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Download Production Notes in original PDF format (right click "save as") If unavailable this link will not work Production notes, photos and promotional video © 2006 Touchstone Pictures.
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ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS:

1. PRODUCTION INFORMATION
Everyone has experienced the unsettling mystery of déjà vu – that flash of memory when you meet someone new you feel you’ve known all your life or recognize a place even though you’ve never been there before. But what if these strange, spooky feelings were actually warnings sent from the past or clues to an unfolding future?...

2. DÉJÀ VU : THE STORY BEGINS
The spine-tingling sensation of déjà vu has mystified humankind for centuries. The feeling
hits at the strangest moments – when we fall instantly and madly in love with a total stranger, when
we arrive at a brand new place we know like the back of our hand....

3. THE CAST OF DEJA VU
From the beginning, Jerry Bruckheimer knew exactly who he wanted to cast in DÉJÀ VU’s lead role of ATF agent Doug Carlin – the tough-minded investigator who is forced to look in wildly unexpected directions for the answers to a heartbreaking crime....

4. AN EXPLOSIVE CAREER: DENZEL WASHINGTON TRAINS AS AN ATF AGENT
To keep the emphasis on realistic action at the core of DEJA VU, Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott brought in a number of consultants from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the agency that in real-life is charged with the investigation of all federal bombings – including such infamous events as the tragic explosion of the Alfred E. Murrah building in Oklahoma City and the 1993 car bombing of the World Trade Center....

5. THE MYSTERY OF DÉJÀ VU: WHAT DO WE KNOW?
While the action elements of DÉJÀ VU are all about realism, the unconventional underpinning of the thriller is an inquiry into just what the feeling of déjà vu really is – and what it might reveal about the workings of the universe...

6. THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE NEW ORLEANS: THE PRODUCTION OF DEJA VU
Production of DÉJÀ VU was set to begin in Fall of 2005 amidst the watery beauty and inimitably soulful atmosphere of New Orleans. But in August of 2005, the unprecedented power of Hurricane Katrina struck, devastating the city and rocking the nation. While recovery efforts began, the film was put on indefinite hold....

7. CHASES THROUGH TIME: CREATING DÉJÀ VU’S INVENTIVE ACTION SEQUENCES
Beginning with the ferry explosion, the tension in DÉJÀ VU builds on both a psychological level and a physical level. As the story crescendos, so too does the action, with innovative chase scenes that not only travel the roads – but also travel through time....

8. SECRETS OF SURVEILLANCE : CREATING THE TIME WINDOW LAB
Doug Carlin’s search to understand what happened at the moment the ferry bomb exploded and what it has to do with his past and future ultimately takes him to one of DÉJÀ VU’s most intriguing locations: the secret time window lab in which Doug can view surveillance footage of past events....

9. HIGH SPEED AND HIGH DEFINITION: THE VISUAL DESIGN OF DEJA VU
The look of DÉJÀ VU is as innovative as its storyline. Says Jerry Bruckheimer, “Tony Scott’s films have a signature look with fast cuts and unusual camera angles. In DÉJÀ VU, he uses many unique visual techniques to enhance the storytelling.”....

THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE NEW ORLEANS:
THE PRODUCTION OF DEJA VU

deja-vu-022.jpg (59 K)Production of DÉJÀ VU was set to begin in Fall of 2005 amidst the watery beauty and inimitably soulful atmosphere of New Orleans. But in August of 2005, the unprecedented power of Hurricane Katrina struck, devastating the city and rocking the nation. While recovery efforts began, the film was put on indefinite hold. At first Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott considered looking elsewhere in the United States for an appropriate location. But they both agreed: from the unique architecture of the French Quarter to the funky swamps of the bayou, there was simply no other place on earth like New Orleans. And it seemed that now New Orleans needed people to stand by it more than ever.

deja-vu-014.jpg (268 K)“I was already in love with New Orleans, having made several films here,” says Bruckheimer. “Tony had never been there before, but he too fell in love with the all the French and Spanish influences. The city has a distinct culture that is unforgettable, and Tony and I both knew this was right for the story of DEJA VU. New Orleans deservedly became a character in the film.“

Unable to give up the dream of shooting in the city, the filmmakers stayed in close contact with the New Orleans Film Commission as recovery efforts progressed, hoping a time would soon come when they could safely return. By early 2006, the city had begun to rebuild its infrastructure, and the production of DÉJÀ VU didn’t waste a second, becoming the very first film to start shooting in New Orleans post-Katrina – and setting an example for other productions that New Orleans was open again for filming.

deja-vu-035.jpg (114 K)Continues director Tony Scott, “We had adapted the DÉJÀ VU script to take place in some of the most interesting New Orleans locations and show the incredible landscape through the story’s car chases and ferry sequences. DÉJÀ VU is set against a city in a time warp, a beautiful time warp, much like New Orleans.”

The New Orleans locals were especially supportive of DÉJÀ VU bringing the excitement of the movies back to their city. ”While filming on the streets of New Orleans, everyday locals would come up to me and thank us for bringing this film here, for helping us revitalize their city in need,,” recalls Bruckheimer. “Tony and I, and the cast and crew felt extremely proud to be part of the rebirth of the city and the return of the film industry there.”

deja-vu-069.jpg (191 K)
When the production held an open casting call for extras at a mall in Metarie, the community demonstrated overwhelming interest as over 5,000 people showed up ready to take part. The production also garnered the support of many local government organizations including the Coast Guard, National Guard, New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans Fire Department, EMS, Department of Transportation, Port of New Orleans, Army, and others that lent assistance when needed, whether it be closing down a bridge for a car chase or securing an area for a large pyrotechnic explosion.

deja-vu-068.jpg (157 K)
Just being in New Orleans during those early days of its recovery was extremely moving for cast and crew. Says Denzel Washington, ”I was truly inspired by the people that I met in New Orleans who were fighting to get back their lives. Katrina was a tragedy beyond imagination. I got in my truck everyday and just took rides around the city by myself to see mile after mile of devastation. I’ll just never forget what I witnessed.”

Besides providing job opportunities and priming the local economy, DÉJÀ VU also left its mark behind in subtler ways. When shooting at night on the ferry at Algiers, the art department had to put up additional lighting on the Mississippi Bridge to be able to see the New Orleans skyline in its glory. Many locals commented that the bridge never looked so good since Katrina.

Key to the mystery and action in DÉJÀ VU is the shattering ferry blast that kicks off Doug Carlin’s investigation. So once in New Orleans, the filmmakers leased the Alvin Stumpf Ferry, a massive, 225-foot long, 75-foot wide, 50-foot high boat that typically runs between the Canal Street and Algiers ferry landing on the Mississippi River.

deja-vu-073.jpg (223 K)
For a little over a month the cast and crew of DÉJÀ VU made the ferry and the Mississippi River their daily work site. In close quarters cars exploded, guns were fired, and hundred of background players re-created the chaos of a major disaster. Then came the pivotal moment: a simulated pyrotechnics explosion with flames that would rage 350 feet high, all undertaken in the middle of the Mississippi River, under the Crescent City Connection bridge, while Tony Scott and his camera department targeted fifteen cameras on the cataclysm. (In order to prevent undue alarm at the flaming spectacle, New Orleans media warned the public ahead of time.)

The aftermath of the deadly explosion was equally complex to capture, with key action moments filmed in the Turning Basin of the Mississippi River. Additional elements of the ferry sequence aftermath were shot in the calmer waters of a giant tank on a soundstage. Here the filmmakers and the stunt crew had complete control over the elements as they sank cars and shot the principal actors in action with underwater cameras.

Says Bruckheimer, “It was really something to see 20 stunt people jump from the ferry at different levels -- some from as high as 25 feet. Several of the stunt people lit themselves on fire before jumping. It looked so realistic it was incredible.”

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• 86 photoscreditscastfilmmakers • production notes & articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, • 

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