Home Painting Matte Shot – a tribute to Golden Period particular fx: MATTE TRICK SHOT REVIEW: Scaling The Heights of Excellence

Matte Shot – a tribute to Golden Period particular fx: MATTE TRICK SHOT REVIEW: Scaling The Heights of Excellence



Hello there buddies… and welcome to a different version of NZ Pete’s Matte Shot; your veritable ‘one cease store’ for all issues ‘conventional’ so far as painted mattes go, in addition to different types of old fashioned handcrafted movement image trick photographs.  I’ve received some great materials assembled right here, quite a lot of which hasn’t been seen earlier than.

The title banner on todays version, Scaling The Heights of Excellence, was most deliberate.  It truly encompasses not only a very spectacular results crammed Alpine movement image from the late fifties, but additionally doubles as a private tribute to the current passing of one of many visible results group’s most revered members, the late Invoice Taylor, with whom I’ve had many useful and fascinating interactions with over quite a lot of years.

This version of Matte Shot contains a lengthy overdue retrospective on the astonishing Disney image THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN – with celebrated matte artist and visible results designer Peter Ellenshaw offering dozens of thrilling trick photographs.  Additionally, in a not completely coincidental consequence, I’ve included some bafflingly effectively executed trickery carried out by none apart from Ellenshaw’s personal step-father, the nice Walter Percy Day, from one in all his closing movies, the brooding, although glorious Carol Reed image OUTCAST OF THE ISLANDS reviewed right here.  Additionally, how can NZ Pete launch a weblog with out not less than one outdated MGM present?  Effectively, the fantastically acted and directed MADAME CURIE is one such image, with a dozen great Newcombe mattes, of the standard readers of this weblog have turn into accustomed to (despite the fact that everyone knows Warren by no means painted a single one himself!)

Final within the line up is ZARAK – an enormous funds UK interval swashbuckling actioner set in what would ultimately turn into Pakistan, with some Tom Howard supervised sprawling mattes, a tricky sq. jawed hero and a spectacularly eye-popping main girl who crammed the plush and vivid compositions of the CinemaScope body admirably.

Lastly, some very thrilling information – effectively for Pete it is monumental in VFX thrill issue.  I’ve been lucky certainly to have been despatched the lengthy misplaced earlier than and after HD transfers of the matte showreels of outdated time Common matte exponent, Russell Lawson (thanks a lot Thomas).  These authentic 35mm reels – courting from the 1950’s – have been in storage among the many late Invoice Taylor’s assortment for many years, and have among the many almost 12 hours of 35mm showreel materials masking all of Al Whitlock’s work and subsequent Phantasm Arts assignments.  I had supposed to incorporate them right here on this weblog, however will as a substitute accomplish that ‘subsequent subject’.     I did nevertheless embody one fabulous pattern on the shut of this weblog.

Take pleasure in,


***This publish, and all 172 earlier blogs generally known as ‘Matte Shot’, have been initially created by Peter Cook dinner for nzpetesmatteshot, with all content material, structure and textual content initially printed at http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/


BILL TAYLOR – Revered VFX Cinematographer, Inventor, Magician, Collector.

With the unhappy passing a month or so in the past of Invoice Taylor, I am utilizing this chance to pay tribute to a person whose many contributions to the movie trade – to not point out the world of stage magic and phantasm – have earned quite a lot of accolades through the years. 

Invoice Taylor pauses for a snapshot whereas on a desert location in 1994 for the movie SPEECHLESS.

Though I by no means met Invoice in particular person, I can say that I did take pleasure in a most fruitful and extremely academic line of communication with him for quite a lot of years, via an excellent many e-mail missives forwards and backwards, largely as regards to matte photographs, photographic results and technical breakdowns.  We additionally had some great discussions on cinematographers, such because the late, nice Gordon Willis; movies that had been ignored, results wizards from the golden period and some private opinions Invoice had on sure auteur administrators he’d had the displeasure of working with.

I’ve been so very lucky since I created this weblog round 12 years again.  There have been so many specialists within the area who’ve been very happy to reply my ‘inane’ questions, clarify modus-operandi, share lengthy misplaced methods of the commerce and principally open up.  Guys like Harrison Ellenshaw, Mark Sullivan, Jim Danforth, Gerald Larn, Brian Johnson, Matthew Yuricich, Syd Dutton and others, have been so beneficiant with their time.  Invoice was one such gentleman – and from feedback I’ve acquired from others, he was a gentleman – the place no query would ever go unanswered, trick photographs have been damaged down and defined in unimaginable element, proper all the way down to the movie inventory used and whether or not the movie had been ‘flashed’, and so on.  Invoice’s reminiscence on all points of not simply the thousand odd trick photographs he’d little question labored on, however on the work of others within the enterprise, was phenomenal to say the least.

Far left:  Invoice at Phantasm Arts taking pictures some bi-pack parts.  Center: Lining up a blue display screen shot for THE GATE.  Proper:  Invoice and Syd and their glorious journey.

Solely now do I realise, having spoken to Invoice’s very long time affiliate, Syd Dutton, that this kind of ‘giving again’ and furthering the academic facet of the results enterprise was one thing Invoice was pushed by.  

In a current dialog between Syd and myself, I requested about Invoice’s pursuits, understanding him to be a really eager magician and within the technique of writing a e-book on the topic, Syd summed up his longtime good friend and collaborator so effectively:  “Sure, Invoice did end his magic e-book. I’ve no details about publication.  Invoice had so many pursuits. Magic might need been his past love. His sister only in the near past informed me that at her wedding ceremony, he reduce one her bridesmaids in half. I do know he had an act, wearing high hat and tuxedo  together with the compulsory engaging feminine assistant, however sadly I by no means noticed a efficiency”.

“Our lengthy 26 12 months partnership in all probability labored as a result of we have been so totally different. Invoice was lively in the entire visible results group and advancing the science of cinematography. I used to be solely involved with portray and fixing visible issues. Invoice was additionally an avid clock collector and fascinated by totally different actions, issues and the way it impacted the historical past of navigation. After lengthy hours in entrance of the easel, my solely curiosity was driving residence to my household and a stiff drink”.

“Invoice additionally liked music. However that’s one other story amongst a number of others.  

Invoice’s residence, by which he lived all the time I knew him, he’d had that fully ‘tricked out’ – a treasure trove of an eccentric, multi-faceted man.
I informed somebody that Invoice was like a Swiss Military knife, the specialty blades neatly folded and hidden away till wanted”.

