Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Black & White in COLOR #3

They're coming to get you Bar-ba-ra!

Hoo-Boy! It's pretty apropo that my first post in over a month is one that concerns the dead returning to life. I guess the only thing worse than being busy around Halloween is NOT being busy around Halloween...(especially if you're a full-time freelancer) Naturally since I've had my hands tied with work for the past few weeks I have a list of several posts in mind by now --including some original "you tube" videos and several more Halloween-oriented kind of posts that I'll just have to grandfather in during the next few weeks. I hoped to get this entry finished during the day on Halloween, but I held out, and then I spent another 10 days looking for some pix that never quite materialized...then another 10 just being otherwise sidetracked.
Ah well, I'm not gonna dwell on it (...color zombie pix woulda sure kicked ass though).
Anyway here's a nifty assortment of color candid publicity photos from one of the world's most popular and influential black & white movies, Night of the Living Dead" (1968) Enjoy!

Here's an on location shot near Pittsburgh of nearly the entire production crew for NTLD.

Judith O'Dea as the plucky Barbara. (note the "fingerprint" ghoul bruises on her arm)

The lovely Judith Riley as Judy, even more lovely in color. (The Atlanta PBS station that ran NTLD in the 70's would tout during their commercial breaks "Now back to Night of the Living Dead...starring Sharon Tate!" Well sure...I guess...who else would they think she was?
... that woulda been a way different movie though.)

It's really a shame the folks that colorization folks didn't have these photos to go by when they colorized NTLD (was it twice?) Ah, they didn't care...it still would've sucked zombies.

Keith Wayne as "ol' zombie chow" Tom.

Marilyn Eastman as Helen Cooper (in a Tomato-red dress) sits at the picnic table outside the farmhouse locale next to one of the cameras used on the picture.

A diffrent angle shows Judith at the same table... Smile, ladies!

Actually shooting the film in black & white left for a lot of allowances that would've been problematic in a color production. Karl's head bruising in color photographs bright purple.
They also used chocalate Bosco right from the can for blood, so tha'd look --like chocolate sauce. Ah, maybe it's a mixed blessing I couldn't find any color zombie pix...they probably wouldn't have looked much like you imagine they would.
Mmmm...smells like...cookies?.......no! moider!

Tension on the farmhouse location set...but it's just acting!

See? They all really loves each other! Photos copyright Hardman/Eastman Studios inc.

Well b & w or not, I couldn't do a NTLD post without at least a couple of obligatory shots of
the ghouls now could I? The top shot must be for publicity or a rehersal for the house seige
(since it's daylight). The center ghoul clutches one of the many, ever-present tablelegs that see several uses during the course of the film. The photo below is a ,more familiar one (though, this scene almost looks like one from "One flew over the Cuckoo's nest" as much as NTLD. Today's hi-octane Romero zombies would mop up the floor with this sleepy-lookin' group. Aw, I'm still just ticked I couldn't find 'em in color)

Trick or Treat!
My thanks to George Romero, Hardman Eastman Studios, Dave Newton, John Russo, Russell Streiner, and the cast and crew of the original NTLD.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Fantastic" News

Yeah, I know it's been awhile since my last post...I've been pretty busy animating some Aqua Teen stuff the last coupla-three weeks. But when I got a load of this latest news on the new FF movie (now officially titled Fanastic Four: The rise of the Silver Surfer) I had to take a few minutes out to geek about it. Below is a shot of Jessica Alba/Sue Storm presumably at her wedding (But to whom?).

Recent online news sources report new details on the project --which started filming last month-- such as the major addition to the cast of Homicide's Andre Braugher as General Hager (an old acquaintance of Reed Richards), who sets his sights on the Silvery Spaceman. More importantly (to me, at least) 20th Century Fox big-wig Tom Rothman confirmed at the beginning of the month that Jack Kirby's iconic planet-consuming Galactus will indeed appear in the film. (O' course you'd think that if the Surfer was in it Galactus would certainly be...but y'never know with Hollywood.)

According to WENN news source:
"Rothman promises that we'll not only see the million-years-old super being, but that it will be, well, fantastic: "I don't want to give too much away but I will say this: Galactus will appear and fans will not be disappointed."

Also uber-model Beau Garrett has been hired to play Frankie Raye, a John Byrne-era comic book character who had powers very much like the Human Torch and actually became Galactus' new Herald after the Surfer's betrayal and subsequent firing. This is the Torch's girlfriend? (right) As Ben Grimm might say "Heh, heh...Nice goin' Kid!"

Everything I read about this film sounds better than the first. More Kirby-gizmos, bigger scope (no crappy origin story)! On returning director Tim Story's own blog even he's totally geeking about seeing the FF car for the first time at the super-secret workshop where it's being fabricated. (The company who's building it also built a bunch of other movie vehicles including several Batmobiles)
Tim also says: "This car is the coolest thing I've ever seen. Not saying this because it's in my movie. (But there is obviously a bias) But it's cool. I mean this is like "the car from The Spy Who Loved Me" type of cool!"

Here's what got me typing though . The first shots of The Silver Surfer in action! From the looks of things I'd say they're doing some motion capture activity for CG. Since Doug Jones (who's been cast to portray The Surfer/ Norrin Radd) has said publically that he wasn't doing any motion capture stuff (yet?) it's doubtful that it's him in the green suit here.

The rig itself looks pretty impressive...

Kinda like seeing the X-men animated for the first time (Sat-morning in '84) --what it represents is bigger than what it is. (Most people on the street didn't know who the hell Woverine was back then --now even my mom (who is 84) knows who he is!)

The bottom line is this time next year we'll all know what the Silver Surfer and Galactus look like in a big budget Hollywood movie. (and they better not suck planet-size donkeys!)