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Old 01-17-2013, 07:10 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelgy
The pay off issue in the finale of JP--that implies that the dinosaurs as characters dont matter--that they are merely shock devices. Do you really think that? The t-rex attacking and then tossing the raptor into the skeleton and the banner falling as it roars is at least as important as that shock entrance. Its supposed to be a character performance.


Again this is my personal opinion. I think Spielberg's favorite animal/effect in the entire film was the T-Rex. When he did that sequence he was doing it in service of the Williams score and what he felt would work for the audience so that the "kids in the audience" (young or old) can get the "kick" that he felt he would get if he was the audience member watching the film.

I don't think he disrespected anything (on purpose). But in hindsight it does happen. For example, he admitted that he ended "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" with boarding the mother ship and "sailing away" because he felt that was what the Sense of Wonderment demanded. It only occurred to him much later that ending it like that was a slap to good parenting, or that it spat on family values and encouraged people to "run away". He has since claimed if he made that film today he'd look at it differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelgy
In the original King Kong when the t-rex appears in the distance--would it have been better if it just suddenly popped into view behind the tree? Its a cheap manipulation trick to be honest.
A ghost popping out of a closet.


In my view, that would depend on what you need to get out of the audience. Maybe you want them to see the Dinosaur coming. Maybe sometimes you don't. OR! Maybe what you want is for the Dinosaur to be seen a long way away, but only ONE of a group of characters see it. And you as the audience see it too... and he's trying to tell everyone "There's a dinosaur outside!" but maybe all the characters are busy arguing and the whole time the audience member can see the T-Rex getting closer. Maybe sometimes that's the tension you want. It depends.

I haven't seen the original. But I did see parts of it. And it does seem like it arrives "suddenly" from behind the tree or something and the girl looks at the camera and screams. It could be construed as a similar method but limited by technology.

To wit, this isn't the only way to reveal you have a dinosaur coming and get a rise out of people without resorting to something sudden. Remember the cup of water in the first Jurassic Park? Or how about when Roland is talking to a colleague and he says: "I'm going to collect my fee".. and we find out they are walking over T-Rex foot prints?

Also, don't forget Jaws... where Spielberg demonstrates that you can use a "slow rise" and still have your choice of quick shock or protracted bloody violence.

Note in many of these instances Spielberg can, and does, use music. That's his special ability. He knows what he wants. Which is something he also said in an American Film Institute Lecture: "The most important thing is you know what you want - physically - on screen."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelgy
But I agree that Williams music is extremely important to a Spielberg film--Spielberg is dependent on Williams supplying the emotional cues since music can do that regardless of what imagery is on screen.


Spielberg knew how it would work. He wanted it to work. He wanted that for the audience. Because he's an audience-whore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelgy
I agree that if Hitchcock made Jurassic Park one of the kids might have been toast.

What did you think of King Kong 2005's dinosaur sequences? Do you think it was necessary logic breaking to have the stampede and the t-rexes hanging from the vines or that it was over done?


I honestly found King Kong unmemorable. I felt the best parts of the film involved the ship captain. He stole the first half of the film for me. And then he just disappeared from the picture.

If I had to comment about which parts were edited in a more thrilling fashion, it was the stand off between the ship captain, his crew, and the natives of the "giant monster island".

I'll have to watch it all again.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 01-17-2013 at 07:31 AM.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 07:43 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
But I did see parts of it. And it does seem like it arrives "suddenly" from behind the tree or something and the girl looks at the camera and screams. It could be construed as a similar method but limited by technology.


It comes out behind her from the forest a fair ways back--- and is looking around casually and scratches its neck and then she turns and notices it and screams at the same time it notices her and roars before approaching. Maybe they would have done it as a jump scare if they had been inclined but it would have been easier to do that in a forest than a room with few doors.

Spielberg in interviews when making JP said that he thought the raptors were more scary than a t-rex because it cant sneak up on you and isnt eye level.
The Lost World also added t-rex scenes to the end than had not been originally planned.I assume Crichton's novel didnt have the San Diego sequence.

In the making of book they show pterodactyls attacking--but it didnt say what happens to Ludlow or Roland.
I liked the LW ending with the infant attacking Ludlow. Good character animation on the baby and its ironic.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 08:33 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelgy
It comes out behind her from the forest a fair ways back--- and is looking around casually and scratches its neck and then she turns and notices it and screams at the same time it notices her and roars before approaching. Maybe they would have done it as a jump scare if they had been inclined but it would have been easier to do that in a forest than a room with few doors.

Spielberg in interviews when making JP said that he thought the raptors were more scary than a t-rex because it cant sneak up on you and isnt eye level.
The Lost World also added t-rex scenes to the end than had not been originally planned.I assume Crichton's novel didnt have the San Diego sequence.

In the making of book they show pterodactyls attacking--but it didnt say what happens to Ludlow or Roland.
I liked the LW ending with the infant attacking Ludlow. Good character animation on the baby and its ironic.


See? That's also a great gag... we see it before SHE did. It's almost like a "He's behind you..." gag.

It's gags. It's the popcorn in the movie.

That's not the soul of the movie, mind you. But in the eyes of people like Spielberg that's the meat of it.

For better or worse.... that's his style. There's a reason guys like him don't usually make films like "The Shawshank Redemption".

The Raptors were scarier, but he appreciated the T-Rex had that "big circus attraction" factor. And that's not a derogatory comment for him. That's actually an adoration of creatures of spectacle. In Spielberg's youth, he thought "Godzilla" was high-end film making.

The original ending to the Lost World was supposed to be the Pterodactyl sequence with helicopters in a scene that was supposed to sort of look like the evacuation of Saigon during the Vietnam War.

It was changed later into the finale we now see in the film.
TOO many things now not the same with the Crichton novels... even dating back to the first film.

That's another thing about Spielberg. The book is the book. The film is the film.
The Jaws movie is actually just one part of the book (I think it's only the final third, less than half the novel).

Again, he knows what he wants. For better or worse, for deep story or shallow story, Spielberg knows what he wants and he has always banked that what he wants is what people who chew popcorn sitting in the cinema also want.

More often than not, he's been right. He's far from the best storyteller, I know. But that's just how he is.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:43 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelgy
The whole scene would not have been ruined.

It prevents the raptor from being grabbed in the air as a surprise but that wasnt as important as seeing the T-rex again doing something.
It could have been using a telephone and it would have still been cool to see because of the novelty of never before seen realistic organic creatures moving with motion blur etc.


That might be what is cool to a CG artist. I don't think the other 99.99% of people in cinema care. The surprise and WOW and kick in the theme, as Padawan mentioned, is what made it work.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:52 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teruchan
That might be what is cool to a CG artist. I don't think the other 99.99% of people in cinema care. The surprise and WOW and kick in the theme, as Padawan mentioned, is what made it work.


That still implies the shock shot is more important than the sequence
Dont agree at all.
And I dont think the audience would agree either.
Its like saying the silhouette of ET and Elliot flying past the moon is more important then all the shots of ET and Elliot together.
That shot has nothing to with storytelling by itself--its one small element of the storytelling.

I would be inclined to agree that the shock surprise would be the most important thing if it was the only time we see the T-rex.

Edit:

Oh I misread what you wrote. You mention the theme--meaning the music--that the music makes the whole sequence work and it needed the surprise for that to exist?
I can see where you are coming from there. But while I think his music is important in a Spielberg movie, in the case of Jurassic Park the never before seen cgi dinosaurs were more important. If someone skilled like Jerry Goldsmith had composed the soundtrack it would have still been memorable.

Last edited by kelgy : 01-17-2013 at 06:23 PM.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 05:55 PM   #36
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how are they gonna make a dinosaur claw a 4 for the poster?


i could of sworn there was already a 4th one :P
i remember seeing the 3rd one in the theater and i remember liking it very much. more so than the first 2 specially the second one. the first one was alright, but so overly relying on swelling music and actors gasping for epic effect that it was cheesy. the 2nd one was just bad, specially the one girl's acting. i like the 3rd one because it was a bit brutal and just actiony. didn't care for the plot, but it was fun.

looking forward to the 4rth, specially that poster.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 11:34 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelgy
That still implies the shock shot is more important than the sequence
Dont agree at all.
And I dont think the audience would agree either.
Its like saying the silhouette of ET and Elliot flying past the moon is more important then all the shots of ET and Elliot together.
That shot has nothing to with storytelling by itself--its one small element of the storytelling.

I would be inclined to agree that the shock surprise would be the most important thing if it was the only time we see the T-rex.


It's kind of like.... If you know, from the story and script, that you're going from A to C.... then your next obligation is to make the ride from A to C (the "B") either funny, interesting, exciting, shocking or whatever it is you need/like/want... just to make sure you fulfill the need of getting from A to C.

Basically that part... that last part in Jurassic Park... whatever you were going to do they were going to get into the helicopter and leave the island. It was just a question of how you want to "deliver" that. Is it more entertaining for the characters to be chased out of the building... is it more thoughtful for the characters to reflect quietly in the lobby and then walk out of the building... is it better to do this or that....Do you want the film to build to a high moment before the "cool down" of the helicopter ride? Or do you think the audience has had enough action and you just want to wind down the film?

I'll tell you this: Spielberg's one fear, which he revealed in Actor's Studio, was that one day someone would watch his film and tell him it was boring. That should give you a clue about the motivations behind how he chooses "main action".

Even "Lincoln" made passing a law look more exciting than it had to be. :P

Having said that... I can tell you, of equal or possibly greater value to Spielberg was to do the shot where Grant hugs the children in the helicopter. That shot closes the "circle" for that character and finishes the main story he wanted to tell with Jurassic Park. And it's just one more "rise" to get out of the audience... one more classic film thing before the helicopter flies into the horizon to end the picture.

I think a simpler way of putting it is that the way Spielberg assembles films are like chewable vitamins. He's already put in the "healthy stuff" the formulation required... so now he can finish off with the sugar coating. You can argue: "I'm buying vitamins, not candy." But Spielberg would just tell you: "It's sweet, you'll like it. Oh and it's good for you too."
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 01-17-2013 at 11:46 PM.
 
Old 01-19-2013, 02:48 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelgy
The pay off issue in the finale of JP--that implies that the dinosaurs as characters dont matter--that they are merely shock devices. Do you really think that? The t-rex attacking and then tossing the raptor into the skeleton and the banner falling as it roars is at least as important as that shock entrance. Its supposed to be a character performance.


In the original King Kong when the t-rex appears in the distance--would it have been better if it just suddenly popped into view behind the tree? Its a cheap manipulation trick to be honest.
A ghost popping out of a closet.


In King Kong, they had to introduce the T.rex. At that stage in Jurassic Park, we already established that there is at least one or more T.rex on the island. I don't see why it matters how the T.rex got there. I think the surprise of that scene was far more important. I can't see any way to throw in an establishing shot without ruining the tension of the buildup, the thrill of the last-minute escape.

T.rex also came out of nowhere in the Gallimimus scene. In the Gallimimus scene it's only briefly foreshadowed with the "flock of birds evading a predator" line, in the raptor scene it's foreshadowed in a sense by the looming T.rex skeleton.

Are the dinosaurs supposed to be characters? Did that one scene ruin the entire characterisation built up to that point? They're animals. You can't expect them to grow, or have an arc. But they can reveal different sides to their behaviour, or fall into certain archetypes. The velociraptors are vicious, calculating, unstoppable land-sharks. The T.rex takes more of a King Kong role. The bruiser, the lovable rogue. The T.rex only killed a lawyer (the forgivable crime). Raptors are so unstoppable they killed the two biggest(non-saurian) badasses in the film. In that one final scene, the T.rex becomes the movie's Kong. Take it out and the dinosaurs are reduced to being either vicious man-eaters or docile cows.
 
