Conrad Hall: Rose Pedal Wrangler

From ICG Magazine, Smells Like Suburban Spirit by David Geffner (May 2000)

Wild Roses and Gothic Guises

Nearly all of the special effects were executed in-camera, except a potent, computerized image of roses bursting from the teenaged bosom of Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari). Most of the truly provocative floral images occur during Lester Burnham's fantasy sequences. One mesmerizing shot featured roses tumbling down onto actor Kevin Spacey, who is gazing up from his bed at the object of his forbidden desire. As shot, actress Suvari lies on the floor amidst a bed of roses- some real, some artificial- with the forced perspective walls rising up on each side to camera. "We dropped roses from above and reversed the footage," Hall notes. "I was up behind the lens with a small paint bucket filled with rose pedals. My AC [Clyde E. Bryan] was sitting on the crane next to me, with a bucket of rose pedals as well. We had a Condor to the right and one to the left of camera, and the prop folks had large garbage bags filled to the top with rose pedals. Because it was a fixed camera, I had both hands free to drop pedals above and below the lens so the flowers would land right on Kevin. We used something like 250,000 rose pedals for that effect."

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