A few of the faces of Invoice Taylor.  At left, busy with Albert Whitlock rigging the miniature 747 jumbo jet for the ocean crash in AIRPORT 77.  High proper reveals Invoice manning the trusty matte digicam for a shot for the movie WEEDS, by which an ordinary avenue in North Carolina shall be reworked right into a bustling New York Metropolis avenue.  Decrease proper is a uncommon behind the scenes image exhibiting Invoice (in white shirt) with Jim Danforth (manning digicam) and Laine Liska taking pictures results checks for the unfinished movie COLD WAR IN A COUNTRY GARDEN (aka THE MICRONAUTS) *photograph courtesy Jim’s glorious memoir Dinosaurs, Dragons and Drama.

Quite than go into an entire historic examine of Invoice’s profession, as I’ve written a lot about it in earlier blogs, and a very good, splendidly detailed piece appeared courtesy of the American Society of Cinematographers, which may be discovered right here, I will as a substitute present some private anecdotes from Invoice, in addition to some feedback from those that knew him and really kindly contacted me, together with a uncommon choice of behind the scenes pictures and clips. I’ve included just a few choose results photographs solely as to do a full and full abstract would certainly be an epic endeavour.  A lot of Invoice’s work may be proven in my intensive three half profession piece on Albert Whitlock; right here, right here & right here, in addition to an article I did years in the past on Phantasm Arts (right here).
Two necessary items of equipment that Invoice utilised each day all through the photo-chemical period at each Common and in a while at Phantasm Arts.  On left is the tried and trusty Mitchell-Fries 35mm matte shot digicam.  On the suitable is the studio matte digicam mounted on a sturdy lathe mattress as used for photographing work, making latent picture composites and introducing parts inside particular photographs by means of the bi-pack association.  Be aware the lamphouse seen on the proper, permitting the digicam to additionally function a projector for displaying a body of the unique plate pictures onto the primed and ready glass for the matte artist to hint off and make the mandatory perspective strains and different necessary selections.

Matte painter and all spherical visible results exponent Mark Sullivan wrote me:  The information about Invoice shook me up. Invoice, Albert Whitlock and Syd Dutton have been an enormous inspiration to me rising up (and now, too).  I recall assembly Invoice when he visited Jim Danforth, at Jim’s studio. I used to be engaged on my first skilled matte portray on the time. Being in the identical room with Invoice Taylor and Jim Danforth, I felt very privileged, and fortunate!  As Invoice was very expert and knowledgable, he was equally as variety and courteous.”

An ideal behind the scenes photograph from the making of the Oscar successful THE HINDENBURG (1975), which was Invoice’s first task when employed by Albert Whitlock at Common – and as Invoice as soon as regaled to me, virtually turned his final task!  From left to proper are assistant matte painter Syd Dutton; matte digicam assistant Mike Moramarco; visible results supervisor Al Whitlock; results cinematographer Invoice Taylor; key grip Larry Shuler; and particular stills photographer Larry Barbier.

Years in the past, Invoice informed me about his first ‘journey’ with the fated German airship on the backot:  “I used to be decided to shoot the miniature airship in actual daylight; no phoney stage lighting for me!  I experimented with an odd scheme for matting the miniature that I assumed would work in daylight that on reflection sounds ‘Fulton-esque’.  In these days a day-lit blue display screen was not saturated sufficient to present a superb end result.  I shot the mannequin airship in opposition to black velvet, with the solar as the important thing gentle.  I crammed within the miniature with a row of arc lights with deep blue filters, balanced in order that considered via a blue filter the ship seemed to be flat lit. Black element just like the swastica was painted blue.”

“My intent was to print a silhouette matte from a  blue optimistic separation,  which I hoped would have uniform density all through. Then the foreground element would go on with the inexperienced separation used twice, via blue and inexperienced filters, and with the purple separation. This after all was a kind of simplified Vlahos colour-difference dupe. The highlights and shadows and the purple patch across the swastica reproduced usually on the inexperienced and purple separations.  Do not assume something like this had been tried in color.” 

“Intelligent scheme, eh?  In apply, a catastrophe!   The gray airship simply soaked up the blue gentle, and even with arc lamps cheek by jowl, it proved to be unimaginable to gentle the shadow facet uniformly sufficient so there weren’t translucent areas within the matte.  To attempt to get the solar depth in stability with the arcs. I had the grips grasp a internet over the airship.  If there was multiple layer of internet, there have been lovely moire patterns forged on the ship.  There was a little bit wind on the again lot on at some point, which ripped the online, and down it got here, the place the arc lights burned holes in it. 

 It was because of Al Whitlock’s monumental clout on the studio that I received to do this within the first place, and didn’t get fired because of this!”

“I started to re-think taking pictures the miniature in opposition to blue display screen on the sound stage, which we lastly did.  On Common’s greatest stage,stage 12, which was proper exterior our door, I may again the one key gentle 200 toes away to get actually onerous, parallel shadows.  I liked these outdated arc lights, which have been near being level sources of sunshine.   An ideal large wrap-around diffuser produced shadowless fill and a floor material produced the suitable bounce from land, water or decrease clouds.  We dollied the digicam on rails which rested on a fastidiously screeded sand mattress, so the digicam transfer was useless easy” .

THE HINDENBURG – Invoice with grip Larry Shuler at left, and with cameraman Mike Moramarco at proper, within the technique of filming the publish crash wreckage of the dirigible.  The partially seen full scale rigged airship skeleton could be matted out and changed with completely painted parts by Whitlock.

Invoice had been an entry degree worker at Ray Mercer Opticals within the early sixties, steadily transferring from van driver and normal helper, to studying optical line-up work and at last digicam operator.  “Throughout my ten years at Mercer and a while with Linwood Dunn at Movie Results of Hollywood, I launched myself to Al Whitlock round 1965, by chilly calling him at Common, and likewise to Petro Vlahos, from whom I realized the Color Distinction Blue Display System for travelling mattes.  These two gents modified my life, as a result of when Whitlock wanted a blue display screen ‘knowledgeable’ for THE HINDENBURG, he employed me to take the newly retired Ross Hoffman’s place”.  Invoice additionally remarked:  “In between Mercer and Common I did the opticals and served as advisor on John Carpenter’s and Dan O’Bannon’s DARK STAR – and I additionally wrote the lyrics for the title tune, ‘Benson Arizona’.  You may get to do just about something you’ll be able to within the low-budget movie world.  So, in short, I labored 9 years at Mercer, one 12 months freelancing, ten years at Common and 26 years at Phantasm Arts.  I’ve been so fortunate.  Most of my colleagues have had dozens of jobs, and I’ve actually solely had three”.

