Monday, December 12, 2005

King Kong DVD Tidbit

There is a seven-part documentary on the making of Kong (on the King Kong DVD) called RKO Production 601: The Making of Kong - Eighth Wonder of the World.
Two of the people interviewed are Phil Tippett and Ben Burtt. As well as non Star Wars related "VIPs": Fay Wray, Peter Jackson, Frank Darabont, Joe Dante, Harry Knowles and John Landis.

One of the commentaries features Ken Ralston (worked with the optical effects unit on Star Wars in '77, was an effects cameraman on The Empires Strikes Back in '80 and worked visual effects on Return of the Jedi in '83) and the legendary Ray Harryhausen who must have spawned hundreds of thousands of fans in awe of his work over the years...including me.

Oh! Ralston will also be visual effects supervisor on the film Beowulf coming out in '07. Beowulf is an adaptation of the epic poem Beowulf (which either wasn't finished or the ending was never found, I can't recall now) written by an unknown 8th century author. The film will be directed by Robert Zemeckis. Interesting.

Interesting casting too: Chris Coppola, Brenden Gleason, Crispin Glover, Angelina Jolie, Robin Wright Penn, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins and Star Wars actor Greg Ellis and former ILM'er Doug Chiang will be heading the production design. And hometown girl Alison Lohman (born in Palm Springs)
LM

Edit: Mike Pangrazio is also interviewed for the Kong feature (thanks to tatood2 for letting me know I'd missed someone!!)

7 comments:

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

Son of a Bith
The Cantina Corner

date Posted: Dec 12, 2005 9:15 AM
I heard the DVD is great. The remastering and transfer job is superb. They even managed to reinclude scenes that were cut out due to their offensiveness at the time, like when Kong peels off parts of Fay Wray's clothing. People couldn't handle that in the 30's.

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

NerfHerdersAnonymous
Life, the Star Wars Universe and Everything

date Posted: Dec 12, 2005 10:22 AM
Yes! Warner made exemplary work of the digital mastering and restoration...it is nothing short of amazing.

The best was the reinsertion of Spider Pit sequence. Originally cut because it was too horrifying. It's awesome.

Looking forward to PJ's version! It will be hard to top the mastery of the 1933 original.

LM

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

janlomona
Smugglers Rants

date Posted: Dec 12, 2005 10:25 AM
I may be wrong but I heard that tyhe spiders pit scene was re-created by WETA under the supervision of Jackson and remade using 1930's FX tecniques.
Am I Going Insane (Radio) or did I read this correctly?

BTW Leah, any chance of interviewing you for Lightsabre? You're one of the genuine stalwarts of SW online fandom and it would be great to discuss that sometime.

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

Obiwopkenobi
Still collecting after all these years!!

date Posted: Dec 12, 2005 11:43 AM
You are correct. The original spider pit sequence was never found. Jackson and his team re-created it based on Jackson's collection of props and photos. They did a great job with it. When you look at it, it looks as though it is part of the movie. I haven't watched the original movie in the box set yet but I did watch the the bonus feature called "the mystery of the spider pit sequence" It is a feature about everything they did to make the sequence. I don't know that they actually put it in the movie or not. The thing is awesome. When you watch the scene by itself it is intercut with the original footage before and after the spider pit. You can't tell the diiference between the old and new footage.
ObiWopKenobi

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

NerfHerdersAnonymous
Life, the Star Wars Universe and Everything

date Posted: Dec 12, 2005 2:01 PM
It's not in the film. It's one of the extras but as ObiWop said it was cut with original footage. It is amazing what Jackson and WETA did.

I was mistaken about why it was cut. Cooper cut the scene himself because of time considerations. My bad. Sorry.

Mark, thank you...that would be lovely. I'd be honored.

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

bonniegrrl
Droids Just Wanna Have Fun

date Posted: Dec 13, 2005 11:59 AM
Here's a fun King Kong ode for ya...

click here to listen to a King Kong disco tune!

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

NerfHerdersAnonymous
Life, the Star Wars Universe and Everything

date Posted: Dec 13, 2005 12:30 PM
Oh. My. I've not heard that song in a long time..a long time.

Reminds me of Bertha Butt Boogie.

Gee, we've become so much more sophisticated since then. hehe

LM