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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
 
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  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

10. SPECIAL EFFECTS


The initial script for Temple of Doom was delivered to ILM just as the facility was finishing work on Return of the Jedi. Muren, Franklin and Johnston reviewed the script in detail, broke it down into possible effects sequences and then developed recommendations on whether particular ideas should be conveyed with physical effects, miniatures or opticals, what respective costs might be, and whether the idea was cinematically sound in the first place. These recommendations were then presented to Lucas and Spielberg, executive producer Frank Marshall and associate producer Kathleen Kennedy in several initial storyboard conferences. First the ideas were fleshed out into often-spectacular sequences, and then necessarily reduced to something that could actually be done with the amount of time and money available.

Some sequences were dropped and others added or expanded. A minor mine car escape became a chase of major proportions in the final film. An aerial dogfight that had most of the principals very excited was ultimately dropped as too costly and impractical. Other sequences which could have been very labor-intensive were reevaluated and either simplified or streamlined. One such involved Indy's escape by auto from the nightclub in Shanghai. The principal action was for the midnight chase was filmed in the back streets of Macao by second unit director Mickey Moore-with plans to dispatch another unit, either to Macao or Hong Kong for supplemental plate photography which would later be blue screened into interior shots of the vehicle.


10.1 MAKE-UP



TOM SMITH Make-up Artist: "One shouldn't really notice make-up at all. If you're sitting in a seat in the movies and you notice it, you have a failure on your hands. It should be something one might think about in retrospect, but not something one should be conscious of in the movie theatre.

"There were half a dozen rotting corpses to create and a few dummies - one sitting on a spiked gate and another hanging from a beam, virtually eaten away.

"The headdress for Mola Ram, the Thuggee High Priest, was an interesting challenge. I was shown drawings of it by the costume designer. They were scouring all over the place trying to locte real horns, which weigh a ton, and the whole design was becoming difficult to manage. Especially as the actor would arrive at 7 o'clock in the moring and had to be ready on the set by 8:30 every day.

"I set about simplifying thew hole thing and did four clay mock-ups of the shrunken head that's fastened to it. The headdress was like the skull of an animal, based on a steer's head, and I used bony formation, rather than horns, which also acted as an anchor for the hair of the shrunken head. We actually plugged the hair in with a needle, directly into the latex, to create the effect of correct density in such a small area."


10.2 PIGEON FLAMBE



GEORGE GIBBS Mechanical Effects Supervisor: "In the nightclub, Indy picks up a sort of spit with flaming pigeons on it and hurls the whole kebab into the chest of one of the gunmen. Steven Spielberg was keen that the spit actually concertina into the gunman's chest and that the pigeons crushed up with it. So we made the birds out of foam, which solved the crushing problem, and constructed the spit out of a car aerial that was about two feet long.

"The scene was shot in several cuts. The gunman has a balsa wood pad concealed under his shirt with a wire going from the pad towards Harrison Ford. Harrison throws the flaming spit, which travels down the wire, sticks in the pad and flames shoot up in front of the victim's chest. Then we rush in with the fire extinguishers."


10.3 THE PLANE CRASH


 
 

Having eluded their pursuers Indy, Willie and Short Round board a Ford Trimotor cargo plane bound for India. Since only part of the required aerial footage could be obtained with the vintage aircraft procured for the show, the Trimotor flying scenes were augmented at ILM with miniatures and motion control photography. The model aircraft nearly three feet long and intricately detailed was constructed by model makers Mike Fulmer and Ira Keeler. Originally intended for use in the later-discarded dogfight sequence, the craft was actually overbuilt considering the limited use to which it was ultimately put.

full-size cockpit was also constructed-mainly by Lance Brackett, Ed Reymond and Dave Childers- and mounted on inner tube-like blades whose pressures could be controlled to simulate movement in the air. The blue screens filmed with the actors in the cockpit were composited with actual aerial footage photographed by Jack Cooperman ASC.

