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A Touch of Evil -- the 3-minute opening

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Rick Wise
A Touch of Evil -- the 3-minute opening
on Oct 9, 2009 at 7:06:34 pm

I have searched, with no success, to find a first-hand description of how in 1958 Orson Well's crew pulled off the amazing crane shot that opens A Touch of Evil and sets up the entire story. Does anyone here know of such a description?

(If you've never seen it, the opening is posted on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg8MqjoFvy4)

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: A Touch of Evil -- the 3-minute opening
on Oct 9, 2009 at 7:59:03 pm

I've seen the shot discussed many times, usually by hosts before it plays on a classic movie channel... but I've never seen anything actually in print about how it was done. I've searched myself, in the past, but never found anything. It sadly might be that there is nothing there to find.

I think one of the interesting things was that Welles was very behind in the "...Evil" shooting schedule. Until they pulled trigger on the massive crane shot. When he said "Cut!" three minutes later, they were now something like eleven pages ahead of schedule.

Wow.

It still holds up 50 years later, too.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Mark Suszko
Re: A Touch of Evil -- the 3-minute opening
on Oct 10, 2009 at 6:56:04 pm

Indeed, the restored version is so powerful, you even forgive Heston as a Mexican. It also was pretty kinky in parts, considering the era.

I've read a couple Welles biographies but they don't really say much about how the shot was done.


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Tom Nelson
Re: A Touch of Evil -- the 3-minute opening
on Oct 26, 2009 at 6:24:48 pm

It looks like a vehicle-mounted crane shot to me. It might certainly be more complex than that, but the road looks pretty smooth and the shot is the most steady when it's down low and therefore less affected by the suspension movement of the vehicle.

It's funny, at 1:50 she almost walks into a car. Worthy of a re-take under "normal" circumstances, which this most certainly wasn't.

Tom Nelson
Videographer/Editor
Essex Television Group


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