Old 01-19-2013, 03:39 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Lazarou
In King Kong, they had to introduce the T.rex. At that stage in Jurassic Park, we already established that there is at least one or more T.rex on the island. I don't see why it matters how the T.rex got there. I think the surprise of that scene was far more important. I can't see any way to throw in an establishing shot without ruining the tension of the buildup, the thrill of the last-minute escape.

T.rex also came out of nowhere in the Gallimimus scene. In the Gallimimus scene it's only briefly foreshadowed with the "flock of birds evading a predator" line, in the raptor scene it's foreshadowed in a sense by the looming T.rex skeleton.

Are the dinosaurs supposed to be characters? Did that one scene ruin the entire characterisation built up to that point? They're animals. You can't expect them to grow, or have an arc. But they can reveal different sides to their behaviour, or fall into certain archetypes. The velociraptors are vicious, calculating, unstoppable land-sharks. The T.rex takes more of a King Kong role. The bruiser, the lovable rogue. The T.rex only killed a lawyer (the forgivable crime). Raptors are so unstoppable they killed the two biggest(non-saurian) badasses in the film. In that one final scene, the T.rex becomes the movie's Kong. Take it out and the dinosaurs are reduced to being either vicious man-eaters or docile cows.


Didn't think of the King Kong "King of Monsters in My Movie" reference until you mentioned it that way. That is probably a good additional reason behind the last minute "plus 10 points" done on the T-Rex to make it THE showstopper of the film over the Velociraptors.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:06 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Lazarou
T.rex also came out of nowhere in the Gallimimus scene.



Yeah it did come out from the side of the screen though we didnt see much of what was right beyond those trees I dont think--its not closed off like the domed room was. The thing was that the supposedly really smart velociraptors didnt detect it coming. A really big dinosaur that leaves impact tremors. But anyway its obvious and already been talked to death why they did that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Lazarou

Are the dinosaurs supposed to be characters? Did that one scene ruin the entire characterisation built up to that point? They're animals. You can't expect them to grow, or have an arc.


Well funny enough the baby T-rex in the sequel had an arc of a sort--learned to get over shyness to hunt the bad guy at the end. It was perhaps cartoonish and black humor but I liked it.

One trouble with Jurassic Park is what Spielberg said in interviews didnt match what the movie did.
He said the dinosaurs wouldnt be shown as monsters but animals.
The carnivorous ones were shown as monsters. The T-rex was a rogue but as Spielberg himself said it was no King Kong. Of course they want to show the dinosaur stalking humans even when they arent hungry since it would be boring-especially since the human characters were so dull.

They did improve that in the sequel to some extent. The velociraptors were still demonized(until the third movie), but the herbivores could also be dangerous--the stegosaurus sequence etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Lazarou
The T.rex only killed a lawyer (the forgivable crime).
Raptors are so unstoppable they killed the two biggest(non-saurian) badasses in the film. In that one final scene, the T.rex becomes the movie's Kong. Take it out and the dinosaurs are reduced to being either vicious man-eaters or docile cows.


Unlike Kong who was willing to kill pretty much anybody (almost stepped on a child, threw people out of windows, crushed a train) and yet you still felt sorry for him in the end. Spielberg did say that Jurassic Park was no King Kong and he was right. And no in case it gets asked, I dont think Kong demonstrates authentic animal behavior(well, human behavior not gorilla behavior). They were playing around with the technology and experimenting- just as Jurassic Park did.