Earlier than and after, with the ultimate composite.

Additionally from THE HINDENBURG was this seemingly peculiar, mundane manufacturing shot that I might by no means appreciated, till Syd Dutton drew it to my consideration, as described beneath.  This kind of ingenius drawback fixing was what conventional trick pictures was all about of us…

For fairly a while I had assumed the shot proven above to be a bit of newsreel footage, however then Syd Dutton talked about a specific HINDENBURG fx shot that at all times made an enduring impression:   “Considered one of my favourite fx photographs within the movie wasn’t a portray in any respect, and I used to be referring to the lads on the information line shot at magic hour after which in daylight to simulate the explosion. Pure genius.”  Syd then requested Invoice to write down me his recollections of the actual shot, which now places a complete new spin on the transient reduce for me:   “Syd is referring to the shot by which the lads holding the mooring strains are all of the sudden lit by the explosion of the airship above them.  Our digicam was on one of many large nook pylons of the airship hanger in  Santa Ana.  The identical males have been shot twice in precisely the identical positions, their toes fastidiously marked and every man paying attention to his physique place.  In a single shot they have been in full solar from above, casting robust shadows.  On cue, they dropped the strains and ran away.  Within the second shot, made later the identical day when the solar was low sufficient to be off them (Magic Hour), we shot them in the identical spots, wanting upward on the airship.  I had shot a Polaroid of the fellows within the first shot and we used it to cue them into matching poses.”

“The shot within the movie begins with the Magic Hour shot.  With a really soft-edge wipe we transitioned to the brightly-lit males color timed to look as if they’re lit by the exploding airship.  Their shadows present exclamation marks as every man runs for his life.  As a result of the scope of the shot is so huge, it might have been unimaginable to attain the impact with any lighting instrument and naturally any actual pyrotechnic impact would have been very harmful.  As Syd stated, an excellent thought.  Albert didn’t get hung up on whether or not the impact was bodily ‘genuine’; he knew that for the few seconds that have been wanted it might play completely.”

Whitlock with Taylor on location in Vermont on Interstate 89 taking pictures plates for what’s going to turn into the fictional city of Milburn for the movie GHOST STORY (1981).

Invoice checks his f-stop whereas atop an elaborate manually ‘pushed’ digicam dolly/sled, as constructed by key grip Lyn Ledgerwood, for an important sequence within the movie GHOST STORY.  Within the scene, actor Craig Wasson, finally blue screened into this miniature plate, tumbles to his loss of life, with the digicam each trailing the scary descent with him, along with capturing the next up-view of the actor falling face first straight into the glass atrium.
On board The Queen Mary, in Lengthy Seaside, for the filming of CHAPLIN (1992).  From left:  Invoice, Larry Shuler, Albert and Syd.

Veteran cease movement exponent, matte artist and fantasy movie visionary, Jim Danforth, labored with Invoice on quite a lot of events, courting again to the early 1970’s, and informed me he had very fond reminiscences of these instances:  For a few years, I owned an MGBGT vehicle. It accommodated two properly, however there was solely a small again seat, plus the bags space.  Invoice usually curled up within the baggage space.  What enjoyable we had”.  Jim and Invoice collaborated on tasks as various as the favored KUNG FU tv sequence, John Carpenter’s cult flick, DARK STAR, the low funds Australian drive-in traditional ESKIMO NELL, and the unfinished science fiction undertaking COLD WAR IN A COUNTRY GARDEN.
“Invoice was very beneficiant, and he gave my spouse Karen and me tickets to see Angela Lansbury and George Hearn in Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Avenue, He additionally took Karen and I to some magic reveals starring David Copperfield, for instance. Invoice additionally took the official studio portrait of Al Whitlock and was a proud member of the ASC – the American Society of Cinematographers.”

Unknown to many, Invoice additionally plied his thespian abilities, and appeared in bit elements in issues just like the terrific authentic ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, INTO THE NIGHT, THE FOG, BEVERLY HILLS COP 3 and others.

A curious snapshot which as soon as once more proved some superb visuals might be conjured up with probably the most rudimentary of supplies and a substantial diploma of creativeness.  That is the particular digicam rig constructed for the explosive climax of the exceedingly groovy flick, THE CAR (1977).  The truth is, it was my curiosity in regards to the visuals on this movie which prompted me to contact Invoice a few years in the past – not for one second anticipating a lot as a response.  Invoice rapidly replied, amazed at my curiosity on this forgotten bit and elaborated on the scene in nice element, for which I used to be – and remained – very grateful.  Proven listed below are Invoice, Mike Moramarco and Al Whitlock with the house constructed lens distortion rig that may create the demonic incarnation from the bowels of hades for the fiery climax.

Ever since I noticed THE CAR again in ’77 on the large Scope display screen at our Cinerama theatre – full with pounding Leonard Rosenman rating, it has been a favorite for NZ Pete.  This is what a considerably shocked Invoice needed to say once I wrote him: “I am glad you want this shot.  As time has handed and expertise has improved, it makes me wince.  The face was a lot subtler in earlier variations, however previews revealed that many of the viewers didn’t get the gag, so we re-did it way more blatantly.  I assumed {that a} horn on the soundtrack, accompanied by a flashing title that learn, ‘large demon face’ was the subsequent logical step”.

“We began with large naptha fires and sluggish movement flame thrower movie parts simply as you thought.  

We shot parts of white Mole smoke in opposition to black in our studio, which we cherry-picked to search out attention-grabbing shapes, then reversed into black smoke to function the background for the face.  The face options have been constructed from black material on an articulated wire armature so the mouth may transfer.  The material was dampened with napthalene – like lighter fluid, good yellow flame – and set alight, blown with a fan and photographed in color at a excessive body price, in all probability about 120 FPS.  I recall that it dripped little drops of flaming naptha.   Despite the fact that the face was a fairly good measurement, the flames have been too large in scale and ‘miniature-y’ wanting so we hit on the concept of taking pictures them via a transferring distortion glass to interrupt them up”. 

“The ultimate end result was not precisely completed as a lot because it was deserted, since we simply ran out of time. Leonard Rosenman’s music helped lots!  I assumed that this was a fairly good movie by which the subtler concepts are the simplest, just like the creak of the ground boards simply earlier than the automobile seems within the barn”.

Nonetheless so cool in any case these years.  So far as flaming satanic beasts from the pits of hell go, this evil bastard get’s my vote each time!

