The first trailer for Loving Vincent (previously) was just released and it promises stunning visuals in a novel format: the film was created from a staggering 12 oil paintings per second in styles inspired by the famous Dutch painter’s brushstrokes. The upcoming movie will detail the story of Van Gogh’s life leading up to the tumultuous time surrounding his death some 125 years ago. According to the filmmakers, over 100 painters have contributed frames to the ambitious feature-length film that is still in progress at their headquarters in Gdansk, Poland. The film is currently being produced by Oscar-winning studios BreakThru Films and Trademark Films, and you can follow their progress or even get involved yourself on their website. (via Devour)
Housed in a 16th century building in the historic center of Lyon, France is the Musée Miniature et Cinéma, a 5-story museum containing over 100 miniature film sets. The tiny scenes were produced by world-renowned miniaturists and contain the highest form of Hyperrealism in order to trick the audience’s eye into believing each set was indeed life-size.
The handcrafted models contain all the minuscule features that would be found in the film’s actual scene, from fake mold inhabiting peeling walls to scratches seen behind tiny bedposts. The props in the museum’s scenes are also placed with incredible accuracy, disheveled books in libraries propped against each other at just the right angle, and miniature Charles Eames chairs that would even fool the designer. Accurate within these scenes is also their relationship to outside light, windows accentuating or distilling the light to position the set in the right time of day, geographic location or season.
“The subtle lighting arrangement, the painstaking replication of old textures, the use of the same original materials, all contribute to the creation of a moving poetry that resonates with each new miniature panorama,” explains the museum’s website.
If you don’t happen to be traveling to France anytime soon you can see more images of the meticulously detailed scenes on the Musée Miniature et Cinéma’s gallery page here. (via Beautiful/Decay)
Spoiler alert. One of the most jaw-dropping moments of Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar is the climactic moment when Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) enters a visually stunning environment that allows him to physically communicate through time using gravity. In the movie, the scene is manifested as a small library in his home that appears to infinitely repeat with versions of every moment that has ever occurred there. Essentially it’s a cube in four dimensions. Here’s a pretty good explanation of how it works:
The Tesseract is a means of communication for the bulk beings to express action through gravity with NASA. The bulk beings can perceive five dimensions as opposed to four, able to see every moment in the past, present, and future as well as influence gravity within any of those time frames. […] The tesseract allowed Cooper to communicate with Murphy Cooper [his daughter] in various time periods, presenting time itself as a dimension rather than linear. Everything is linked by the strings of time, which Cooper can manipulate. The beings made this comprehensible to Cooper by allowing him to physically interact with the Tesseract.
The idea of the tesseract scene alone was so daunting to the filmmakers, Nolan and his special effects team procrastinated for months before trying to tackle how it might work. After months of concepting and model building the team opted for the unusual approach of using minimal digital effects in favor of fabricating a massive set which the actors could physically manipulate. A remarkable feat considering not only the complexity of the concepts depicted, but the cost and labor of building something so large.
Included here are some shots of the set, a behind-the-scenes interview with Nolan and a number of people from the visual effects team explaining how it was done, and lastly the scene itself. You can watch even more of it here. (via Fubiz)
Filmmaker Jacob T. Swinney edited this phenomenal montage of the beginning and ending frames of 55 different movies shown side-by-side. Perhaps it’s not surprising that there’s often a relationship between the two images, but it’s fascinating to see how different directors employ symmetry, with some going so far as using almost the exact same shot to start and end a movie. You can see a full listing of movie titles with timestamps on Vimeo. (via Susannah Breslin via Kottke)
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is famous for hosting celebrities, politicians and other notable figures over the last century, but perhaps no visitor was more significant than writer Stephen King, whose stay at the 140-room neo-Georgian hotel inspired him to write The Shining. While the movie adaptation wasn’t filmed at the Stanley, that hasn’t stopped the hotel from embracing their share of fame in association with the legendary book and 1980 horror film.
Now the Stanley plans to build a 61,500 square foot hedge maze, similar to the backdrop of the heart-pounding final moments in Kubrick’s adaptation. The maze will be built from 1,600 to 2,000 Alpine Currant hedge bushes, and the design will come from a (free) public contest. Anyone is invited to submit plans for the maze, they even have templates and detailed instructions about how to create your design. Submissions are open until January 31st, 2015. (via Neatorama)
One of the most gratifying aspects of watching stop-motion films is the knowledge that every bit of motion seen on screen is created by human hands, frame by frame, millimeter by millimeter. While an animator might tell you it takes an entire day just to film a 3-second sequence, it’s still difficult to imagine how much physical labor is involved to accomplish it. Lucky for us, the animators behind Laika’s Boxtrolls snuck in a short post-credits timelapse that reveals a brief glimpse of what happens behind the scenes to make two characters come to life.
I first saw Boxtrolls in the theater last September with my son, and this single scene caused a more vocal response from the audience than any other moment in the entire movie. People were literally gasping, myself included. Over the holidays, Focus Features finally made it available online through their YouTube channel.