Coolest bits in Empire of Dreams
- Stayed up late last night, I did.
Empire Of Dreams was absolutely fascinating, to me, and to those with
whom I watched it. I'm sure each one of us took something different
away from it.
As an author, my sympathies went out to George Lucas at the point
where Harrison Ford was explaining how George Lucas (with his author
hat on) thought that the screen play contained everything necessary
for the parts to be acted, and could not understand why the actors
were making such a meal of certain scenes.
I thoroughly appreciated the story behind the carbon freezing, where
Harrison was supposed to tell Leia, "I love you, too," and ended up
improvising, "I know."
How cool, though, that George Lucas was his own editor. I especially
liked the detail about that clip at the end of the fight with the sand
person, where they needed more action but didn't have footage, so
instead of having him brandish his weapon over his head just once, as
filmed, they copied and spliced so he shook it in the air three times.
What serendipitous world-building.
The insight that I appreciate most (at this moment) was the fact that
the actor inside Darth Vader's helmet was pronouncing --and acting--
from one script, and Luke was reacting to another.
Now that really was the ultimate in saying one thing and meaning
another... or of not being on the same page! I suppose it wasn't
really much different from script management for Who Shot JR...? But
it seemed deeper to me.
I knew that Darth Vader's voice had been dubbed in later, but how cool
it was to hear the difference in soundtrack when the original actor
spoke. What a difference the "right" voice makes! Or the right
howls. Wasn't it fascinating that Chewbacca originally had lines?
Talking of Chewbacca, I greatly enjoyed the revelation that some of
the movie makers were worried about the Wookie's lack of underwear.
I'd noticed that uncivilized omission only the night before.
On Thursday night I tried to watch The Empire Strikes Back. I have it
out from the library too, but it's a VCR and in almost unwatchably bad
condition. Imagine my joy when it was on TV on Friday night. I was
very pleased to see swordmaster Bob Anderson's name in the credits as
a stunt double. (Recently I blogged about the account I'd read in By
The Sword of why a genuine swordsman, not an actor, had to perform
Darth Vader's fight with Luke.)
The music was something else I'd never really thought about--apart
from the "declarative" Imperial theme for whenever Darth Vader stalked
across the screen, like the wolf theme in Peter And The Wolf, only
much more wicked.
How fascinating that the composer had recently finished the score for
Jaws, where the antagonist got the catchy, sinister theme music! What
a twist for those of us accustomed to the Bond theme... the Here Comes
The Hero refrain. When the movie music is really, really good, I
don't notice it much, apart from the theme tunes. It's amusing what a
difference a good orchestra makes to an aerial dogfight, isn't it?
I've watched a lot of The Making Of... documentaries, but I don't
think I've grasped how much goes into making a great movie quite as
vividly as I did last night, watching Empire Of Dreams.
What did you like best?