En route to its destination, the plane passes over the Great Wall of China. Not only the aircraft itself was a miniature, but so was the Great Wall, a large-scale forced perspective landscape constructed in the ILM model shop. Since the shot was scheduled for later in the production, and since ILM became overloaded with work on Indiana Jones, Star Trek III and The Neverending Story, Dennis Muren opted to give the scene out to Dream Quest Images, an up and coming effects facility which had previously handled some of the scenes from E.T.

The miniature aircraft and set were shipped to Dream Quest's Culver City headquarters, with Muren and Lorne Peterson flying down to supervise the setup. Dream Quest programmer Michael Bigelow devised the flowing air-to-air simulation over the Great Wall and also the flight trajectory of the Trimotor. Photographed separately by Hoyt Yeatman, plane and landscape elements were optically combined at Dream Quest and the results were shipped back to ILM. The scene was shot in smoke with the entire thing backlit to look like early morning. Originally it was intended, as background imagery for an animated route map but it was found sufficiently impressive that it was ultimately left intact for much of its running time, with the map dissolved in over only its final moments.

Abandoned by its crew and out of fuel the plane starts an ill-fated route to the mountain slopes ahead. At first the plan was to have the mountain totally covered in snow, but by the time they got around to shooting the cockpit's POV somewhere up in the Sierras, a lot of the snow had melted. As a result, they had to build a miniature that looked pretty much the same. So, they created a whole mountain top from coal on the roof of the ILM building. When the mountain was made it was covered with baking soda and micro balloons. Then they rigged up a wire so that the plane would come in and just skim the top, the wheels would spin, and the snow would fly.

Originally, the three-foot miniature was to have been sacrificed. Fabricated from thin sheets of corrugated aluminum over an inner structure of brass, it had been given a deliberately weakened styrene nose section designed to collapse on impact. Upon further consideration, however, it was decided to build a second model half the size of the first in order to avoid a mountain-building project of major proportions. As it was, Peterson and his crew still had to construct a mountain range about twenty feet across by twenty feet deep. Though the simplest approach would have been to rig a pair of wires and fly the small-scale Trimotor right into the mountain, Muren feared that after impact the wires might still hold up parts of the debris, ruining the shot. It was therefore decided to construct a five-foot-long pneumatic ram that would pull the plane into the mountain, crushing the fuselage and collapsing the wings. So in the beginning of the shot, they used wires to fly the plane but just before it hit the mountain, they jump cut to the plane being pulled into the mountain by the ram. Since the plane was out of fuel, they didn't think it should explode on impact and so they filmed it. Later though, after cutting the shot in, Spielberg and Lucas thought it needed to explode in order to keep the action moving. By this time, however, it was too late to rebuild the set and restage the crash. So they went with what they had and optical matted in one of their stock explosions. Since then Muren found out that when a plane runs out of fuel there's so much vapor left that it does explode.

Managing to escape the airplane's fate the trio employees a life raft as a parachute and after a frantic slalom their raft goes over a cliff and down into a gorge hundred of feet deep passes through a series of white water rapids before drifting to a stop. The racing-down-the-snow shot was done in California, near the ski resort of Mammoth Mountain. Stunt arranger Glenn Randall supervised long shots of the raft with stuntmen, and an ILM team consisted of Dennis Muren, Mike Owens and Kim Marks shot plates for later blue screen insertion of the principal players. The scene where the raft goes over the cliff was shot in Idaho, on the Snake River Canyon. For this shot they had to do a matte painting around it because in the actual shot there were houses and a city in the upper part of the frame. Since the plate was photographed with a very long lens and there was a lot of aerial haze, it turned out to be quite difficult getting the painting to match into it, and they were also trying to work in a tilt. What followed was a day on a white water river with the principals. Actually there was very little effects work - it was either doubles or the real actors in the real situations, though there were a couple of blue-screen shots of the principals in the snow, because there wasn't any snow at the time of filming.


