Download Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film PDF

TitleLooking at Movies: An Introduction to Film
PublisherW.W. Norton & Co.
ISBN 139780393265194
CategoryArts - Film
File Size51.2 MB
Total Pages577
Document Text Contents
Page 288

263Special Effects

glass shots, matte paintings, in-camera matte shots, and
process shots.

The second category, mechanical effects, includes
objects or events that are created by artists and crafts-
people and placed on the set to be photographed. There
are, of course, endless examples of such special effects,
including the different Frankenstein masks used in
the many movies featuring that character, such as Mel
Brooks’s Young Frankenstein (1974; cinematographer
Gerald Hirschfeld; makeup artist Edwin Butterworth).
Other mechanical creatures include the beast in Ishirô
Honda’s Japanese cult film Godzilla (1954; cinematog-
rapher Masao Tamai; special effects Sadamasa Arikawa)
and the menacing shark in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws
(1975; cinematographer Bill Butler; special effects Rob-
ert A. Mattey and Kevin Pike).

Laboratory effects, the third category, involve more
complicated procedures such as contact printing and
bipack as well as blowups, cropping, pan and scan, flip
shots, split-screen shots, and day-for-night shooting.
These complex technical procedures are outside the
scope of this book, but you can find complete informa-
tion on them in the books by Raymond Fielding, Bruce
Kawin, and Ira Konigsberg.16

Computer-Generated Imagery
In the movies, computer­generated imagery (CGI) is
the application of computer graphics to create special
effects. CGI is also widely used to create enhanced im-
agery in video games, art, and print media. Since its first
use in film in the early 1970s, CGI has transformed the

16. Raymond Fielding, ed., A Technological History of Motion Pictures and Television: An Anthology from the Pages of the Journal of the Society of

Motion Picture and Television Engineers (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967); Bruce F. Kawin, How Movies Work (Berkeley: University of

California Press, 1992); and Ira Konigsberg, The Complete Film Dictionary, 2nd ed. (New York: Penguin, 1997).

Modern special effects
The special effects in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; special effects designer Kubrick; supervisors Wally Veevers, Douglas
Trumbull, Con Pe derson, and Tom Howard; cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth) took up more than 60 percent of the movie’s production
budget and required nearly eighteen months to complete. These SPFX were state of the art at the time, and they add to the movie’s
cinematic beauty and philosophical depth. Early in the movie, Dr. Heywood R. Floyd (William Sylvester), an American scientist, is dis-
patched via shuttle to Clavius, a U.S. base on the moon, to investigate reports of unusual happenings there. Here we see a pod, launched
from the shuttle, as it approaches its final landing via a platform moving down a red-lit shaft inside the base. Douglas Trumbull, whose
technological contributions to the art of the movies were acknowledged by a special Oscar in 2012, was also responsible for the astonish-
ing effects in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), and Terence Malick’s The
Tree of Life (2011).

Page 289

Chapter 6 Cinematography264

motion-picture industry, particularly the making of ani-
mated, fantasy, and science- fiction movies.

Over the next forty years, CGI improved rapidly. The
major films that first used it now seem almost as old-
fashioned as the process shot. (A process shot is made
by filming action in front of a rear-projection screen
that has on it still or moving images for the background.)
Yet certain achievements are memorable for innova-
tions that are landmarks in the development of CGI.
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; special
effects designer and director, Kubrick; supervisors Wally
Veevers, Douglas Trumbull, Con Pederson, and Tom
Howard; cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth) was the
first film to seamlessly link footage shot by the camera
with that prepared by the computer. Today, some four
decades later, its look continues to amaze audiences. In-
deed, it set a standard of technical sophistication, visual
elegance, integration with the story, and power to create
meaning that remains unsurpassed.

Today, most movies use digital imagery in one way
or another. They fall into two general types. First are
the live-action movies, such as James Cameron’s Ava-
tar or Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series, which

are greatly enhanced by CGI effects. Second are the fully
animated features, often released in 3-D. These include
Hiyao Miyazaki’s anime features such as the Toy Story,
Frozen, or Ice Age series. Animated fea tures in 3-D ap-
peal to surprisingly broad audience demographics and
are now among the highest-grossing movies of all time.
With the increasing complexity of CGI and the invest-
ment in human and technical resources required for its
production, independent companies—whose artists and
technicians usually work in consultation with the direc-
tor, production designer, and director of photography—
have become increasingly responsible for creating these
effects. This artistry, now virtually a separate industry
within the film industry, is expensive but has achieved
astonishingly realistic effects at costs acceptable to pro-
ducers. Companies include George Lucas’s Industrial
Light & Magic, Pixar Animation Studios (now a part of
Walt Disney), Blue Sky Studios (Fox), and Pacific Data
Images (DreamWorks SKG).

Motion capture (also known as motion tracking or
mocap) is a specific CGI effect in which a live-action
subject wears a bodysuit fitted with reflective markers
that enables a computer to record each movement as

A wholly convincing cyber-character
The character of Davy Jones (Bill Nighy, center), flanked by his equally frightening shipmates, made its debut in Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the
Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006; visual effects John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson, and Allen Hall). A creation of the most advanced
special effects—including 3-D computer-generated imagery and motion capture technology—Jones is a wholly convincing cyber-character,
both human and inhuman. He is a physically and morally hideous creature who uses his many supernatural powers to inflict cruelty on virtually
everyone he encounters. His head resembles an octopus whose long tentacles form a “beard.” He lacks a nose, so he breathes through a
tentacle on the left side of his face, and he has surprisingly blue eyes. Jones appears again in the third film of the Pirates of the Caribbean
series, Verbinski’s At World’s End (2007), in which he is killed.

Page 576


Warrick, Ruth, 143
Washington, Denzel, 235, 291, 303
Wasikowska, Mia, 184
Watanabe, Ken, 295
Waters, John, Polyester, 293
Watkins, James, The Woman in Black,

Watson, Alberta, 392
Watson, Emily, 435
Watts, Naomi, 69
Wavelength (Snow), 78, 81
Waxman, Franz, 389
Way Down East (Griffith), 20, 21, 41–42,

42, 52, 345, 417, 422
Wayne, John, 40, 90, 104, 150, 151, 201,

283, 291, 291, 292, 295, 303, 303n,
307, 337, 340, 344, 438

We and the I, The (Gondry), 276, 306
We Are the Lambeth Boys (Reisz), 434
Weaver, Sigourney, 390
Weaving, Hugo, 258
Weber, Billy, 326
Weber, Lois, 416

Suspense, 352
Weber, Michael H., 125
Wedding Banquet, The (A. Lee), 195, 442
Wedgwood, Thomas, 409
We Don’t Live Here Anymore (Curran),

Weerasethakul, Apichatpong, Uncle

Boonmee Who Can Recall His
Past Lives, 384, 385

Wegener, Paul, The Golem, 418
Weinstein Company, The, 483
Weir, Peter, The Truman Show, 395–96
Weis, Elisabeth, 391
Weitz, Chris, 140
Welles, Orson, 172, 180, 193, 249, 261,

273, 273n, 306n, 388, 431, 437,

Citizen Kane, 46, 52, 141, 141, 143,
148, 179, 190, 190, 194, 194, 223,
224, 226, 226, 239, 240, 240, 249,
250, 250, 265–66, 304, 306, 323,
325, 392, 397–400, 397–401, 405,
414–15, 426–28, 427, 452–53,
466, 490

The Magnificent Ambersons, 193,
249, 306, 375

Touch of Evil, 96, 251, 252, 252, 254,
261, 296

The Tragedy of Othello, 379, 379–80
War of the Worlds radio drama, 388

Wellman, William A.
The Ox-Bow Incident, 105
The Public Enemy, 93

Wells, H. G., War of the Worlds, 385–88,

Wenders, Wim
The American Friend, 436, 436
The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty

Kick, 436
Lisbon Story, 369
Paris, Texas, 436
Until the End of the World, 99

Wendy and Lucy (Reichardt), 201, 312
We Need to Talk About Kevin (Ramsay),

318, 367
We’re Not Married (Goulding), 472
West, Clare, 185
West, Mae, 284
Westerberg, Fred, 262
western genre, 89, 102–5, 103, 104, 110,

150–60, 151, 156–57, 216–17, 219
in mixed genre, 109
subgenres of, 108

Westfront (Pabst), 365
Westmore, Bud, 187
Westmore, Wally, 187
West Side Story (Robbins and Wise),

Wexler, Haskell, 450
Wexman, Virginia Wright, 301
Whale, James

Bride of Frankenstein, 102, 190, 190,
226, 227, 227, 246, 247, 389

Frankenstein, 100, 187, 189, 190, 190,
205, 205

Whales of August, The (Anderson), 290
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

(Aldrich), 285, 290
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Hall-

ström), 277
Whedon, Joss

The Avengers, 486
Much Ado About Nothing, 217

Wheel, The (Gance), 421, 421
Whelan, Tim, The Thief of Bagdad, 194
When Hollywood Had a King (Bruck),

Where Do We Go Now? (Labaki), 445
Where the Wild Things Are (Jonze), 83
Whiplash (Chazelle), 142, 143
Whishaw, Ben, 487
Whitaker, Forest, 246
White Heat (Walsh), 93, 93
White Ribbon, The (Haneke), 437
Whitlock, Cathy, 175n
Whitney, Cornelius Vanderbilt, 471
Whitney, John

Matrix I, 81
Matrix II, 81

Whole Equation, The: A History of Hol-
lywood (Thomson), 458n

Whom God Wishes to Destroy . . . : Fran-
cis Coppola and the New Holly-
wood (Lewis), 459n

Who Owns the Media? (Compaine and
Gomery), 483n

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf ?
(Nichols), 285

Wicki, Bernhard, The Longest Day, 150
wide-angle lens, 229
Widescreen Cinema (Belton), 408
Wiebe, Steve, 75
Wiene, Robert, The Cabinet of

Dr. Caligari, 100, 189, 190, 190,
191, 191, 194, 194, 220, 418,
418–19, 419

Wiese, Michael, 479n
wigs, 187, 188
Wilberforce, William, 150
Wilcox, Fred M.

Lassie Come Home, 285
Robidden Planet, 99

Wild (Vallée), 85, 271
Wild Bunch, The (Peckinpah), 105, 348,

441, 450, 450
Wilde, Hagar, 375
Wilder, Billy, 94, 94, 193, 437

Ace in the Hole, 96
The Apartment, 130
Double Indemnity, 46, 94, 128, 325,

Some Like It Hot, 109, 147, 147, 222,

Sunset Boulevard, 94, 193, 230, 230,

wild recording, 376
Wild Strawberries (Bergman), 384
Williams, Bert, 416
Williams, Chris, Big Hero Six, 86, 129
Williams, Hank, 381
Williams, John, 378, 379, 385, 387, 388,

389, 394
Williams, Michelle, 311–14, 312, 313
Willis, Bruce, 287, 486
Willis, Garry, 291n
Willis, Gordon, 214, 224, 226, 227, 450
Will Penny (Gries), 105
Wilson, Dooley, 480
Wilson, Ian, 246
Wilson, Thomas F., 13
Winchester ‘73 (Mann), 105
Wind, The (Sjöström), 281, 416
Wind Rises, The (Miyazaki), 111
Winkelvoss, Cameron and Tyler, 292
Winston, Irene, 346

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