"Planet of the Titans" Revisited

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Maurice, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Missing tick? Perhaps he meant 40" underbelly?
     
  2. JJTrek4ever!

    JJTrek4ever! Lieutenant Junior Grade

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    It appears to me that trevanian is saying that ILM considered fabricating a 40' underbelly miniature for the Star Destroyer flyover but ultimately decided against it because the existing 3' SD model provided a sufficiently convincing effect as far as Lucas/Dykstra/Whoever was concerned.
     
  3. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, the giant underbelly (which I've heard described as planned to be either 30' or 40' in length) would have been built custom for the opening flyover, but Edlund kept playing with lenses while having the model guys do a superfine detailing job on the 3' model, and what you see on screen looks awfully fine indeed.

    I'm of the opinion that even the giant one wouldn't have worked as well, because you'd've had to cut before seeing the engines and the back top of the ship.
     
  4. JJTrek4ever!

    JJTrek4ever! Lieutenant Junior Grade

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    Perhaps Lucas could have used a full-frame whiteout from the weapons fire to seamlessly switch between miniatures when the mocon camera reached the stern of the 40' footer?
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, the proposed 40' underbelly. Gotcha. :)
     
  6. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that approach worked for the dive into the trench, bridging from a matte painting incorporating a still photo to the physical miniature, with lasers covering the blink.

    Or ... I think there's a bit of lens flare on the engines anyway. You could build on that, too. You could just bring a light off-camera in the right orientation to get a flare coming from above as you get near the back end of the 40' and use the big-flash moment of flare to transition out.

    I'm awash with practical solutions today, I got to spend a few hours at Laika looking at their BOX TROLLS sets and figures (I think it is the first time since 1996 and FIRST CONTACT that I've been on a model stage) and I was totally blown away by how much they get in-camera (though their CG end of things is not a bunch of slouches either. They use a couple forms of 3d printing - one of which bakes the color in throughout an object, so when you break it the color is still in there, and which has a translucency that gives you a better flesh tone than you'd expect with stop motion figures, sort of a real-world version of subsurface scattering.)
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always see the "jump" in that shot.
     
  8. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    even with the jump that may be there, that shot is brilliant filmmaking
     
  9. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    The jump isn't what bothered me about it opening day (and since, though to a lesser degree), it is that the shot looks like you're moving in on a still image for the first half (which it is.)

    The deadness of it is just so off compared with all the shots around it (and the second half, which is a great bit of rollercoastering) that I think it is something where people became so interested in solving the shot technically they let slip the point of the thing (kind of like the taun-taun across the snow near the beginning of EMPIRE - yeah, they were able to track a location plate and put a stop-motion character in, but it still didn't look RIGHT.)
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, me too. Marin County Fair July 1988? :beer:
    Bob
     
  11. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I never realized that the trench shot in Star Wars was in fact two shots tied together by a "flash" until many years later. I was so taken by dynamics of the shot that it slipped by me entirely.

    Now that I know what to look for, I see that the first half of the shot doesn't change perspective as the camera moves towards it. It's only after the "flash" that the perspective changes because the camera was actually moving around a model by that point.

    It was an audacious shot to pull off and I'm certain 99% of the viewers never realizes what's actually going on. I heartily recommend purchasing the Star Wars double issue of Cinefantastique if anyone wants to know in excruciating detail what was involved to get that film made.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's hardly the worst shot in the movie, despite the hiccup, and given the rush they were in, it's unsurprising it's not better. Most people don't know this, but during post they compressed Luke's two trench runs into one, which cut out a lot of effects shots (giveaway: "They coming in much faster this time. We can't hold them.").

    P.S. This is documented in The Making of Star Wars book and the two trench runs appear in the shooting script (not the one published in The Art of Star Wars, which was edited into a continuity script close to the finished film).
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  13. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My relationship with special effects is odd. I kind of like shots that are "so close to being perfect and yet something is still off." Unlike a lot of "perfect" shots done with computers today, it reminds me that I'm still looking at the product of human hands, but if the shot is good enough, the flaw that reminds me that's fake won't actually remove me from the artifice of the film. If the shot is badly done, I wouldn't buy into the artifice from the get go.

    An example is when I saw Batman as a kid. I could always kind of tell that the Batwing was a miniature, and, even as a kid, I could almost see them using black electrical tape on the model, and it still felt large somehow, and I bought into it, despite possible glimpses into what went into it.

    These days, if something is CG, I usually can tell, especially if there's lots of CG, and the idea that it was just done on a computer is so unimpressive despite how much more perfect it is.
     
  14. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

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    Took me more than 20 years to notice (or being pointed to me) that Kruge's fall into the lava was made in two stages too.

    When I learned that, I admired even more their craft.
     
  15. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

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    Took me more than 20 years to notice (or being pointed to me) that Kruge's fall into the lava was made in two stages too.

    When I learned that, I admired even more their craft.
     
  16. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Even THE MAKING OF STAR WARS book has got a number of errors regarding names, along with a rather glaring omission -- no mention whatsoever of ILM being closed for ten days or so in later August or early September 1977 (this is a thing apart from the shutdown they mention happening in 76 -- we're talking about the whole project being reevaluated by Fox in terms of 'maybe we shouldn't spend any more money on this movie and just write it off,' which is pretty colossal, all things considered. The CFQ article kind of throws that fact away, but my CINEFEX #65 retrospective touches on it a bit more (not TOO thorough though, the editor cut my manuscript by nearly 50% for publication, owing to a lack of good images to balance the lengthy text.)
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't have that issue of CFQ, so this is news to me. I knew Fox considered not releasing it, but not the shutdown you mention.
     
  18. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    The very first interview I did for the CINEFEX piece was with Jon Erland, and he is the one who addressed it in the long version of the article (there is probably a little bit on it in the published version.) I do remember asking Dykstra and Edlund about it, but Dykstra was definitely remembering things in a creative way, very much at odds with his earlier interviews, and about a third of my Edlund interview (nearly an hour) was inaudible, so I really don't recall what he said about it.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for clarifying the shooting script situation, because I was going to ask about that, knowing how the one in Art reads. That line did always stand out to me for exactly the reason you state, since even if they'd been talking about what they saw from above about Red Leader's trench run, one would expect them to have said it some other way, without suggesting it was something they'd personally experienced.
     
  20. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I knew the line was referencing a scene we'd never see, but I also think it works in the film as it is, as Red Leader tried it as well. It's a line that adds just that extra bit of tension.. which is sorely lacking in many modern day films