Author Topic: Pre-CGI epic scenes.  (Read 3426 times)

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2020, 01:19:03 PM »
Waterloo - the battle scenes are epic. They used tens of thousands of actual Soviet soldiers, drilled and trained to fight according to 19th century tactics. The aerial shots are, iirc, deliberately posed to replicate the actual battle schematics.
I think you mean War And Peace, no?  That was definitely filmed with the full support of the Soviet authorities. Bondarchuk's Waterloo was shot in Spain I think.  I doubt the Russians would have been happy to ship their boys over there for a few months.

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2020, 01:33:45 PM »
I think you mean War And Peace, no?  That was definitely filmed with the full support of the Soviet authorities. Bondarchuk's Waterloo was shot in Spain I think.  I doubt the Russians would have been happy to ship their boys over there for a few months.

Waterloo was a Mosfilm production and most of the external scenes (including all of the battle sequences) were filmed in the Ukraine with members of the Soviet army.  Internal sequences and one or two exterior location sequences were filmed in Italy (some of the same stages as the 1956 War & Peace).

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2020, 01:37:45 PM »
Waterloo was a Mosfilm production and most of the external scenes (including all of the battle sequences) were filmed in the Ukraine with members of the Soviet army.  Internal sequences and one or two exterior location sequences were filmed in Italy (some of the same stages as the 1956 War & Peace).

I thought good ol' Dino di Laurentiis was the producer?

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2020, 01:46:55 PM »
I thought good ol' Dino di Laurentiis was the producer?

He was, and that's why some of it was filmed in Italy.  But the large battles sequences would've cost about ten times as much had they filmed them anywhere else, and as Mosfilm put up most of the money it meant they could tap into the Soviet government to provide land and extras. 

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2020, 02:11:33 PM »
He was, and that's why some of it was filmed in Italy.  But the large battles sequences would've cost about ten times as much had they filmed them anywhere else, and as Mosfilm put up most of the money it meant they could tap into the Soviet government to provide land and extras.
Oh right.  I'm surprised the Brezhnev-era USSR was happy to encourage such close co-operation.  War And Peace had won the foreign film Oscar so perhaps they felt they owed the West a favour.

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2020, 02:23:57 PM »

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2020, 02:25:13 PM »
Oh right.  I'm surprised the Brezhnev-era USSR was happy to encourage such close co-operation.  War And Peace had won the foreign film Oscar so perhaps they felt they owed the West a favour.

Despite the subject matter in a lot of the films Mosfilm put out (especially those by the likes of Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin and Tarkovsky), the government invested in and supported them massively, all the way through until the USSR disbanded, and there was also an element of the money and work involved in (particularly Western hemisphere English language) film productions being very welcome - the stereotypical comedy view of one American dollar being enough to buy a whole house over there at the time probably wasn't a million miles off reality.

notjosh

  • Golden Member
  • *****
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2020, 03:58:58 PM »
Speaking of Napoleon, the 1927 Abel Gance film is properly epic. If you ever get a chance to see it with the intended 3-screen projection system (either stitched together to make one wide image, or juxtaposing different scenes) then make sure you take it.



I remember the battle scenes in this being outstanding, but the best bit is the opening scene in which a young Napoleon commands a snowball fight.

kalowski

  • the Zone of Zero Funkativity
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2020, 04:17:42 PM »
In this scene from the thoroughly racist Gone with the Wind I read somewhere they did cleverly print actors all over the screen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSEVyzKmlyU
If not, it's a cracker!

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2020, 04:37:13 PM »
In this scene from the thoroughly racist Gone with the Wind I read somewhere they did cleverly print actors all over the screen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSEVyzKmlyU
If not, it's a cracker!

Later referenced by Sergio Leone in Once Upon A Time In The West.

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2020, 05:32:11 PM »
The cropduster scene from North By Northwest (1959)

The making of
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS8swCK8jq4

Attila

  • gif made by hedgehog90
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2020, 05:49:50 PM »
Speaking of Napoleon, the 1927 Abel Gance film is properly epic. If you ever get a chance to see it with the intended 3-screen projection system (either stitched together to make one wide image, or juxtaposing different scenes) then make sure you take it.



I remember the battle scenes in this being outstanding, but the best bit is the opening scene in which a young Napoleon commands a snowball fight.

I got to see this in London about 8 years ago, and they had a live orchestra. It took most of the day, because there were three intermissions. Up until the final sequence, everything was just projected on this square screen that was bounded by curtains, but when the triptych part came, the curtains parted to reveal the other two screens. We all went nuts as a crowd - absolutely exhausting and amazing experience.

The guy responsible for stitching together the film released an intial version of it in 1983; my history teacher took the class to see it, but my mother wouldn't let me go (it was playing at the local indie theatre, the one every university town has that shows Rocky Horror every Friday night, &c) because she was absolutely convinced I would be kidnapped/corrupted/turned into a drug addict the moment I set foot inside of it. I was really upset, and she said something along the lines of 'Oh it's not that important, it'll come around again.'

Yeah, I just had to wait til 2012. I did meet matey at that showing in London, tho, and he signed a book for me, 'Got there in the end' :)

So, yeah, agreed -- if you can see it, do it. It was meant to be the first of a trilogy!

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2020, 07:29:29 PM »
The Conquistadors coming down the mountain at the start of Aguirre. God bless Herzog and his total disregard for health and safety.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dbBur_bSUE

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2020, 08:35:03 PM »
This number from Dames is from fucking 1934 and astonishing how they did it without CGI or even more modern film techniques

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P76cUtCGRQs

Wonder if that inspired the video to Let Forever Be?

Even more incredible - though subtly so - is this amazing shot from Wings, which I assume was done with some combo of a ceiling track and furniture on wheels. Also note pre-Hayes Code lesbian couple.

That inspired this scene from The Last Jedi, which chops up the tracking shot with generic close-ups so we can admire the props and costumes, but in any case is so chaotic and busy that it doesn't really communicate anything other than "It's a rich casino like in them Bond films".

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2020, 08:42:44 PM »
Speaking of Napoleon, the 1927 Abel Gance film is properly epic. If you ever get a chance to see it with the intended 3-screen projection system (either stitched together to make one wide image, or juxtaposing different scenes) then make sure you take it.



I remember the battle scenes in this being outstanding, but the best bit is the opening scene in which a young Napoleon commands a snowball fight.

Fucking hell, that sounds amazing!

notjosh

  • Golden Member
  • *****
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #45 on: June 16, 2020, 09:00:49 PM »
I got to see this in London about 8 years ago, and they had a live orchestra. It took most of the day, because there were three intermissions. Up until the final sequence, everything was just projected on this square screen that was bounded by curtains, but when the triptych part came, the curtains parted to reveal the other two screens. We all went nuts as a crowd - absolutely exhausting and amazing experience.

Probably the one I was at too. Royal Festival Hall? Very memorable occasion, though in my head the entire thing was in glorious widescreen!

Fucking hell, that sounds amazing!

It's available on blu-ray now, but obviously doubt it would match the theatrical experience. Another good place to see triple-projector films is at the annual Widescreen Weekend at Bradford's Media Museum (mooted for October this year). They usually have at least two Cinerama films as well as a mixture of 70mm and digital restorations. Much of it the kind of stuff discussed in this thread.

Bad Ambassador

  • Sit down, Mario!
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #46 on: June 17, 2020, 12:13:36 AM »
I believe the Blu-ray is a three-disc set, allowing you to play all three on three screens to get the triptych effect.

H-O-W-L

  • Front Toward Enemy
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #47 on: June 17, 2020, 06:03:14 AM »
Surely the Graveyard in its entirety from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly qualifies since it was totally constructed by hand?

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #48 on: June 17, 2020, 09:18:44 AM »
The minecart sequence in Temple of Doom still looks great, with only a few shots being blatantly bluescreened

It was only when I watched a IJATTOD making of doc a few years ago that I realised the bits where they're fighting and wrestling Short Round between the carts were done by stop motion animation. Can't unsee it now, unfortunately.

The biggest cheer I've ever heard in a cinema auditorium was when the mine cart landed on the other side of the chasm.

buzby

  • Member
  • **
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #49 on: June 17, 2020, 11:28:39 AM »
Wonder if that inspired the video to Let Forever Be?
Gondry is very much a fan of Busby Berkleley's musical choreography (see also hia earlier video for Daft Punk's  Around The World), so any similarity with the 'Only Have Eyes For You' segment of Dames was almost certainly intentional. See this comparison of the video played alongside clips from Dames for just how much of an influence it was. He was disappointed not to be asked to direct La La Land too.

The other main influence was the 1975 Granada production of The Kinks' rock opera Starmaker. He has also referenced the visual effect of the 1970s BBC TV shows use of fuzzy analogue VT for studio work and crisp 16mm for location shoots as an inspiration, and used the technique for Let Forever Be to illustrate the difference between the girl's dream state and reality.

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #50 on: June 17, 2020, 12:18:32 PM »

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #51 on: June 17, 2020, 01:24:43 PM »
It was the 30th anniversary of Dick Tracy the other day (and Gremlins 2 (and Days of Thunder but who cares)). I know it's an acquired taste with its thin plot and hammy performances, but I still think it's the best looking American comic book movie ever made.






notjosh

  • Golden Member
  • *****
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #52 on: June 17, 2020, 01:54:38 PM »
It was the 30th anniversary of Dick Tracy the other day (and Gremlins 2)

I read an excellent oral history of the latter on the day, and there's some good stuff about the difficulty of the practical effects across both movies. It also mentions that the release date was moved by Warner Bros to compete directly with Dick Tracy and prevent it from toppling the box office record set by Batman a year prior. They needn't have bothered, judging by the results.

Attila

  • gif made by hedgehog90
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #53 on: June 17, 2020, 11:32:46 PM »
Surely the Graveyard in its entirety from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly qualifies since it was totally constructed by hand?

You can still see it (or the remains of it) via Google maps!

Re: Napoleon -- it was autumn 2012 on the south bank -- I think it was the RFH; I'd have to look it up in my diary. Deffo a central screen, then two side screens revealed in the big final moments. Deffo one that really needs to be seen in a theatre; I've seen clips and stuff on my (fairly large) computer screen, and it's nowhere near the immersive experience.

Blumf

  • Not long now
    • IGNORE ME!!!
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #54 on: June 18, 2020, 09:56:39 AM »
You can still see it (or the remains of it) via Google maps!

https://goo.gl/maps/shhtP3nLXxWK3gAL8

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #55 on: June 19, 2020, 09:34:21 PM »
The minecart sequence in Temple of Doom still looks great, with only a few shots being blatantly bluescreened.

I'm not a big fan of Indiana Jones because it's all just chases and fisticuffs, but I think those films provide strong evidence for the superiority of practical effects. For the first time in years, I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark last night and it seems to me that most of the film's entertainment value lies in the fact that the stunts are real. Well, that and the giggling cartoon Nazi.

As a side note, the film was surprisingly violent. More bloody headshots and graphic skewerings than you would see in a family adventure film nowadays. Indy generally doesn'think twice about killing people. He isn't particularly upset when he believes that Marion is dead either.

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #56 on: June 19, 2020, 10:26:50 PM »
As a side note, the film was surprisingly violent. More bloody headshots and graphic skewerings than you would see in a family adventure film nowadays. Indy generally doesn'think twice about killing people. He isn't particularly upset when he believes that Marion is dead either.

Spielberg was treated extremely leniently by film classification boards prior to Temple of Doom. If Jaws had been released in 1965 rather than '75 it would have been an X-cert in the UK for sure.  I don't know if it was the studios putting pressure on the boards, but when The Exorcist came out it can't have been only Pauline Kael who was incredulous that it got away with an R rating in the US and questioned whether that would have been the case if it hadn't come from a big studio. 

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #57 on: June 19, 2020, 10:30:50 PM »
Similarly, the office in The Apartment, which I believe used a combination of dwarves and magic.


And Jaques Tati's Playtime


Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #58 on: June 19, 2020, 10:36:26 PM »
Spielberg was treated extremely leniently by film classification boards prior to Temple of Doom. If Jaws had been released in 1965 rather than '75 it would have been an X-cert in the UK for sure.  I don't know if it was the studios putting pressure on the boards, but when The Exorcist came out it can't have been only Pauline Kael who was incredulous that it got away with an R rating in the US and questioned whether that would have been the case if it hadn't come from a big studio. 

Jaws was actually upped from PG to 12 following its 4K restoration in 2012 (or whenever it was) - not too many instances of that.

I'm amazed it was given a PG in the first place, let alone retained it for so long in subsequent BBFC submissions.  It also survived numerous pre-watershed airings completely uncut ("shit"s and all) for a hella long time.

Re: Pre-CGI epic scenes.
« Reply #59 on: June 19, 2020, 10:59:18 PM »
ET had a U-certificate despite 'penis-breath', the old joke about Uranus (which was actually new to me) and I think a 'shit' or two.

Tags: