FILM / Production Notes: Mike Boudry of the Computer Film Company on how he pushed Tim Robbins over the edge
Tuesday 23 August 1994
The Coen Brothers are visually very specific. It's quite amazing how accurately the storyboards they drew are there in the final film. They're unusual in that respect - Bernardo Bertolucci, whom we worked with on Little Buddha, will tell you what he wants and then expect you to go away and do something magical.
We had to produce the falling sequences in a way that accords with the Coens' vision. That's not necessarily the same as being physically right. For instance, you don't necessarily want physically correct timing, you want dramatically correct timing. And you don't want people to fall in an untidy way. In archive footage of the Hindenburg disaster, where people actually fell out of an airship, you see them trying to run in the sky. Whereas what you imagine happening, and what happens in Hudsucker, is that people put their arms out and sort of fly. That's the dramatically strong and acceptable way of showing a fall, otherwise it gets grotesque and horrible.
Many shots are a mix of effects. When you see Tim Robbins by a window, there are three elements. The window itself is real. The top of the building around it and the clock is a model. And the snow is computer-generated.
When Paul Newman looks through the window, note the pane of glass just under his chest. It isn't actually there; it was added in later as a special effect. If the glass was there while they were filming, it would have caught a reflection of the camera crew.
And the first fall, when Waring Hudsucker (Durning) jumps out of the window, starts low, at street level, and pans up. You start with a real building, but only up to about the first floor. After that, you see a model, until you come to the man smashing out through the glass, which is filmed against blue screen. I love these long, fluid complex shots. With digital technology, you can put together very complicated continuous sequences involving different effects in the same shot, and Hudsucker is probably the prime example of it.
'The Hudsucker Proxy' opens on 2 Sept
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians