For his film Playtime, director Jacques Tati built a fake city. [@ BLDGBLOG]
During pre-production, “Tati visited many factories and airports throughout Europe before his cinematographer Jean Badal came to the conclusion that he needed to build his own skyscraper. Which is exactly what he did.”
In fact, he built Tativille: an entire city inhabited by no one but actors – who left after each day of filming.
One estimate puts the total mass of built space and material at “11,700 square feet of glass, 38,700 square feet of plastic, 31,500 square feet of timber, and 486,000 square feet of concrete. Tativille had its own power plant and approach road, and building number one had its own working escalator.”
Those hoping to visit the set’s cinematically Romantic remains are out of luck: “I would like to have seen it retained – for the sake of young filmmakers,” Tati claimed, “but it was razed to the ground. Not a brick remains.”