10.4 LIFE RAFT



Managing to escape the airplane's fate the trio employees a life raft as a parachute and after a frantic slalom their raft goes over a cliff and down into a gorge hundred of feet deep passes through a series of white water rapids before drifting to a stop. The racing-down-the-snow shot was done in California, near the ski resort of Mammoth Mountain. Stunt arranger Glenn Randall supervised long shots of the raft with stuntmen, and an ILM team consisted of Dennis Muren, Mike Owens and Kim Marks shot plates for later blue screen insertion of the principal players. The scene where the raft goes over the cliff was shot in Idaho, on the Snake River Canyon. For this shot they had to do a matte painting around it because in the actual shot there were houses and a city in the upper part of the frame. Since the plate was photographed with a very long lens and there was a lot of aerial haze, it turned out to be quite difficult getting the painting to match into it, and they were also trying to work in a tilt. What followed was a day on a white water river with the principals. Actually there was very little effects work - it was either doubles or the real actors in the real situations, though there were a couple of blue-screen shots of the principals in the snow, because there wasn't any snow at the time of filming.


10.5 PANKOT PALACE


 
 
 

For a distant view of the young maharajah's palace at Pankot Pangrazio - along with Evans - rendered a full-frame painting. Disappointed with the on-screen results, Pangrazio and his unit prepared a cutout silhouette of the palace, erected it on a nearby hilltop and photographed it with the sun setting behind. The basic castle shape was next rotoscoped onto a pane of glass, to which Pangrazio added highlights and a few details. Matte cameraman Craig Barron then combined the painting with the latent image plate to produce a hazy backlit effect.


10.6 THE BANQUET



FRANK MARSHALL Executive Producer: "We had a lot of fun with the banquet scene, everything from eyeball soup to chilled monkey brains. The soup was a tomato soup with eyeballs that were stuck to the bottom of the dish with putty. It looked like regular tomato soup, but when Willie stirred it the eyeballs came floating to the surface. The eyeballs were fake, of course. So were the monkey heads which were modeled and cast and the brains made of whipped cream with vegetable coloring.

"Also in the banquet sequence was a boa constrictor filled with eels! Our young Maharaja had a lot of trouble with the eels. He didn't want to stay at the table too long, even though this was supposed to be his favorite meal!"


10.7 BOILING LAVA / SACRIFICE


 
 

When Indy and his companions make their way into the subterranean temple they discover an elaborate sacrificial altar where the villainous demagogue Mola Ram is preparing to offer up a victim to the goddess, Kali. Peripheral to the altar area is a crescent-shaped fissure of molten lava, represented on the live-action stage by a ten-foot-deep pit with red-gelled lights upturned from below. For the majority of the scenes, where the chasm itself was out of frame, these lights and some attendant steam generators were sufficient to suggest the boiling magma. About a dozen shots, however, from five or six different angles, did call for the lava to be on view, and for these the plan was to add the molten effect optically in postproduction. They ended up using a mixture of glycerin and water that they lit from below with gelled lights. A mixture of plastic chips and cork was used to suggest opaque solids floating on the molten magma. Amusingly, one of the things chief model maker Charlie Bailey tried when there was still an expectation of creating lava that could be front lit was a combination of vanilla pudding and fluorescent dyers. The resultant goop actually came close to being the correct color and viscosity, but did not have quite the right glow and intensity. It was however a major attraction to the mouse population which would come out of the woodwork at night to dine on the unexpected treat.

DENNIS MUREN Visual Effects Supervisor: "The boiling lava pit proved very, very difficult to get right. I don't think there's ever been a movie with actual boiling, bursting lava attempted before. Usually, it's crusted over lava - just red with black bits on the top. But we wanted to see it alive, molten, percolating. You can't possibly do it with the real thing because it would melt anything you had nearby, so we used a number of different techniques and liquids with clever lighting.

"The set we built for the lava pit was almost half scale, and even then it was over 30 feet high, with giant pumps to circulate the liquid. We chose glycerine, which is clear, but we colored it and it appears to be almost glowing in the right lighting. In the script, they actually lower somebody into the lava, and we tried that. But it didn't work; it showed up as glycerine. So we tried again using a blue screen element of the cage going in with a lot of rotoscoping work and steam all over the place. It's an extremely ambitious effect, one of the most ambitious we've ever actually done.

