ . More important, I was so lucky to find it exactly as it was more than a year ago, when the shooting wrapped. In fact, I got some information from a CinecittÃ insider, who told me that Scorsese asked to leave the sets unchanged in case he had to shoot more stuff.
Of course, Miramax payed for this (and I suppose than to take these huge sets unavailable for so long is not very cheap for the producers). What can I say? It's great, in every sense. Actually, this is a small town!
I divided the reportage in three sets, even if they are strictly connected. You can see the pics and the videos by clicking at these pages:
For every page, you have to click on "Guarda la galleria multimediale" at the right of the page to see the pics. Moreover, for everyone of these pages there is a video (which you can see by choosing which option, 56k, ISDN or ADSL, you prefer also on at the right of the page) to make you (and your readers) understand how huge the sets are and how the houses are disposed.
In the first set, was recreated the New York harbor, thanks also to a big basin that was full of water. In the video you'll see a raft which has nothing to do with GONY (actually it was used recently for a commercial). Even the belfry which you can see briefly behind is not part of Gangs of New York. From the first set, there are also a few pics within the Mcintyre's saloon.
In the second set, there is the famous church which was the object of many quarrels between Scorsese and Harvey Weinstein, who wouldn't pay more money considering that there was already a two-sided facade to the building. Eventually Weinstein capitulated and agreed to lavish another 100.000$ for the church. And it was a very good idea, because on the outside it looks gorgeous (while the interior was empty since they probably realised the scenes within the church elsewhere).
The most beautiful thing of the third set is a huge palace in ruins. It had to cost a lot of money!
After this visit, I can easily affirm that this movie could be shot only at CinecittÃ . And not only because it is cheaper to make the movie here than in the States (as it is cheaper to block the set removal for more than a year here), but mostly thanks to the great ability of CinecittÃ craftmen and workers, which I'm sure will be greeted with an Oscar for the production designer Dante Ferretti. And the Oscars seem to be the most important reason of the release date delay.
I spoke with a person who worked in GONY in a very important position and he was sure that Miramax prefers to release the pic in Christmas as a perfect contender for the Academy Awards. He also told me that the shooting was delayed "just" a few weeks (due to Martin Scorsese well known perfectionism) as regards the original schedule and not the months that many newspapers wrote. Even the budget, in his opinion, is closer to the 90-100 millions range than to the 120 some rumors suggested. Even if (considering his work) my source can't be very objective, he seemed very confident that GONY will be a masterwork and the occasion for the Academy to greet finally Martin Scorsese's career.
Hope you like this...