In an astonishingly rare-as-hens-teeth snapshot right here my buddies is the aforementioned ‘Satan’ in all his sock-puppet, ‘lamb chops’ meets Cujo glory!  My pal Thomas Higginson despatched me this, and a number of the different pics right here, and had this to say:  “This is one other pic of that odd ‘The Automotive’ gag.  There you may see Al with the toy race observe transmitters that managed the rotational velocity of the distortion lenses and Syd answerable for the sock puppet.  The image says all of it!”

Considered one of my all time favorite films was THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980), and alongside just a few mattes, Invoice engineered a present stopping sequence the place a complete flop-house in Chicago is blown to items by a patently off her head Carrie Fisher.  The view right here was in actual fact an enormous photograph blow up of the particular location, salvaged from the small quantity of head trim from the unique 35mm manufacturing take.  The blow- up was closely massaged with painted contact ups and blends.  Invoice informed me all in regards to the trick, as defined beneath, which I feel is a corker of a shot.

“The explosion shot for The Blues Brothers could also be extra superb than you understand” Invoice revealed to me.  “There isn’t a precise miniature at work right here; it is all a large blow up, however fastidiously divided into two planes.  The again aircraft photograph of the resort was pasted onto a big skinny sheet of fabricated plasterboard, made with a really brittle method.  The photograph/portray was closely scored with a Stanley knife in order that it might break aside on the applicable locations.  There have been holes reduce clear via for window openings, and so forth.  The again of the plasterboard was ‘wired’ with a big serpentine sample of the smallest, ‘gentlest’ detonation twine obtainable.  As a result of the ‘det-cord’ is just about instantaneous, the timing was important to permit the naptha bag explosion to develop earlier than the plaster was blown.  A small scale take a look at decided that timing.  There was just one full measurement take wanted”.  Apparently, as an apart, a few years later on the VES tribute to Al Whitlock, director John Landis regaled the viewers and panel together with his reminiscence of being invited onto the results stage by Al to witness the epic occasion.  As soon as the cameras rolled at a really excessive and noisy body price as was wanted, it was throughout in a mere second…. principally a ‘poof’ and a fast ‘flash’.  Landis reported witnessing the occasion first hand as being “Extraordinarily unspectacular”, however as soon as completed and reduce into the daillies the shot seemed 1,000,000 {dollars}.

An ideal insider have a look at the Phantasm Arts crew making a smoke impact or different gag with varied liquids for an unknown manufacturing within the Nineties.  Left-to-right: Matte cameraman Mark Sawicki, Invoice and miniatures wrangler Lynn Ledgerwood.

The every day routine at Phantasm Arts within the mid nineties, with Invoice retrieving 35mm authentic adverse ‘held takes’ from the chiller; setting the magazine onto the movement management system; and taking pictures a multiplane matte/miniature arrange for DENNIS THE MENACE. 
One of many causes Invoice discovered himself fascinated by trick pictures was the work and movies of the legendary Ray Harryhausen.  Here’s a image of Invoice presenting Ray with an award on the Academy of Movement Image Arts & Sciences.  The frames proven listed below are, after all, from Ray’s outstanding JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963) –  a movie which stimulated the imaginations of so many future visible results exponents, to not point out many hundreds of ‘monster child film’ freaks like yours actually and I am sure, a complete swag of Matte Shot readers on the market.

Talking with Invoice a decade or extra in the past, he shared his reminiscences of early influences:  “Once I noticed JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS in the summertime of my freshman 12 months at Pomona school, at which I flunked out after simply three semesters, I used to be instantly impressed by Ray Harryhausen’s instance to search for a profession within the visible results area.  I used to be thunderstruck to comprehend that right here have been visible illusions on such an unlimited scale.  Up till then, and in contrast to just about all of my contemporaries within the results world, I had not been particularly inquisitive about visible results, and even in pictures; however since my inventive skills have been nil, it not less than appeared {that a} life within the film enterprise as a technician was doable”.

Like me, Invoice admired so most of the outdated results movies, and we talked at one stage in regards to the work in Disney’s fabulous DARBY O’GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE (1959) – a movie I nonetheless regard as maybe the top of all spherical trick shot excellence.  “A few of the traditional stuff is so excellent, that it is onerous to think about what’s actually happening.  I keep in mind being completely baffled by the trick perspective work in DARBY O’GILL, and Peter Ellenshaw’s work, till I lastly learn an evidence someplace.  So, I used to be delighted to be a part of Randy Cook dinner’s crew years in a while the trick perspective photographs he designed for THE GATE.  Later I devised the transferring digicam trick perspective method used within the first LORD OF THE RINGS movie, which allowed restricted dolly strikes in depth, so I really feel like I made a tiny contribution to the development of the artwork”.

The numerous aspects of Invoice.  At left attending a tribute for comic and actor Steve Martin – himself  a lifelong devotee of magic – Invoice demonstrates a sequence of sleight-of-hand coin methods he realized from a really younger Steve, again within the early 1960’s whereas working collectively within the magic retailer at Disneyland.  Higher proper reveals Invoice and Syd conducting one in all their day lengthy seminars on VFX, whereas the decrease proper has Invoice demostrating to a bunch of aspiring results college students.

In an e-mail, Invoice informed me about his pursuits in stage magic:  “I used to be certainly inquisitive about each stage magic and sleight of hand, and have created a number of stage illusions which have been carried out by magicians around the globe, together with Harry Blackstone jnr, and The Pendragons”.  On the time of writing to me Invoice stated that he was nonetheless busy as an phantasm designer at Owen Magic in California.  In one other dialog we talked about favorite cameramen, understanding Invoice to be fond of men like Jack Cardiff.  “On the movie BRENDA STARR, which was lit and shot by Freddie Francis, I requested Freddie what his secret was for ‘glamour lighting’.  He stated ‘Put an excellent large gentle over the digicam, and get Brooke Shields for those who can!'”  Invoice continued:  “I at all times wished to get Freddie and Jack Cardiff collectively and simply document their dialog, however I may by no means fairly handle it.

At left:  Albert and Invoice at Phantasm Arts in 1992, pose subsequent to a really massive matte portray of ‘Hollywoodland’ for the movie CHAPLIN.  At proper, Invoice recieves the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation from AMPAS in 2013.

Telling a tall story maybe?  Invoice manages to crack up fellow vfx man Harrison Ellenshaw.  I despatched Harrison a duplicate of this picture, which to my shock he’d not seen, and he stated: “If I recall that was a presentation on the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theatre. Invoice himself persuaded the Academy to call it that. That is former ILM’er John Knoll to Invoice’s proper.  John and his brother invented a factor referred to as Photoshop”.

Invoice carried his information of movement image visible results necessities during the standard photo-chemical period and effectively into the digital enviornment with ease.  Apparently, Phantasm Arts – the corporate he and Syd co-founded in 1985 – would usually combine each conventional and digital instruments on the identical movie or television task effectively into the late 1990’s the place, as a realistic choice, each strategies may sometimes praise one another to ship an efficient finish end result.  Syd informed me he preferred to color his mattes utilizing the customary artists’ instruments and medium every time the chance introduced itself, and usually discovered the older course of extra satisfying as a skilled painter.  The historically rendered work, if not composited as authentic adverse or rear projection have been generally scanned as a big digital file and augmented or manipulated with pc expertise, although the inspiration and integrity of so many photographs made within the CG period, remained ‘handcrafted’.

A dire movie, however some lovely photographic results work from the Common matte division, RED SONYA (1985) noticed Invoice create some attention-grabbing gags to accompany the beautiful painted mattes:  “We have been fairly pleased with our faux lava on this movie.  It was all back-lit, comprised of plastic wheels, positioned at a raking angle to the digicam.  They have been painted so as to add bits of texture.  As traditional process, we shot this gag via smooth splits, with a number of passes, and so forth.  We made a separate lava ingredient that Frank van der Veer and Barry Nolan used elsewhere within the film”.

The epic ‘Massive Apple’ sequence from Sidney Lumet’s THE WIZ (1978) stays one of many bona-fide eye popping vfx photographs of the last decade – and past!  There are some eight painted parts, 13 particular person filmed parts, a motorised styrofoam apple which have been all assembled in some 34 separate passes via Invoice’s matte digicam and an additional six passes via the optical printer!

Invoice remembered the sequence proven above as one thing of a nightmare to tug off:  “All I can see is the matte line across the apple, which, for some cause did not hassle Al in any respect!  We had different takes the place the miniature apple match completely, however the shot was so difficult that one thing else went incorrect in each one in all them.  It was one of many photographs made on our matte shot digicam with a number of passes, after which carried over to the optical printer for the apple, in order to keep away from duping the work”.  I requested the pretty apparent query in regards to the conventional photo-chemical period optical composites and the complexities therein:  “No… I do not miss the ‘good outdated days’ one little bit!”

Invoice was recipient of an Emmy award,  together with Al, Syd and all the Common matte division workers, for the visible results work they achieved on the Biblical miniseries A.D (1985), and would later acquire a pair extra for the television sequence STAR TREK-THE NEXT GENERATION in a while, and was a founding member of the Visible Results Society.  If all that weren’t sufficient, he was additionally on the Board of Governors on the Movement Image Academy.  

Invoice with two buddies – matte cameraman Mark Sawicki (left) and matte painter, good friend and co-founder of Phantasm Arts, Syd Dutton (proper).

                                   William (Invoice) Frank Taylor, ASC   1944 – 2021



Having so many matte photographs in my archive, it is not at all times simple to point out ’em all, irrespective of now a lot I really feel they deserve some consideration.  That is one such shot that I like and desires some consideration.  That is the opening shot – a full portray – from the Andre deToth western LAST OF THE COMANCHES (1952), starring the nice Broderick Crawford.  The present was a Columbia image, so Larry Butler and Donald Glouner would have taken care of the trick work.  No thought who painted this good shot, however probably Juan Larrinaga – the brother of Mario – who was a fixture at Columbia for years.



A few of Disney’s greatest reside motion movies have been made within the fifties, for my part.  THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN (1959) is among the many class catalogue which included reveals like 20’000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, THE GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE and naturally, the delightfully marvellous DARBY O’GILL & THE LITTLE PEOPLE.

Key to the joys issue of the, principally real mountaineering sequences, have been the handfuls of very good matte photographs supervised by the nice Peter Ellenshaw.  Peter, for these new to my weblog, was one of many true masters within the artform of painted mattes, with an extended profession originating within the mid 1930’s in England, below the steely gaze and brushmanship of his mentor, Walter Percy Day – the Grandfather of British particular results.  Peter would turn into a staple at Disney Studios, with Walt himself giving him a lifelong contract because of his astonishing work on the studio’s first reside motion image, TREASURE ISLAND in 1950.

Grasp matte artist Peter Ellenshaw is proven right here at work on a foreground in-camera glass shot for one more of the studio’s large productions, IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS (1962) filmed at Pinewood Studios in England.

I am not conscious of anybody else recieving ‘Matte Artist’ display screen credit score earlier than Peter did on all his Disney movies, even way back to 1950 for TREASURE ISLAND, and in reality it might be a long time till the same credit score appeared on display screen for any different practitioner

Matte painted view which opens the movie, which though was The Matterhorn, was modified within the script to The Citadel for some odd cause?  Perhaps the actual Matterhorn threatened to sue?

One of many beautiful mattes by Peter Ellenshaw which jogs my memory of his work which open the sooner BLACK NARCISSUS.

The Swiss village, presumably a set on the Disney lot with an intensive make over by the matte artist to increase the view.  The matte line runs throughout simply above the heads of the extras.  In accordance with Peter’s son Harrison, quite a lot of the mattes in THIRD MAN have been performed as latent picture photographs, on authentic adverse, which Disney did utilise on and off round that point on varied productions, earlier than settling into their in home rear projection composite methodology which they’d just about persist with all through the sixties and seventies.

I am undecided on this shot.  If it’s a matte then it is a very effectively blended and matched matte.  The movie was largely shot on location in Switzerland, with quite a lot of first price skilled climbing unit materials expertly built-in into the photographs with the actors.

Apparently the movie was initially referred to as BANNER IN THE SKY, and after a not very enthusiastic field workplace take, would once more revert to this alternate title for later TV showings.  The important response nevertheless for the movie on it is preliminary launch was good and it is held in excessive regard amongst many Disney fanatics to this present day.

Unsure with this one, however strongly suspect it is an precise 2nd unit shot?

The quite a few moments of hazard in THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN have been achieved with fastidiously designed and composited matte photographs, equivalent to this thriller of a shot.

My favorite shot within the flick is that this devastatingly effectively executed downview of James MacArthur atop a spindly pinnacle, excessive above the valley ground.  I’ve at all times had a factor for excessive perspective portray in matte work.  Completely adore it!

Even in a matte shot you’d by no means get NZ Pete to be up there!  🙁

Unquestionably the work of Peter Ellenshaw, together with his trademark cloud brushwork and light-weight as witnessed in a lot of his personal nice artwork and likewise scores of film matte photographs.

One other reduce, this time with drifting mist added in.