"Probably the main problem was working out the right scale to operate on, and that was governed to some extent by the liquid. Water proved useless and so did much thicker liquids. Eventually, we settled on having to work at a huge scale with miniature puppets three feet high as the sacrificial victims. It took 25 people to shoot this scene, at slightly high speed rather than stop motion. and we took perhaps 30 or 40 cuts of it. That's what it took to make it all look real."


 
 
 

Returning to the film, a section of the floor opens at the base of the altar and from the extended arms of Kali's statue a torture rack with a person inside is lowered down a narrow shaft about sixty-feet into swirling vortex lava. A thirty-foot-tall lava pit was erected over a ten-foot diameter plexiglas vortex through which nearly five tons of glyserine was circulated by heavy-duty industrial pumps. Initially, the pit was very narrow, just barely wider than the rack, in fact. But that turned out to be not very interesting, because if someone looked down, all he would see was a little hole at the bottom. They changed the design of the shot so that as the rack went down, the shaft opened up into a bigger chasm; and as it approached it, it got larger and larger and eventually filled the frame. Twenty-six people were involved in the vortex shoot, and with the heavy-duty pumps roaring, communications headsets were required so that Muren, thirty feet in the air and watching the proceedings on a video monitor, could keep in constant contact with his stage crew and with Mike Owens who was directing the action from below.

As the ceremony reached its climax, Mola Ram's sacrificial offering, had to be shown having his still-beating heart plucked out of its arteries and descend into swirling inferno. To achieve the first effect David Sosalla took a quick body cast off a model maker, who was physically similar to the Punjab character, as it came to be known by the crew. He vacuformed an understructure and laid foam and latex over that. The mechanics were real simple. It was just a matter of putting some plastic slides underneath the skin and attaching them to cable controls that Sosalla had in his fingers. When the hand was inserted, Sosalla had only to pull on the cables and the hand could slip right into the chest cavity. For the healing shot that follows, he just used the mechanism without the hand going through and shot in reverse. For the second effect a thirty-inch was built. Inside the puppet was a mechanism that enabled the arms and head to move realistically. They shot the rack and the puppet against blue screen and matte that into a background plate of just the lava alone. The result ended up being too gruesome. Nobody could keep his eyes on the screen so Spielberg asked to put some flames and smoke to obliterate the effect, especially at the moment of contact. In real life, if a person came into contact with lava like that would just blow up; all the water in his body would just vaporize. A second puppet was created for the scenes of Willie being lowered in the lava pit.


10.8 THE MOST EXPENSIVE TRAIN SET IN THE WORLD


 
 
 

 

One of the most difficult scenes to create was our heroes' attempt to escape from the temple of doom in a runaway mine car. In the original script, they just got in the mine car and run through the tunnel and got out at the end of it. Only a few key sequences were laid out. Everything in-between was devised by Spielberg, Joe Johnston, Dennis and Mike McAlister-how it was going to happen and little tricks and situations the characters would get into until the end of the ride. ILM had basically the same situation with the speeder bike chase in Return of the Jedi. It kept expanding and expanding until it became the film's showcase piece.

Originally, the thought was for the scene to be created entirely blue screen. Johnston and McAlister based on the storyboards created quick-and-dirty enactments employing the most rudimentary of sets and props and recorded them expeditiously on videotape. These videotaped enactments, called at the time videomatics, were actually the predecessors of today's animatics. They used brown wrapping paper to quickly throw up some walls, added some railroad tracks that they bought in a hobby shop, and used toy cars and toy figures to quickly go through the maggot motions of the shots. They didn't try to finesse them in any way, but just tried to translate the storyboards into something that could be cut into the movie to give a feeling for the pace. It turned out to be really valuable. The videomatics were given to Spielberg and he could then cut the sequence together. A lot of changes were made on the basis of what he learned. The sequence was restructured; things were cut and the design of some of the shots was altered. So basically, the videomatics gave him a chance to firm up his ideas.

Muren, who was in England, got them done just in time because Spielberg was ready to go on the set and start shooting, and by that time he had decided to do as much as he could over there and not do it bluescreen. So he really got into it and came up with ways to shoot that sequence, mainly by under cranking and shaking the camera a lot, by that he gave more of a documentary look about it. Spielberg spent quite a while on this set, shooting primary close-ups but also some of the longer shots that he was able to get in the limited space available. Naturally, he was doing everything he could to make it look as good as possible, and so he threw in steam and gushers and all kinds of things to make it look better- which made it a lot harder for Muren to match up. He ended up getting over half the sequence on that set, and it was really valuable for the ILM artists to have all that, both as a guideline and for inspiration.

It was decided to do the sequence stop-motion where everything is sort of moving along. Right away, though, he found that scale was going to be a major factor. They wanted to do shots where the camera's traveling along with the cars for long distances, so they would figure a rough scale for the cars and then calculate how far it would need to go for a four-second cut, depending on the speed they were trying to suggest. What they ended up was a miniature set larger than one hundred feet while their stage was only eighty feet long. The only way around was to make everything very small.

A major project by itself was the creation of the mine car's passengers, which would be stop-motion animated by Tom St Amand during the miniature shoot. They built eight animation puppets, Indy, Willie, Shorty and several bad guys and on these puppets, it was critical that the arms be able to move naturally, as well as the legs.

DENNIS MUREN Visual Effects Supervisor: "Much of the mine car chase sequence was shot in England on a full size set. But for the longer shots, where you need to see a lot of the set and where the mine cars are going around corners and down steep drops in dangerous situations, we used miniatures on a very small scale. The figure of Indiana Jones, for example, was perhaps ten inches tall and yet some of these miniature sets still ended up being well over fifty feet in length.

"We made two sets of mine cars in different scales. The small ones of course, and some larger for high speed shots where we actually had to shoot with real models flying through the air. The smaller ones we were shooting stop motion using animated puppets, but when they come off the rails we have to be able to shoot at high speed.

"In shooting the miniatures, we used Nikon still cameras. I wanted to keep the scale down as far as possible to reduce the length of the sets and it occured to me that we could use a Nikon. Mike McAlister, who shot all the miniature sequences, worked on ways to steady the Nikon and put a larger magazine on it. Everything was dictated by the smallest camera we could devise, and it worked great. We could have spent $100,000 on building a special new camera, but a slightly modified 35mm Nikon with 30 feet of Vistavision film shooting at one frame per second worked perfectly.

"We shot single frame stop motion so that Tom St. Amand could animate the puppets each shot, and eventually Bruce Nicholson, who did the optical work, put a little "shake" into each element. This matched in with the live action footage shot in England on the full size set, where everything was shot "shaking" on that sequence to give the impression of speed and danger, as if the cameraman was actually in jeopardy shooting it."


10.9 WATER


 
 

Midway through the mine car chase, Mola Ram gives an order for the giant water tank, a thirty-foot-tall cistern dominating Elliot Scott's massive ore processing set, to be overturned, thus flooding the cave and all vital escape passages. Creating such a deluge in full-scale would have been both difficult and dangerous. Therefore it was decided to make the effect with miniatures, but miniatures proved to be a relative term when it came to executing this effect. Outside, in the ILM parking lot, stage technicians under the supervision of Patrick Fitzsimmons constructed a basic framework for the quarter-scale replica, a giant twenty-five feet wide by thirty feet long and eighteen feet high. Looming over the set was a 1300-gallon water tank, some eight feet in diameter and about six feet in depth, rigged with a pin that could be pulled to tip over and flood the cave. Since the tank was to unleash about 11000 pounds of water against the miniature cave walls, the basic aluminum foil structures had to be sprayed on the backside with a type of roofing urethane and then further reinforced with a foam and lumber superstructure. The floor of the cave was heavy-duty urethane foam spread over a shock-absorbing bed of moist sand. More importantly, the crew dug down three feet into the asphalt and poured concrete piers as if they were constructing a building. In fact, as the set began taking shape, people passing-by were heard to comment that they thought ILM had decided to build condominiums on the property.

The collapse of the water tank initiates a whole of water in the tunnel shots requiring a second large-scale parking lot setup. The principal tunnel structure for these scenes was pieced together from sections of four-foot diameter sonotube, heavily reinforced and wedged up against the outside of the studio, which acted like a brace. Once the basic twenty-four-feet structure was completed, by stagehands Bod Finley, Dave Childers and Harold Cole, it was elevated on one end and connected via a chute to a large dump tank with a simple trap-door mechanism that could release more than 5000 pounds of water on cue. Then the project was turned over to Lorne Peterson's crew. Inside the tubes, they built the tunnel structures from urethane foam and real rocks. In fact, they spent a lot of time finding rocks that looked good at that scale. The problem was that as they built up the tunnels, the four-feet diameter got narrower and narrower to the point where only Randy Ottenberg and Marc Thorpe, two of the smaller model builders, could get in there to work. In addition to building the basic wall and rock structures, they cast up a bunch of old beat-up fifty-gallon drums that varied in scale from four-and-a-half inches to seven inches high. When the water came through, some of those barrels would get swept up and hit a rock or something and go tumbling right by the camera lens. They also had lanterns, baskets and strings of electric lights. Hand blown glass bulbs were made up, complete with frosted glass and halogen light sources, and each one of them waterproofed and sealed with silicone. Actually, the same types of bulbs were used earlier in the mine car chase. After each of the six water shots, the set was cleared out and redressed so as to seem like an altogether different area.

Indy and company manages to escape from the caves only to find themselves on the brink of a sheer precipice, the wall of water churning close behind them. Scrambling onto a rocky ledge, they clear the opening just as the water reaches it. The master of Willie and Shorty in one side and Indy on the other is a large matte painting. The area immediately around the opening was an insert set shot in England and the river was filmed on location in the Grand Canyon by cameraman Robert Elswit. One of the major difficulties involved just finding a river, with a sheer wall next to it that followed a north-south direction and therefore got enough sunlight to film. The following shot a closer view as the water bursts through, involved yet a third parking lot miniature again with a large tank positioned behind it. More than five thousand pounds of water traveling twenty or twenty-five feet down a four-foot diameter sonotube and then chocking down to an eighteen-by-eighteen inch opening in the face of the cliff as it exits were involved. They wanted to have a mine car come flying out of the cave ahead of the water, so they put a miniature car near the opening, but the water was traveling so fast at that point that it bypassed the mine car, defeating the effect. In an effort to make the effect work they came up with a trigger mechanism using something like surgical tubing to launch the mine car and increase its speed just before the water hit. They believed that by triggering the mechanism when the water was three or four feet away the water would catch up to it just about the time it reached the opening and it would look like it was being pushed out ahead of the water. Before the shot they set up nets to catch the mine car. They calculated the force of the water and the trajectory of the mine car after the mechanism shot it and decided to play it safe and move the nets out a bit further. When they finally did the shot, the mine car shot out of the opening, passed about four feet over the top of the net, hit up against the side of the building and smashed in zillion pieces.


10.11 ROPE BRIDGE DUMMIES



GEORGE GIBBS Mechanical Effects Supervisor: "Originally, the rope bridge dummies were going to be made in America but one day Frank Marshall asked me if we could do it. I said we could, although I didn't have a clue how we were going to go about it. We had less than six weeks to create sixteen dummies which had to move realistically when the bridge was cut.

"I didn't have time to take plaster casts of the actors, so I just used ordinary tailor's dummies from which we made molds filled with soft foam and tubular frame. I worked with Richard Conway, a long time associate of mine, to figure out the best way to create movement. Radio control was one possibility but we were after reliability and simplicity. And we decided the best way to do it was to use pneumatic air rams attached to small medical oxygen bottles.

"We had a tower built at the back of the studio, about 60 feet high and tested them by throwing them off the tower. They turned out so well it was unbelievable - their legs an arms waving about and heads wobbling.

"Next, was coming up with a reliable trigger mechanism. We didn't use any fancy ideas, because when that bridge was cut everything had to work. There would be no second chances. We installed wedges between spring loaded contact plates and attached the wedges to the handrail of the bridge. When I cut the bridge, I fired the handrails first. This pulled the wedges out from the contact plates.

