Tuesday, May 2, 2017

By the Gods!

A rare glimpse of the Colossus in COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1961)

The famous statue used in this film never actually existed. They never fully erected a complete statue even if in this scene it looks like they did. They built parts of it and filmed it from different angles. This is the only shot in the film when you see what looks like a full scale statue. In this scene, Rory Calhoun walks in the foreground, passing by the statue in the background. It's a clever special effect trick. From what I know, only the legs were actually there. The top of Rory's head passes by just below the upper part. This tells me that the top part was a matte painting or a forced perspective model.

3 comments:

Scott Ochiltree said...

Very interesting observations!

Richard Svensson said...

I would actually have guessed that the entire colossus was a hanging miniature, using forced perspective. However it was done, it's very effective.
After the advent of big budget effects productions with Industrial Light and Magic at the forefront, creating matte shots having actors walking in front of miniature element became a part of the FX bag of tricks. Though animator and FX artist Jim Danforth was already doing that in the 1960's. Nowadays almost whole movies are rotoscoped in the computer, mostly due to directors not doing their job properly at the planning stage. "Fix it in post" seems to be the battle cry of many filmmakers today.

PEPLUM Cinema said...

Richard, I don't think it's a model because we see the reflection of the legs in the water. If it was a suspended model, there wouldn't be a reflection in the water. This means the legs were actually there in the distance.