Hammond was the main SOB in the movie--more so than Nedry who was a crook--Hammond did the genetic engineering (they left out all the painful mutations and abortions that happen in real life with gene tampering), gleefully amused when a steer is ripped apart alive--but couldnt let him pay a price in a typical Frankenstein way (usually himself or a loved one) because Spielberg couldnt kill a fellow director and Attenborough is a likable personality. (and as some reviews at the time of release pointed out, Hammond was like a Spielberg, a wealthy entertainer so he probably identified closely with the character--so much so that before they decided to put the T -rex in the finale it was Hammond who was going to shoot the velociraptors--reminds me of that 1920s Moby Dick where Ahab kills the whale and sails into the sunset with the girl). And so they turned him into a good guy in the sequel which is fine. They needed more story since the novelty of the fx was starting to wear off. But it probably wasnt enough.
Muldoon(?) the game warden in the first could have been an ok stock villain if he had decided to use the security breakdown as an excuse to hunt the dinosaurs as a real human might but it wasnt a movie with strong characters.
The lawyer was pathetic even as a b movie story character. Maybe with a different actor he would have been more memorable.

Last edited by kelgy : 01-19-2013 at 04:12 AM.
 
Old 01-19-2013, 11:33 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelgy

One trouble with Jurassic Park is what Spielberg said in interviews didnt match what the movie did.
He said the dinosaurs wouldnt be shown as monsters but animals.
The carnivorous ones were shown as monsters. The T-rex was a rogue but as Spielberg himself said it was no King Kong. Of course they want to show the dinosaur stalking humans even when they arent hungry since it would be boring-especially since the human characters were so dull.

They did improve that in the sequel to some extent. The velociraptors were still demonized(until the third movie), but the herbivores could also be dangerous--the stegosaurus sequence etc.




Unlike Kong who was willing to kill pretty much anybody (almost stepped on a child, threw people out of windows, crushed a train) and yet you still felt sorry for him in the end. Spielberg did say that Jurassic Park was no King Kong and he was right. And no in case it gets asked, I dont think Kong demonstrates authentic animal behavior(well, human behavior not gorilla behavior). They were playing around with the technology and experimenting- just as Jurassic Park did.


Hammond was the main SOB in the movie--more so than Nedry who was a crook--Hammond did the genetic engineering (they left out all the painful mutations and abortions that happen in real life with gene tampering), gleefully amused when a steer is ripped apart alive--but couldnt let him pay a price in a typical Frankenstein way (usually himself or a loved one)


The dinosaurs were shown as animals - wild and ferocious animals.

I think being an "introductory" film for the dinosaurs, Muldoon being a bad guy would have been too much weight for the story to handle... if you notice Nedry was "off-loaded" pretty early so that we wrap that up and move on (and give more minutes to dinosaurs and hijinks in the kitchen... and Grant's paternal journey).

Nedry brings up another point... He's really more a bad guy in the way some of the cooky TV crime villains of the old 50's films were written: short-sighted, funny voice, funny clothes...
And while the novel I think did have more "grave and terrible deaths".. that was all scaled back for the Spielberg "happy and light" version.

Populist director he is... Even George Lucas once said he found Spielberg too sappy.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:37 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
The dinosaurs were shown as animals - wild and ferocious animals.


I think they were objectified more so than in the book---you had the docile brachiasaurs, the sick triceratops(my favorite dino-was hoping to see one walking about), the deceptive spitting lizard, the prey galimimus, and the scary carnivores. They were used as instruments for the action in stereotypical ways but didnt exhibit much personality as real animals do. They improved that in the later films---the T-rex being shown drinking, the stegs being aggressive, the compis being humorous but given that each moment of animation cost a fortune it isnt surprising they tried to minimize that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan

I think being an "introductory" film for the dinosaurs, Muldoon being a bad guy would have been too much weight for the story to handle... if you notice Nedry was "off-loaded" pretty early so that we wrap that up and move on (and give more minutes to dinosaurs and hijinks in the kitchen... and Grant's paternal journey)



Other directors who were better with plot and character would have been able to balance that. It has been done, especially in big disaster films with much larger casts. In this case it was a handful of people with very little to do. There's a fair bit of techno babble scenes.
But as you know Spielberg cares more about sensation and to slow the pace for characterization would have upset the symphony he was creating. Sam Neill was terribly wasted. Hate it when a good actor isnt given much to work with. Wayne Knight was the lucky one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
Nedry brings up another point... He's really more a bad guy in the way some of the cooky TV crime villains of the old 50's films were written: short-sighted, funny voice, funny clothes...
And while the novel I think did have more "grave and terrible deaths".. that was all scaled back for the Spielberg "happy and light" version.



