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Maybe we could talk about "Superman" (1978) this week. I've got a specific shot in mind to dissect and discuss.
"Superman" (1978). This has always been one of my favorite shots in the film. As a kid, I was *certain* how they did it. I was wrong.
I always thought Christopher Reeve was whisked off his wire harness and did a quick-change of costume+makeup before showing up at the door.
As an adult, I still marveled at the audacity of the shot, even though I realized there was NO WAY Reeve could have done it all in 1 take.
Without much analysis, I just assumed an optical matte married two takes together (probably when Kidder is obscured by foliage). WRONG.
Kidder is staring at a rear projection screen, not at Reeve. She and the bush at screen left is the only 'real' thing in front of the lens.
The screen is projecting a plate of Reeve on wires, flying away from the rooftop set (surrounded by a practical backdrop).
Camera trucks thru foliage. Kidder is now against the backdrop (the screen is no longer visible). The FG foliage obscures the transition.
On the day, Reeve (in Kent costume+makeup) was simply waiting at Kidder's front door. This shot is a great example of brilliant shot design.
This shot is my favorite kind of movie-magic trick - you don't know it's a magic trick until long after the trickery has happened.
In a movie filled with spectacle, I adore this quiet little moment that required elaborate planning and flawless execution. /end
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