Thursday, January 20, 2011

Children of the Hydra's Teeth - Part Three

I have an 16mm print of "Jason & The Argonauts".  The one time I screened it, the film was absolutely beautiful as though it had only been run once or twice before and was kept in pristine condition.

HD is great, a bigger jump than VHS to DVD.  DVDs, for all their positives need to be properly produced otherwise they wind up full of artifacting and compression issues.  Not to sound like an old codger, but man oh man, nothing times a well projected film.  Even 16mm.

When we last left Jason, he was standing in shock as he watched the Children of the Hydra's Teeth pop from the earth.

This is followed by a close up of the "villain" King Aeetes.

Villain in quotes.  One thing that is very clear in the film -again great scriptwriting -is that Aeetes is merely defending his kingdom.  The true villains are the gods who use their powers to play games with Men.

Then cut back to the wideshot.  Again, this a rear project.  The live action was filmed first.  The stage was built to fit with the projected image of the live.  The animation was done (frame by frame) to match with the projected image and both were shot simultaneously to create the composite image.

Again, cut from wide shot with live and animation to close of animation only.

The skeleton warrior emerges and we cut back:

On the action, to our wide shot.

The skeleton begins to pop out in the close, his action finishes in the wide.

(and other)  This sort of thing is "Filmmaking 101", but all too often -especially in animation we see devices like this -cutting on an action -ignored.

Then, a cut to another of Jason's crew.  Tempo-wise, visually, this could have easily been another shot of Jason.  Storywise, we needed to be reminded that he's got some other guys with him.

Here, the cut serves many purposes: Intercut between "bad guys" and "good guys", shift in visual dynamic from wide to tight (this is a big part of "tempo" in editing), positioning the individual human face against the army of skeletons -a very important aspect of the sequence, a reminder of the faces in Jason's crew, and a grounding reality to mix with the previous effects shots.

More to come...

No comments: