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How did they do that in 1957?


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#1 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 07:59 AM

As I'm sure you did, we were forced to see this little Oscar-winning French short from 1957 in school all the time when I was a kid. Had completely forgotten about it until it became a reference for a project I might be doing, so I rewatched it and was kind of brought back to my childhood a bit.

Anyway, in the end the little boy flies up and away over Paris with his cluster of balloons and it struck me - how the hell did they do that in 1957?

You can clearly see in the wides that it's not an adult. It's also to high to be a crane. That leaves us with a helicopter - but there's no visible wire. And surely they wouldn't fly a little child on a monofilament under a rickety helicopter, even if it was 1957?


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#2 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 09:20 AM

Perhaps it's not a real person being suspended by the balloons. It could well be a dummy. Afterall, the character isn't moving. All of the shots of the boy hanging by the balloons are filmed in extreme long shot so this would help complete the illusion.
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#3 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 10:30 AM

... does look like a dummy... & seeing the balloons travelling through the streets tells you where the 'bouncing ball' Sony ad came from...

& perhaps the dummy&balloons was suspended from a much bigger hot-air balloon...
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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 02:59 PM

Probably a dummy and done for real, yeah. Looked like he moved, though, but it's hard to tell.
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#5 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:22 PM

Probably a dummy and done for real, yeah. Looked like he moved, though, but it's hard to tell.


I'd never seen that Adam, i can see why it was on the curriculum. Amazing!

Thanks for posting it.

Kieran
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#6 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:31 PM

I think I have this on DVD, I'll haven't watched it years - I'll take a closer look and see.
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#7 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 04:08 PM

I think I have this on DVD, I'll haven't watched it years - I'll take a closer look and see.


Just watched the DVD i have - definitely a dummy - the whole thing, particularly the legs remain completely motionless.

It must have been a real achievement figuring out how to get that balloon to move in such a multitude of different directions.
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#8 Dominic Case

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 06:53 PM

Getting the balloon to move at the beginning was easy: they obviously have a nylon fishing line tied to the balloon string - a few centimetres below the neck of the balloon. It would have been less obvious if they had tied it to the balloon itself.

At the end, there could have been several tricks. I'm intrigued that all the yellow balloons seem to have vanished as soon as we go to the wider shots as the kid takes off. Different bunch of balloons? Or could they have been doing some kind of travelling matte work? Bluescreen was around in the 1950s. It's impossible to tell on the youtube version. Otherwise I'd say it's a dummy - seems to have longer legs than the boy - in proportiuon to his body length.

Still a good film.
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#9 Daniel Smith

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 07:01 PM

Dummy I'd say. There's no real movement atall, even in the head.

I was expecting that melting balloon at the begining to burst and scare the living cack out of me..
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#10 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 04:17 PM

Hey Adam, I just saw a new Ford Mondeo commercial which has obviously been influenced by the same movie, here it is in case you missed it:


Best,
Alex

Edited by Alex Wuijts, 22 June 2007 - 04:20 PM.

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#11 Matt Pacini

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 04:36 PM

Gotta be a dummy, read this post that someone responded with:

"...By the way, Mythbusters tried to replicate the balloon carrying a kid away scene. It took over 4,000 balloons to lift a 44-lb girl. Oh well, the magic of film!"
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#12 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 05:58 PM

This film was honored in Cannes this year. It's going to be released on screens again, as well as "Crin Blanc", another piece of magic poetry (story of a wild horse in Camargue, Black and White), so they printed a brand new copy and I took my 8 years old daughter to the first screening. Magic ! Also, imagine what you can feel if born in Paris, grew there as a child and watch images shot in the streets of Paris a few years before you were born ! Anyway... I also think it's a dummy but think there were some cranes shot as well. I'll ask on camera-forum.fr as to see if one of our veterans know more about it.
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