Peter had two assistants within the matte division presently, Albert Whitlock and Jim Fetherolf.  I am positive each males lent a hand in furnishing such numerous mattes.  Invoice Taylor as soon as talked about to me that Al realized a lot from observing Peter paint.  The fast block ins, usually utilizing towels, rags or big brushes, adopted by an intense interval of extremely targeted dabs and ‘expressions’, the place Peter instinctively knew simply how a lot to color, and the place to attract the viewers’s eye in.  In accordance with Invoice, Al acknowledged his personal portray progressed in leaps and bounds because of watching Peter paint. Peter was a extremely prolific and really quick matte artist.  A grasp, and by all accounts, a real gentleman.

I am most impressed with the reside motion plate pictures on this movie.  Nearly all the plates seem to have been fastidiously shot in pure gentle versus studio lit soundstage mock ups, the place the ‘faux’ studio arc’s of the day by no means matched the Kelvin of precise daylight and have been for many years, at all times a useless giveaway.

Being alpine, the climate can change on the drop of a hat.  The skies darken and a storm rolls in…

A fantastically manufactured alpine storm, combining multi-plane Ellenshaw matte artwork, with the mountain vary, not less than two layers of glass painted clouds, and cel animated lightning bolts in addition to the interactive gags.  Very good work.

This movie’s director, Ken Annakin, did quite a lot of reveals for Disney, beginning with SWORD AND THE ROSE in 1953.  Ken was an enormous admirer of Peter’s skills, and would seek the advice of and utilise matte photographs regularly on many photos.  In an interview with movie critic and historian Leonard Maltin when discussing the huge variety of results photographs for SWORD AND THE ROSE, Ken had this to say:  “Walt particularly had the image (Sword and the Rose) designed in such a manner to make use of the utmost variety of painted mattes; in actual fact, we used sixty-two mattes in all on that movie, and it allowed us to present the image a wider sweep visually than it ever may have had.  It resulted in Peter being given a life contract by Walt Disney.  I received very taken up with this matte method, and continued to apply it to later photos, however I virtually needed to practice new artists myself, and move on to them the kind of methods I assumed Peter Ellenshaw relied on.  However Peter simply knew modify actuality to make it look realer than actual”.

It is Matterhorn 5-0 for James MacArthur.  One other splendidly painted set extension that almost definitely slips by unnoticed, cut up screened into a completely life like exterior setpiece.

The climate turns treacherous.  Matte artwork and a number of fx gags.

Director Ken Annakin was apparently identified within the enterprise as ‘Panicin’ Annakin’.

I used to be chatting with Peter Ellenshaw’s son, Harrison, about this film and he stated:  “Your point out of THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN (authentic title BANNER IN THE SKY) introduced again some very nice reminiscences.  I used to be solely 13 or 14 once I travelled with my mom and father to Zermatt, Switzerland to the situation for THIRD MAN. I used to be even an additional for 2 photographs. I recall that we mixed the journey with a go to to my grandmother and her husband Walter Percy Day, OBE. You could have heard of him.”

One other dizzying matte, with drifting mist and cloud layer.

The marry ups of the work and the reside motion plates are actually spectacular on this movie, with blends fairly onerous, if not unimaginable to detect in most cases.  Gentle matte demarkations would counsel authentic adverse pictures and compositing.

THIRD MAN might be a principally forgotten movie immediately, although it is worthy of rediscovery and appreciation because it’s an excellent little movie.  One other couple of nice little Disney flicks are KIDNAPPED and GREYFRIAR’S BOBBY made a pair years later, made earlier than they targeting foolish, squeaky clear and largely unimaginative matinee fodder.

One other vertigo inducing level of painted view.

Extraordinarily convincing alpine grandeur, created on Peter Ellenshaw’s matte easel.

Not someplace I might pitch a tent of us!

Our sort-of villain, the great character actor Herbert Lom – who performed way more baddies than most actors have had scorching dinners – in a precarious scenario.  An attention-grabbing results shot right here.  I am questioning whether or not the background of mountains and valleys might need been precise location nonetheless pictures, matted into the foreground synthetic snow set, and blended with an expertly painted in precipice.  No matter Peter did, it labored a deal with.

This present is without doubt one of the uncommon Disney movies that did not depend on studio sure sodium photographs to put the actors into 2nd unit footage.  Disney have been gung ho on the yellow backing travelling matte system, and, come the 1960’s would use it continually – if not excessively – on the vast majority of their movies.  I do not recall any travelling matte photographs in THIRD MAN in any respect.

Would have seemed implausible on the massive silver display screen again within the day.

The ultimate scene because the adventurers return residence.  Higher half of body is painted, with the matte line curling round simply above James MacArthur and Michael Rennie’s heads and down throughout the set.



After the sunshine and breezy Technicolor journey mentioned above, we transfer into far darker territory.  OUTCAST OF THE ISLANDS (1951) was a really intentionally grim and forboding narrative certainly – simply as one would possibly count on from something penned by Joseph Conrad (ie: LORD JIM and most notably, the underlying theme, characters & total premise of Coppola’s sensible APOCALYPSE NOW).

I’ve written a lot in regards to the results work and contributions of the grandfather of British particular results, Walter Percy Day – or Poppa Day as he was well-known within the trade.  For these not within the know, Pop was step-father to the aforementioned Peter Ellenshaw, and thus be got here step-grandfather to the additionally aforementioned Harrison Ellenshaw.  Expertise seemingly runs in that household.

A dynamite forged in my e-book, all exquisitely photographed by John Wilcox, and brilliantly directed by Carol Reed.  Percy Day by no means preferred to be lumped as ‘particular results’ in movie credit, and far most popular ‘Course of Photographs’ as his specialty apparently.

A few of my favorite actors function on this present; the fabulous Trevor Howard, Ralph Richardson and Robert Morley all supplied stable performances – as did the darkish and mysterious native magnificence, ‘Kerima’, who has a complete truckload of psychological points.  Glorious, although unsettling British movie, and a high shelf manufacturing all the way in which.

The image was made on location for probably the most half – although the place, I do not know – someplace steamy and unique.  The fictional locale is rarely recognized within the movie however appears like Malaya or Borneo to me. That is an results shot BTW, with foreground forged and set mixed with ocean and schooner by way of travelling matte.

One other wider view, with what should have been an unlimited blue display screen.  I solely seen it as being a travelling matte on a BluRay viewing not too long ago, as earlier editions have been strictly VHS or YouTube.

Apart from quite a lot of blue display screen composites, made at Shepperton Studios below the supervision of Wally Veevers, there may be actually only one particular photographic results sequence, nevertheless it is a considerable and fantastically executed, prolonged set piece that could be very a lot worthy of inspection.  The sequence in query entails the harmful navigation of the ship via close to impassable coastal reefs and rocky outcrops, the place hazards lurk at each flip.  It could not sound like a lot to the Marvel or X-Males VFX overload technology, nevertheless it’s a remarkably adept and sophisticated puzzle to traditionalists like me. 

There is not a reduce within the 3 minute sequence that is not an results shot of 1 kind or one other.

Strikingly, every shot within the a number of minute sequence includes a visible results shot of 1 kind or different.

Attempt as I’d, I’ve by no means been capable of firmly set up how Day and Veevers managed to tug off the quite a few photographs.  This materials is extraordinarily spectacular, and regularly blows my thoughts as I attempt to deconstruct the work.  That is what ‘particular results’ actually quantities to.

One of the best guess on my half is that mixture set ups involving miniatures, glass work and precise ocean footage have been by some means merged in layers…?

I am virtually given to think about the same technical variation on Ray Harryhausen’s Dynarama/Dynamation methodology the place a miniature might be ‘sandwiched’ inside an already pre-composited results shot by means of cut up display screen mattes?  Some photographs counsel this.  The photographs are quickly reduce, so repeat sluggish movement overview on my half proved the perfect guess, however even then, left me scratching my head.

Definitely miniature rocky pinnacles and outcrops have been utilized in some photographs, and matted with precise ship footage, equivalent to the place the vessel virtually involves grief on this bit.

I am considering, multi-plane glass work with actual sea?

Blue display screen work in all probability carried out by Doug Hague or Bryan Langley, with the latter usually working with Wally Veevers and an knowledgeable in travelling matte composite pictures.

Possible a full tank miniature arrange right here.

I might donate a kidney to see a breakdown of the weather for a shot like this.  There’s way more concerned right here than it’s possible you’ll assume within the transient time the shot seems on display screen.  Perplexingly sensible!

Positively a multi-plane glass shot as proven beneath…

Painted foreground, water precise, and individually painted background – all expertly ‘moved’ because the boat passes via the hole.

This was one in all Pop Day’s final movies earlier than retiring.  By this time Day had a number of painters working for him, together with George Samuels, Albert Julion and Judy Jordan.  Pop’s son, Thomas Day had been a cameraman for his father from way back to the mid 1930’s,  in an unpaid capability for probably the most half!
Generally, particular results cinematographer Wally Veevers had usually prevented taking pictures miniature boats in tanks and most popular, the place doable, the choice to shoot boats ‘dry’ and matte them into precise ocean plates, which he would do on scores of movies at Shepperton.  Taking a look at this body it appears obvious that the boat could also be painted maybe, with a faintly discernable matte cut up alongside the waterline. The very distant formations appear painted on one aircraft whereas the mid-ground rocks are on a second aircraft.  The speedy foreground rocks seem half real (for the water splashes) and half painted as a high up.  All up, an excellent puzzle of trick pictures, supremely performed.

Once more, a matte line cut up is seen, with what could also be a painted profile of the ship animated body by body amidst a number of ranges of painted surroundings and actual water.  Nice stuff!

Percy Day had for a few years labored out of his own residence after which on the big Denham Studios, along side J.Arthur Rank.  In 1946 he joined Sir Alexander Korda’s London Movies, primarily based at Shepperton Studios, establishing a completely purposeful and effectively outfitted matte and course of division the place he remained till retiring in 1954 on the age of 75. 

The footage is so effectively shot and mixed for 1951, it is onerous to detect something is perhaps amiss.

Most definitely a big outside tank shot, with painted profile cutout for the background.

Break up display screen matte shot with mannequin ship mixed with foreground stage set, merged with matte artwork.

In her biography of her grandfather, Susan Day reported:  “Percy formally retired from Shepperton in 1954 however continued to serve the British movie trade in an advisory capability.  The BBC requested him to present a sequence of talks on particular results, and even proposed the providers of a chauffeur pushed automobile, however in his traditional ornery manner, Grandad turned the proposition down flat.  He was decided to commit his declining years – he was by this time seventy 5 – to his one consuming ardour.  He enrolled for a refresher course at Canterbury School of Artwork, and had the gratification of getting the outstanding self portrait – which I now personal – held on the road at The Royal Academy Exhibition of 1954.  He informed a journalist who interviewed him that portray gave him extra satisfaction than working for the movie trade, as a result of it is extra artistic.”
An enchanting letter, despatched to Percy by Sir Alexander Korda in 1951, congratulating him on the trick work in OUTCAST OF THE ISLANDS in addition to inviting Day to arrange for a deliberate, although unproduced, ballet image of Sleeping Magnificence.  (Letter courtesy of Susan Day)

‘Kerima’ – a lady of few phrases, or bat-shit mad harpie?  You determine.  Nice movie!



In customary shiny model, MADAME CURIE (1943) informed the story of the invention of radium, with the at all times dependable Greer Garson within the title function because the Polish-French physicist.  Fantastic manufacturing requirements, as you’d count on from MGM.  Male lead, Walter Pidgeon had at all times been a tad picket for my tastes (although one in all his closing movies, HARRY IN YOUR POCKET made within the mid seventies with James Coburn was actually good!)

The true story takes place in Paris within the 1890’s, with quite a lot of scenes fleshed out with matte artwork from the Newcombe division at MGM.

The World well-known Sorbonne Institute in Paris, 1890 as realised in pastel and gouache.

MGM had a number of the most interesting matte artists in Hollywood, a lot of whom got here from a technical illustration background.  Warren Newcombe was the longtime ‘chief’ of the division, and by all accounts I’ve heard and browse was a most eccentric man to place it flippantly.

In addition to having utmost management and say over his steady of artists, Newcombe settled for nothing lower than the best requirements when it got here to the integrity of the completed shot, with expertly blended mattes that made detection of simply the place the matte be a part of is perhaps subsequent to unimaginable.  Chief matte results cinematographer was longtime affiliate Mark Davis who actually pulled off some miracle composites.

As I’ve described in earlier blogs, the favoured methodology for rendering matte artwork at MGM for many years was with very nice pastels and gouache, utilized onto artists card with astonishing outcomes.

Cedric Gibbons was longtime head of the artwork division at MGM, and this stunningly composed matte painted shot is a testomony to the romanticism of the golden period, which that studio reigned supreme. Finest shot within the movie.

An ideal many matte artists got here and went in all the Hollywood studios through the conflict years when this movie was made.

A few of the artists round on the time have been Howard Fisher – one of many authentic guys, and Henry Hillinck, George Coblentz, Henry Peter McDermott, Otto Kiechle and Jack Robson.

