I’ve found a lot of stuff about camera mechanics and special effects of other scenes, but I cannot seem to find out how Kubrick created the antigravity scenes (specifically the ones leading up to HAL’s demise).
Anyone know of anything?
@Hi Mandelstam I assume some of the scenes you might be talking about are the scenes where Dave Bowman and Frank Poole are walking in that circular centrifuge where they eat their meals, sleep and exercise? That set was built like a ferris wheel and the camera was bolted down to the set floor so, for example, when we first see Dave Bowman enter the centrifuge and Frank Poole is sitting at the table eating below, Gary Lockwood ( Frank Poole ) is tied down to the set because he is upside down and Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea ) is right side up and as he walks down, the set rotates with him while the camera is looking down on him from the top of the centrifuge upside down. When Dave Bowman is exercising in the centrifuge, the camera is on a track and the set is rotating with Dave Bowman always being right side up in reality while the film makes us think that he is exercising upside down and right side up in a circle. Then there is a scene earlier in the film where a stewardess is getting some food for the pilots of the spaceship headed for the moon. When she is walking upside down, I believe the background of the set is rotating with her as she is about to serve the pilots with their meals. The camera in that scene is bolted to the set and is upside down, even though it looks like she is upside down and the camera should be right side up. The scene where Dave Bowman kills HAL were filmed with Dave Bowman hanging on wires. They may have been piano wire. I’m not sure exactly though. There was a detailed description of the special effects in Cinefex magazine number 85, April of 2001.
The one’s the OP is referring to were done with wires. The most effective is the ‘re-entry’ scene where Bowman blows the doors of the airlock and is soundlessly propelled to the next door. The camera was placed so that he appears to be rushing towards and pulling away from the camera. The only ‘anti-grav’ effect in the film that never set right with me was the stewardess. Also, at times during the centrifuge scene you can see the actor struggling to pace himself with it.
@House of Leaves When you talk about the re-entry scene where Bowman blows the doors of the airlock, Dave Bowman was suspended by wires being raised and lowered in front of a camera below. The Dave Bowman character, Keir Dullea, was in a vertical set that was filmed by a camera tilted on it’s side and then the film was sped up. I just looked that up in my Cinefex magazine.
Yes, that’s a more detailed version of what I was describing. It’s a very effective scene, especially for it’s time. He really looks to be in zero g.
Can anyone tell me where exactly in the film this scene is from? It’s Frank Poole walking down a corridor but I can;t seem to find the frame on my DVD of the movie. Any experts out there know?
Theat shot appears to be a publicity still posed for the on set PR photographer. The helmet matches the suit (both yellow).
There is another one of Bowman removing a drawer like object from a wall panel that is not in the current version of the film either.That shot is in the sequence when Bowman walks back to HALs core and it was, it seems, some of the 20-22 minutes of footage Kubrick trimmed after the first preview of the film. The shot was still widely used in lobby cards and press photos
A few years ago it was announced that the cut footage had been found and that a new version of the film including all of it would be released.
@House of Leaves – I always thought the stewardess scene looked a bit awkward because she was supposedly wearing slippers that stuck to the surface of what she was walking on. Since they had that adhesive quality to allow her to move against gravity, it took a bit of effort for her to raise and lower each foot as she walked. In reality, the actress was just walking in place as the camers rotated.