Sunday, October 21, 2007

70s Sci-Fi Memories

Logan's Run - cheap robot
Logan's Run - Texas locale set designEver seen Logan's Run? I was just thinking of renting it because it's been a while (1976--happy Bicentenial, America; enjoy the sci-fi gloom and doom). Michael York and a bunch of young attractive utopians live in a environmentally sealed dome where their every need and pleasure are provided by the government until they reach age 30. Then it's off to the floaty machine where they float, float, float to uh, Sanctuary.

Great pastel tunic-wear; A stone-faced Jenny Agutter as the female lead who gets led around by hand by Logan quite a bit; Set design like a garish discotheque and a memorable matte painting of the Lincoln Memorial by the great Matthew Yuricich. What? You never heard of Matthew Yuricich? Great, great visual effects matte painter. What? You never heard of movie matte painting?

There's a fine book (the only one that I know of) about matte painting by my former boss and friend Craig Barron. Really great stills of movies from the silent era to today. It tells the secret history of matte painters and their camera crews. So many films relied on these great landscapes and architectural wonders, painted on glass (created with actual paint and brushes!). Alfred Hitchcock was a aficionado of matte painting and counted heavily on these artistic tech-heads for many of the most famous scenes of his Hollywood films (that hopeful sunrise at the end of "The Birds"--matte painting; That cool spy-lair in "North by Northwest"--matte painting).

It's all done on computers now and not quite so magical a process (ever watch someone sit at a computer for several weeks at a time?--that's what it looks like). Check out Matte Painting: The Invisible Art.

More Logan's Run here.

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