Spielberg made the sunniest film about genetic engineering I have seen. But I didnt notice before that even Eddie in Lost World, the heroic character, comes across as anonymous as the lawyer in the first film.I am sure the casting was quite deliberate on Spielberg's part to minimize audience sympathy for Eddie.They could have picked someone better known or cheaper but more likable. Nedry was the most dynamic character by a long shot at the same time he was obnoxious. The guy playing Muldoon --I had seen him in another film, he was good but he also was a really stock anonymous character. It was called Jaws on Land but the characters were thin slices compared to Jaws in terms of personality and action.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
Populist director he is... Even George Lucas once said he found Spielberg too sappy.


funny
 
Old 01-21-2013, 12:21 AM   #43
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In his lecture to film students in "The Actor's Studio", Spielberg explained that for JAWS.. it was a special case.

Originally there were all these plans involving dedicating minutes to The Shark. BUT.. the Shark sank to the bottom of the channel on the first day of shooting. To build the "onscreen rep" of the Shark.. the task fell to the three characters... to TALK ABOUT THE SHARK INSTEAD.

You can argue that tilted the dial a certain way and you got to really know the characters and see them work "in place of Special Effects"....

Spielberg then capped off that lesson by saying he learned that for JAWS, the Shark's reveal ("You're gonna need a bigger boat") was actually helped by all the "band aid" scenes that were done in place of prestige shots of the Shark when it was incapacitated.

He then adds: "If the Shark worked the film would have probably failed."

I guess in the end there can always be arguments about balance.. Spielberg tries this these days... but these days it's called "No spectacle until the 30th minute".... It's more a delay than a kind of forced balance of the elements.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:45 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
In his lecture to film students in "The Actor's Studio", Spielberg explained that for JAWS.. it was a special case.

Originally there were all these plans involving dedicating minutes to The Shark. BUT.. the Shark sank to the bottom of the channel on the first day of shooting. To build the "onscreen rep" of the Shark.. the task fell to the three characters... to TALK ABOUT THE SHARK INSTEAD.
.


The dynamic personalities of the characters still came through. They kept the audience interested even when they werent talking about the shark.

Its hard to know how the movie might have been had the shark worked better-would they have shown it up close earlier? It was an expensive shark-you'd think they would want to get their money worth. On the other hand in the previous Zanuck Brown film Sssssss! they kept the snake creature in shadows so they could reveal it in full at the freak show. It was a good makeup job--so they were conscious of the need to keep the audience in suspense.
In those days the producers did not sit back and let the director do everything and make all the decisions so hard to say how accurate Spielberg's recollections are.
He suggested in another recent interview that he selected Dennis Weaver for Duel but it was the tv star Dennis Weaver who selected Spielberg.

Shaw, Schieder, they all had much more clout than Spielberg in the mid 70s. They would have wanted roles that let them act so its not like the movie would have been them gawking at the shark with their...jaws open.

They did cut away from the shark early when it eats Alex Kinter--photos exist showing the shark rise up and devour him.
And there is another shark attack scene filmed with the Ban Gardner boat that exists in books.

I wonder how the shark might have turned out if they had hired Carlo Rambaldi. Likely he would have encountered similar problems with the water but he did do a lake monster in an italian sword and sandal film and its actually not bad for the early 1960s having seen it recently. The giant Kong didnt work either but it was much larger than the Jaws shark.

Last edited by kelgy : 01-21-2013 at 01:50 AM.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 05:58 PM   #45
redbellpeppers
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Chris
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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One thing that bothers me from JP was the T-Rex attack on the car:

At first the dino breaks down the fence and steps into the road.
Then after getting trashed, the car falls over the ledge where the Rex stepped through the fence.

Anyone else catch that?
 
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