Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket, James Whistler
Louis Fleckenstein, Music Lesson, circa 1900
Tangled (2010) concept art © Claire Keane
Martin Scorsese’s recommendations to a fan and aspiring filmmaker
We’re usually sceptical over the potential merits of a 3D re-release. The Phantom Menace was a recent case in point, with no amount of flashy visuals compensating for the fact it’s still a poor film. However, we’re willing to make an exception when the film in question is Jurassic Park…
According to a BBC article, in order to achieve one aspect of the film’s extraordinary visual style, Christian Dior stockings were stretched over the camera lens to achieve a soft focus.
Sherlock Jr’s “movie within a movie”: The scenery changes around Buster Keaton very quickly. He suddenly finds himself in a doorway to a garden, on a crowded city street to on top of a rock, etc. Keaton later recalled that his cameraman, Byron Houck, had used surveying instruments to position him and the camera at the exact correct distances and positions to give the illusion of continuity as the scenes changed. Long before CGI, Keaton created a vivid world with its own laws.
Two minutes, fifty-eight seconds and well worth the time.
“I dissected all of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and stiched it back together in After Effects. I stabilized all the shots with camera movement in them. Since everything was filmed from pretty much the same angle I was able to match them into a single panoramic view of the entire backyard without any greater distortions. The order of events stays true to the movie’s plot.”
Bell & Howell Filmo № 75 (by John Kratz)
The beautiful Filmo 75 is a 16mm movie camera, produced in Chicago beginning in 1928. It was intended for amateur use, but the quality of its construction makes it easy to see why Bell & Howell cameras were the tools of choice for Hollywood studios in the early days of motion pictures.
Although rather heavy by today’s standards, the 75 was quite compact for its time, and was marketed as a ladies’ camera. Its ornate leather covering was available in Walnut Brown, Ebony Black, and Silver Birch (seen here).
10 Screenwriting tips by Billy Wilder
- The audience is fickle.
- Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.
- Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.
- Know where you’re going.
- The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
- If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
- A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.
- In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.
- The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.
- The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then—that’s it. Don’t hang around.
“iSpec” (2003) - A short film by director Joseph Kosinski which postulates the evolution of the personal media device and experience, placing the viewer within a digital recreation of the Colorado Lounge from The Shining.
Scale model of the Room 237 Bathroom set from The Shining. These small models were used to work out layout and scale issues, as well as for initial lighting tests.
Designed by art director Stephen Goosson, the city set was an elaborate miniature model that covered a ground area of 75 x 225 feet and whose tallest tower measured 40 feet.
Just Imagine’s New York was primarily inspired by architect Harvey Corbett’s prediction that 1970’s New York would resemble a “very modernized Venice” and by the futuristic urban designs presented in Hugh Ferriss’s 1929 book, The Metropolis of Tomorrow.
Ferriss’s drawings of the ”business center of the future” (pictures #3-5) provided the most direct inspiration for Goosson’s sets. Broad superhighways establish a geometric ground plan that extends upward through overlapping levels of bridges, streets, and terraced walkways. The grid of streets and bridges is pierced by huge freestanding skyscrapers surrounded by lower setback buildings, a design Ferriss created as an analogy to the natural world of “towering mountain peaks… surrounded by foothills”
The opening scenes of the (otherwise mediocre) film, which feature this cityscape, can be seen here.