big fan of behind-the-scenes processes on films (especially miniatures, matte paintings and make-up) and I thought this would be the ideal opportunity to take a look at some of the effects artistry in the first Indiana Jones adventure.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark, a Lucasfilm Ltd production, opened in the UK on 30th July 1981. It was directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Frank Marshall, Robert Watts, Howard Kazanjian and George Lucas and written by Lawrence Kasdan from a story by Lucas and Philip Kaufman. Douglas Slocombe was director of photography, Norman Reynolds was the production designer, John Williams composed the music and Richard Edlund of ILM supervised the special effects. The film was edited by Michael Kahn and Dr Jones' iconic wardrobe was designed by Deborah Nadoolman.
special effects and miniatures supervised by Richard Edlund
|An ILM crew films the miniature submarine - modelmaker Steve Gawley is closest to camera, Edlund is on the shelf with red sleeves|
|Paul Huston prepares the miniature of the ceremony plateau for the fiery climax|
matte paintings supervised by Alan Maley
|Indy catches a flight to Nepal on a Pan Am clipper.|
Top - still from film
middle - the matte painting (including livery)
bottom - the actual plane (and extras)
|Marion Ravenwood's bar in Nepal, realised as a matte painting by Michael Pangrazio|
|film still - Gobler drives over the cliff as Indy forces him off the road|
|film still - Gobler's staff car is still falling|
|Alan Maley at work on the cliff matte painting. The dark, unpainted area is the trajectory the model of the staff car will follow|
|The final shot (and possibly one of the most famous matte paintings ever)|
Michael Pangrazio's warehouse, which is held on screen for a long time, with only the small portion of the middle section as a live action insert
make-up effects supervised by Chris Walas
The key make-up sequence (aside from loads of skeletons and the remains of poor old Satipo and Forrestal at the beginning) comes as Belloq (Paul Freeman), Dietrich (Wolf Kahler) and Toht (Ronald Lacey) open the Ark.
Life moulds of the actors in the screaming positions they would eventually be shown in were taken, from which Walas rebuilt the faces in the various materials required.
|If only they knew...|
|The head was attached to a vacuum which simply sucked the air out of the hollow head|
|left - Chris Walas puts the finishing touches to the puppet Belloq head, made from a cast of Paul Freeman (right)|
Behind The Scenes
|Shooting the final sequence on Norman Reynolds' set at Elstree Studios|
|Karen Allen as Marion is about to have a close encounter with some mummies... Spielberg is looking through the viewfinder|
|In order to make a better silhouette, Harrison Ford and John Rhys-Davies use a plywood cut-out of the Ark.|
|Ford practises his whip-craft on the backlot at Elstree Studios.|
|Spielberg, Melissa Mathison and Harrison Ford (the latter two were married at the time).|
Mathison was in Tunisia as they filmed Raiders and Spielberg told her the story of what would become ET, for which she wrote the screenplay.
Happy birthday Indy!
Look out for another post covering "Temple Of Doom" and "The Last Crusade" coming soon...