"For a few split seconds, just before the main bridge gave way, the cameras caught these dummies actually standing on the bridge waving. And as they fell into the river below, their limbs jerking around like crazy, they actually started swimming...they could have been real people. It was an incredible effect, one I am quite proud of."


10.12 MOLA RAM'S DEATH


The death of Mola Ram not as great as the one Belloq had in the first film was very difficult to stage. "You actually see him falling down the cliff face and the camera follows him all the way down," remembered St. Amand. "He hits the cliff two or three times and then careens off into the river. It was tough to do. I would look at the board with Dennis and he would say: 'Killer shot, killer shot. We're never going to be able to pull this off.'" The first step toward achieving the shot was to procure a suitable background plate. So Art Repola and Mike Owens went chasing around the Southwest looking for a cliff facing they could shot. The problem was finding a river and a cliff with a sheer enough wall so they could drop the camera down four hundred feet without hitting anything. The best spot was found at Paige Arizona, near the Glen Canyon Dam. Mike Owens and Mike Wood and a couple of others went there with the Descender, a motorized winch type devise, attached the camera to it, and did about five takes.

Once the plate was selected, there still remained the difficult task of generating the blue screen puppet footage tumbling down the cliff side. Muren programmed the camera and model moves, expending a full week in fine-tuning and testing before a suitably real-looking choreography could be developed to fit the unorthodox plate. Then Tom St. Amand stepped in to animate the articulated miniature. "Mola Ram had this big cape, and to help suggest that he was actually flying through the air, we turned a fan on under the puppet so that his cape would always be billowing like a sail. The cape itself was made of cloth, unlike the skirts and capes on the other puppets, which were just tinfoil covered with fabric. So here we had this big flowing cape, and in order to have more control over it, we thought we'd hook it up with strings to one of our dragon movers, previously used in Dragonslayer. That way we could program it and shoot tests. What we ended up doing, however, was quite different. Since the puppet was constantly spinning around, the strings were always getting wound around his body. We finally got past the problem by having me animate the limbs and head while Dennis was out there hand-moving the cape for each frame, holding the strings and moving them during the exposure so the strings themselves would be lost in the blue. So here we had this big, expensive piece of equipment, and Dennis was moving the thing by hand." To further tie the falling figure to its background plate the animation department sweetened the shot with animated dust hits whenever Mola Ram tumbled into the side of the cliff and spun off. "Compared with that most of the other faking guys were easy to do."


10.13 GLOWING STONES & WATER PRESSURE



GEORGE GIBBS Mechanical Effects Supervisor: "Steven Spielberg likes as many special effects as possible to be capable of being filmed directly, without having to cut over and over again.

"There's a small scene when the sacred stones burn their way through Indy's shoulder bag. We contrived things so that the stones would actually glow and appear to burn their way through the bag. First we cut a panel out of the bag and replaced it with nitrated paper painted the same color. The stones are lit by very powerful quartz bulbs inside. They start glowing through the paper and then we fire a switch to light the paper and the glowing stones drop out. It's simple when you know how, isn't it?


10.14 MAYAPORE HILLS


 

They were rough-cutting the movie when Spielberg felt they needed an additional establishing shot for our heroes return to a now prosperous village. Pangrazio and his stuff went to Lucas' Skywalker Ranch and set up a camera on a hill. They used a bunch of flats, to represent building faces. Some of them were pretty big -twenty feet long by seven or eight feet high- and three of them had black doorways painted in. Up close, it looked pretty silly, but from the camera position, which was quite away, it was fine. They had sheets hanging out on the clotheslines, flapping in the breeze, and about twenty people dressed in Indian costumes just walking around. Once they got the latent image plate, Pangrazio worked on the painting for quite a while and then optical did a tilt-up on the composite so that as Indy and the others enter the bottom of the frame and walk down the trail, the camera follows them down to reveal the village.


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Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /www/webfiles/indi/indy2/texte/making_of_05.php on line 1370

Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /www/webfiles/indi/indy2/texte/making_of_05.php on line 1371
Today 13. December 2017
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