Saturday, October 20, 2012


This shot in QUO VADIS (1951) has a lot of elements cobbled together to create the final look. It's quite elaborate for that time and shows how amazing the fx were in it. Here's a quick breakdown:

1 - The lion and the people on the far left were shot together
2 - the people about to be devoured by the lions were shot separately. The discoloration of the ground in element no 1 vs the ground in no 2 gives it away. Also, the shadows of the lions in no 1 extend to the left while the shadows of the terrified christians are to the right. Those two elements were shot at different times of a day. Without these two slight errors, the shot would have been much more seamless.
3 - The crowd is real; could have been filmed at the same time as no 2 but the lighting looks different. The shadows tell me it's the afternoon, which no 2 is not.
4 - no 4, all of yellow, is a matte painting with movement in it.
5 - The obelisk is either a model or another layer of matte painting. The look or shadows do not match with any other elements which tells me it's a model. It looks superimposed.
6 - Same thing as no 5: probably a model or a separate matte. The top of those columns are more sharp than any other part of the shot which tells me it was added later.

Like I said fairly elaborate special effects for a film made 61 years ago. It's cool. 


Steven Lester said...

Still spooky, even so. I'm glad we don't kill people anymore for their religious beliefs. Or do we. Perhaps we aren't anymore advanced than those Roman guys, after all.

Steve R. Orsulak said...

They knew how to make epic movies back in those Golden Years of Hollywood which was very evident with all genres. Those filmmakers were true geniuses and thrilled many people both young and old. Today's filmmakers are a far cry from that and only make movies that appeal to certain age groups and have very little if any storyline to develope it's characters.