Friday, April 28, 2006

The Spider-Man Costume

Between shots, the stunt actor would sign autographs and pose for pictures. The spider-man costume is very cool looking up close. There are no seams at all. No idea how he gets into that thing. Clearly, they spent lots of time and money on this wardrobe. Thanks again for these great shots, Mikey.

Fans on Set Location for New Spider-Man Movie

Here are some shots of Spider-Man fans in costume on the set location in the theater district in Cleveland. The real stunt actor for the movie was posing with a kid (also in costume, not official wardrobe) after blocking some shots. He was briefly on set in front of the cameras for the photographers to pull focus and to compose the frame where the final Spider-Man will end up in the shot. Perhaps they will add computer-generated characters into these scenes. They shipped in some Los Angeles Times for the set, or maybe for the crew to read. Thanks Mikey for the photos.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Car Launch Shot

They were spinning the taurus in the air again today with a huge crane parked on E. 12th Street. The film truck and motorcycle were closely following the armored truck as it passed by the spinning car. The film cameras were mounted on a boom extended from the truck and actually passed underneath the spinning car. This whole scene will probably be on screen for less than 3 seconds. These are quick action sequence shots.

The stunt actor for Spider-Man came out for about 5 minutes to block out the scene. They often will bring out a stand-in of similar size to the real actor in order to get the cameras focused. This also also the director and director of photography to compose the frame. In the case of the Spider-Man movies, it may be helpful to get a placement and lighting (shading) reference for the movie's digital effects crew as they add the digital characters to the scene. The first two movies had lots of fully digital 3-D animations of the Spider-Man character. I hope they get the digital visual effects looking better for this film. I thought the Lord of the Rings / Narnia digital FX by Weta were far superior to the Spider-Man films. Even the ILM effects in the Star Wars movies was not as good as the LOTR stuff. Peter Jackson seems to be setting the bar.

Flying Taurus

The taurus that has been rammed with the armored car, has been re-set and smashed and re-set and smashed again. Then, it's hoisted up with a crane, and spun around quickly in the air. The camera truck then speeds past it. Spider-man stunt actor (not in costume) was brought in to block where the real spidey will appear. It looks like the car might be flying over him as he does that bend over backward move. They have him, or someone of similar size, stand in where the real actor (or in this case, perhaps a digitally created character) would be in front of the camera. This allows the film's director and photographer to compose the frame and pull focus, etc.

Blue Station Wagon Scene

This is a set up and wreck of an old blue station wagon. There was two of these on the set and they crash them both several times. Supposedly Sam Raimi uses this certain car in all his films. The armored truck driven by Sandman (the nemesis in spider-man 3) hits the taurus which runs into the blue station wagon. They had film cameras mounted on the green car, the station wagon, the armored truck and in the road. The film truck had a few cameras on it. They also had a Ducatti motorcycle with a rig that could shoot with a film camera mounted on the front or on the back. They used this weaving in and out of traffic as well as down the sidewalk for the reverse angle of the action in the road. It was on a remote swivel-head device. There was a suburban where the director and photographer could control the cameras and watch the action with remote video feeds, to be sure they were getting the shots they needed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Manhattan Safe Chase Scene

Here's the first big crash scene being filmed. An armored truck rams into some parked cars. Spider-Man's archenemy Flint Marko / Sandman, is apparently driving the truck. So the driver is covered in material that looks like a pile of sand. There were serveral film cameras set up on the film truck and the motorcycle was set up on the sidewalk to get the reverse angle. The crash made a very loud noise, even from inside our office accross the street. It got lots of applause, and attracted quite a crowd.

Stunt Spider-Man on Hover Board Thing

This is the stunt spider-man on the back of the camera truck. Driving up and down Euclid Avenue right outside my office in Cleveland. It was a bit chilly that morning and the Spider-Man costume doesn't appear to be insulated very well. The stunt actor was usually wearing a robe that swimmers wear to keep warm on the set. It kept that amazing wardrobe protected and out of plain sight. During these shots, he was sort of riding this plywood like a surfboard or a skateboard as it was dragged behind the film truck with several cameras filming the whole scene. Spider-Man was twisting his torso from one side to the other very quickly. I wonder if he's supposed to be trailing the armored truck being driven by the Sandman.