Nearly all painted right here.

I am fairly positive this can be a main set extension too, with the trademark ‘doubled in’ tree as an precise movie ingredient so as to add life.

A splendidly detailed inside matte, with a lot credit score to the artist.

This shot is attention-grabbing, not just for the very good draftsmanship and portray, however noteworthy for the gang replication.  The 2 balconies have the very same reside motion plate matted in for those who watch intently, although timed a little bit independently in order that when one balcony rises to clap and cheer, the second does so only a second or two later.  I am additionally curious in regards to the crowd beneath the balcony seating, which can be a cut up display screen to multiply the variety of extras?




Whereas not an particularly memorable film, Terence Younger’s ZARAK (1956) was an okay time filler on a moist Saturday afternoon.  Star Victor Mature was at all times an underrated actor in my e-book, and did some stable work over his profession (was an absolute hoot taking part in himself to the hilt in The Monkees freakin’ insane movie HEAD in 1968).  As for the female love curiosity… effectively extra about Anita Ekberg later  😉

Grand CinemaScope title playing cards and thumping rating.
Particular Photographic Results have been overseen by an uncredited Tom Howard on the MGM-UK studios, although the image was a Columbia launch.  Tom was a specialist in optical cinematography, having begun his very lengthy profession within the early 1930’s with Ned Mann on the sci-fi traditional THINGS TO COME, and in a while offering the blue display screen composites for THIEF OF BAGDAD proper on via to designing and establishing the cutting-edge reflex entrance projection rig for Stanley Kubrick’s monumental 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in 1968.  Tom recieved a pair of Oscars for his results work, one for TOM THUMB and the opposite, inexplicably, for BLITHE SPIRIT – a movie just about devoid of visible results, that even it is director, David Lean, was left mystified as to fairly why that award was given, as he talked about within the great memoir of his life and profession by Kevin Brownlow.

Anita Ekberg is the seductress in ZARAK, although not so that you’d actually discover.

I’ve no thought who painted the mattes right here.  It is at all times been a little bit of a thriller with regard to the Tom Howard division, although I do know that Judy Jordan – a former assistant to Percy Day at Shepperton – left to hitch Howard over at MGM-Boreham Wooden round 1954, so it is doable she painted on this present.
Our femme fatale, Miss Anita Ekberg, was field workplace gold, with studio publicity departments constructing total film campaigns round her charms, regardless of the function or movie. I really feel completely compelled by forces past my management to single out Anita in immediately’s illustrious weblog, as I additionally fairly equally would have had Dorothy Lamour been obtainable!
The mattes are variable, however work fairly effectively.

Did I point out that Anita Ekberg is on this film?

Matte painted Peshawar, in what was India on the time the story takes place.

Ms Ekberg was a former Miss Sweden!  For this flick she’s Miss Colonial period India, 1850.

The traditional old fashioned fortress atop the hill matte shot, with way more painted right here than you would possibly assume.

Seen in a second nearer reduce.  Very good sky.

She reportedly as soon as shot a paparazzi with a bow and arrow!  Truth.

No precise credit score for Tom Howard, although bodily results males Cliff Richardson and Jack Erickson each received display screen credit score, oddly.

She does various seductive dancing, gyrating, writhing and pouting of the lips on this movie – usually all on the identical time!  Definitely worth the worth of admission alone.

In successive cuts throughout this prolonged raid sequence, the matte itself ‘shifts’ jarringly, although solely when viewing particular person frames finish to finish is it evident.  See that in plenty of movies, and a helpful option to discover the place the matte be a part of is.

True reality:  Anita’s first husband was very, very jealous – for the lifetime of me I am unable to think about why – and was identified to violently assault anyone who a lot as glanced at his spouse!    
The walled metropolis goes up in flames.  Nearly all matte artwork right here – with added smoke and matte stand hearth gags.  The one reside motion portion is the little bit of grass with Victor Mature driving away.  All else, together with the foreground rocks are matte artwork.

‘The Dance of the 7 Veils’, or one thing alongside these strains.  Perhaps it was six veils… or no veils in any respect?  Hell, it has been an extended week right here!

Oh, and there are some scenes and matte painted photographs that do not contain Anita, although in hindsight, they in all probability ought to have!

There is no simple escape from this gal.
Victor Mature can be in ZARAK…. effectively, he is the star truly so I suppose I ought to give Vic some respiration room right here.  An undervalued actor truly, and did some nice movies.  

Nothing in anyway to do with the artwork of particular results, … yeah, yeah, I do know… however significantly of us, whatcha gonna do?          Anita … we liked ‘ya child!



As talked about in my introduction I had supposed to showcase the contents of the outdated 35mm showreels containing many earlier than and afters by profession Common matte artist Russ Lawson and results cinematographer Roswell Hoffman.  Each Lawson and Hoffman had a mammoth profession on the one studio, as readers of my blogs will know, courting from the early 1930’s.  Lawson retired in 1961, whereas Hoffman did so in 1975.  I will dedicate the subsequent subject to those great finds, although I am unable to resist a small sampler.  A very large thanks to Tom Higginson for sending the entire showreels to me.

Presumably a tank on the Common backlot, this partial riverboat set has been extensively altered, prolonged and delivered to life by artist Russell Lawson, with smoke parts added in a subsequent move by Ross Hoffman.

The title of the unique manufacturing is a little bit of a thriller, although I can affirm this identical shot was later ‘borrowed/stolen/bought’ by twentieth Century Fox, with photographic results man L.B Abbott utilizing it within the John Wayne image THE COMANCHEROS (1961).  The unique ‘flat’ Academy aperture ratio matte comp was transferred to 2.35:1 CinemaScope on James B. Gordon’s optical printer at Fox, and introduced as a tilt down scan to accomodate the huge display screen ratio.  I might at all times assumed it to be an Emil Kosa jnr matte, however now having considered the Lawson reels in full, it is fairly clear the shot was made years earlier at Common.

***This publish, and all 172 earlier blogs generally known as ‘Matte Shot’, have been initially created by Peter Cook dinner for nzpetesmatteshot, with all content material, structure and textual content initially printed at http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/

Hah!  Simply once you thought I might gotten Anita outta my system … Effectively, she was moderately memorable in Federico Fellini’s LA DOLCE VITA (1960), as pictured right here.  AlrightNo extra Anita Ekberg!

Effectively of us… that is about it until subsequent ‘subject’.  I do hope you loved the trip.  I want a drink!

Catch you once more subsequent journey…

Take care,

NZ Pete


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