Monday, November 29, 2010

Effects. Special Effects.

DGA Quarterly has a very cool interview with John Glen, director of 'Octopussy', about the making of the scene where an anti-aircraft rocket is fired at a Bede jet being flown by Bond.

This was an actual rocket that we used to fire at Bond's Bede jet. It was simply a fireworks pyrotechnic effect, but it worked very well. We had made three mock-ups of the Bede for Moonraker, but didn’t use them. For Octopussy we used all three models, one that actually flew, and a Hawker Siddeley 127, which was about four times as big as the Bede but doubled for it quite effectively in long shots. We used the 127 for the long approach shots, and would then cut to the close-ups of Roger in the cockpit, then cut to the model going into the hangar as the doors began closing.

I like this bit about flying the jet through a hangar:

Corkey Fornof, our Bede pilot, refused to fly through the aircraft hangar while other people were inside because of the potential for disaster. So our special effects supervisor bought an old Jaguar XJ6, stripped the car down to its chassis, mounted a hydraulic rig called a pole arm to it, and attached a full-sized Bede jet mock-up to the top. The rig gave the driver terrific control, and he could use the hydraulics to alter the pitch of the aircraft's wings as it made its way through the hangar. We put Roger in the cockpit, and had soldiers scurrying in the foreground to cover up the pole arm so that it wasn't visible in the finished shot.

Great stuff. Worth a read.

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