Rear Window

[This is a] masterful piece of work from Jeff Desom who has used Adobe Photoshop and After Effects to craft a 3D model of the apartment complexes in Rear Window and has the film play out in real time as if the viewer was peering into the apartments involved in this classic story.

The video itself is actually a 20-minute video installation and presents the entire film within that time without speeding up any footage at all. Desom explains, “I dissected all of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and stiched it back together in After Effects. I stabilized all the shots with camera movement in them. Since everything was filmed from pretty much the same angle I was able to match them into a single panoramic view of the entire backyard without any greater distortions. The order of events stays true to the movie’s plot.”

[More from Desom]

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Prometheus

Now if I wasn’t excited enough about the upcoming Alien prequel ‘Prometheus‘ then this outstanding bit of marketing should. The video is in the form of a TED talk that takes place in 2023 and a tease of what is to come in the film. As a concept for promoting a prequel for an already famously established story it is a stroke of genius and I hope the film carries on in much the same vein.

Prometheus teaser trailer

Alien trailer

“We’ll add it in post”

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This is quite an impressive demonstration of technical abilities and demonstrates clever ways to save a few dollars but to me it just seems lazy. I miss model miniatures, on location filming, claymation skeletons and hand-drawn backdrops. They have been used since the start of cinema and in my eyes look more real then… well… anything from the Transformers films.

Metropolis (1927)
Smoke and mirrors was pretty much all that Fritz Lang used to make Metropolis. They used their head as opposed to their computers. The Shuftan Process (below) is just one technique used to create vast surroundings.

This is almost 90 years ago and it still looks good. All CG does is get old and look like CG. If we are talking model miniatures and physical special effects there is one to me that stand out miles from the others for being completely flawless.

Alien (1979)
H.R Giger’s iconic monster looks real and terrifying. Now I look at the newer films (Alien vs Predator etc) and the cgi copies have no effect on me. The original is special because it is so real and actually there as opposed to a million of them added in post production. Tons of model miniatures are used through the film to create stunning scenery and creepy alien objects.


Now it may be more complicated, expensive and take longer but surely it’s worth it. I just wish that the “We’ll add it in post” attitude wasn’t such a major feature in modern films. If it continues, we’ll just be drowning in a sea of bland computer animated things that we forget about as soon as we leave the cinema.