VFX artists are confused about how The Palm Beach Story pulled off his closing scene without the use of motion control, which did not exist when the film was made. The Palm Beach Story is a 1942 romantic comedy that follows married couple Tom Jeffers (Joel McCrea) and Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert). The couple’s financial problems lead to their separation and they end up on a wild adventure in Palm Beach where they get mixed up with a billionaire and his sister. After some reappraisal over the years, the screwball comedy has been accepted as a comedic American classic.
When corridor crew tackled The Palm Beach Storybut they found themselves confused by the one final shot.
The episode, which starts around 10:25, questions a final scene that sees a wedding taking place with two sets of twins. Therefore, there is a duplication effect going on, but the big mystery is how it pulls off the camera movement. The shot starts out quiet but picks up speed as it moves out before quieting down again in a precise manner. Unfortunately, there are no notes on how the movie did this. One artist theorized a pulley system, but the true answer remains a mystery.
Movies that were ahead of their time with special effects
Considering it was 1942, that’s pretty impressive The Palm Beach Story was able to stop VFX artists by finding a technique that mimicked the effect of motion control, over 30 years before it began to be widely used in film. It’s always exciting to find special effects in old movies that impress modern VFX artists. Recently, the corridor crew was very impressed with how The ten Commandmentswhich premiered in 1956, used stunning practical effects to depict Moses (Charlton Heston) parting the Red Sea.
Movies like The Indian in the Closet, which was released in 1995, even seemingly perfected techniques that movies today still struggle to get just right. VFX artists were blown away by a scene where a small figure comes to life and walks from a closet into a boy’s hand. It’s a complex scene, but it’s done phenomenally well for a film made nearly 30 years earlier. The film perfected every detail, down to how the boy holds his hand, to make it a stunningly realistic shot.
Even more modern movies are still finding innovative ways to change VFX. In 2014, the black comedy Birdman changed VFX by being one of the first films to use natural footage instead of a greenscreen. This was the technique that preceded today’s modern LED volume stage, which has been used by The Mandalorian and House of the Dragon to create stunning images. From 1942 to today, films that were ahead of their time have deeply influenced the field of VFX and proved the value of revisiting and learning from the work of older films.
Source: corridor crew