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Storaro Apocalypse dolly shot


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#1 Joe Riggs

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:27 AM

I am reading a book, where a crew member talks about working with Storaro on Apocalypse Now. He describes a shot that takes place during the Huey sequence, that required Storaro and his crew to build a dolly track secured to the ocean floor. They eventually pull off this amazing shot, but I do not recall the shot in the film. Where is it? Did it get cut? Anyone know?

Thanks

Edited by Joe Riggs, 21 February 2010 - 09:27 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:52 AM

Maybe it's the long dolly shot that begins with the boats landing at the beach during the raid where Willard meets Robert Duvall's character, maybe it started out in the water.
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 05:19 PM

I've been studying The Complete Dossier. I'm thinking, like David, it's likely that shot he suggests. Brother, the production value of that whole movie and, especially, that combat scene. WOW! Francis talks in the commentary about how much footage they shot for that scene. Who knows how many amazing shots never even made it into any version of the movie. I guess that's a secret that Walter Murch and a few others will ever know. Maybe, if we're lucky, Francis will come out with a 4 hour long version of Apocalypse Now that has every scene they shot with all the delicious footage they can jamb into it. Shame they can't go back in time and explore all the ideas Francis had for this movie.
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#4 Joe Riggs

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:17 PM

Having recently re-watched the film, the shot David mentions is the only one that remotely resembles what is described in the book. However, according to the book the shot only contained two Hueys, and they joke about the shot as being from a "dolphin's POV", which leads me to believe it is a different shot that did not make the cut.
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 07:11 PM

The imagery in this film haunts me. In my opinion, it is the greatest film ever made, which considering my love of film, says a lot. I CAN'T, however, watch the original release version. Redux, the one Coppola had complete control over, is the only version. Having watched it maybe 50 times, I'm still learning and being inspired by it and it still takes me a day or 2 to get over it's effect on me. I have though, finally been able to take myself out of the picture enough, to notice the continuity abberations of the boat's canvas canopy, which I smile at. Like a beautiful woman with a crooked smile, I'm still in love and find the small defect a bit charming. I had the rare and GREAT privalage of meeting Mr. Coppola during a looping session for the film back in the 80s, when my friend, Larry Fishburne took me with him so I guess I became a fan as early as one can. :D
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 10:56 PM

Between the commentaries and documentary I have heard numbers as low as one million feet and as high as two million feet shot total. Odds are it's not in the movie. Taking the higher number and dividing it by the first release, that's a 133:1 shooting ratio. According to the commentaries their first rough cut ran 5.5 hours. I wouldn't mind watching it all.
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#7 Paul Bruening

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 11:11 PM

I had the rare and GREAT privalage of meeting Mr. Coppola during a looping session for the film back in the 80s, when my friend, Larry Fishburne took me with him so I guess I became a fan as early as one can. :D


Any boggles trying to match the man to Finian's Rainbow?
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#8 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:15 PM

Any boggles trying to match the man to Finian's Rainbow?


Naw, not really, it's kinda like when Kubrick did Sparticus. It was a studio gig. He was a gun for hire, he didn't write the script, he just shot it and quite frankly, musicals may not be his cup of gruel. Hey he's not the only one, Scorsese tried a old school Hollywood musical with NewYork,New York and that bombed too. Musicals are a lot harder to direct well than one might imagine. I directed a couple of stage productions, excerpts from Pippin in collage and an original I wrote based on the Nativity for The Mission Trail Association which had 3 acts, each one taking place at a different mission during the prefromance which was a trip, more like a film company moving to a new location than a play. It was a trip, but we pulled it off. Musicals are tough because you have a lot more variables than a straight play. If you want to see something funny (from a musical theater actor's standpoint), see if you can dig up the Rex Harrison footage of him reheasing for My Fair Lady. He did not like doing musicals. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 04 March 2010 - 09:17 PM.

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#9 Paul Bruening

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 12:10 AM

Such an excellent post, Steven. Indulge me while I take it and run. My best assessment of musicals is: Ya' gotta' have a chick-side. It's THE critical tool for success.

I drag my chick-side out for three things: Art. If I don't put it in my paintings they end-up devoid of magic. Deep trouble. I've had ship loads of emotional pain in the last five years or more. If I hadn't used my chick-side to survive I wouldn't have made it to here. Musicals. Every once in a while I get a hankerin' to watch a musical. Without my chick-side they don't even make sense.

How's that for "too much information"?
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#10 Tom Jensen

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 01:26 AM

That's funny Paul. One night in the early 80's I couldn't sleep and Annie was on so I watched it. I love that movie.
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#11 Josh Hill

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 06:40 AM

After reading some of these posts I feel like I'm the only one who has a 6-hour workprint of Apocalypse Now anymore. It's on VHS, looks horrible from the generations of copying, and has timecode affixed. Got it on eBay when I first saw the movie probably 10 years ago when I was in my teens.

To tell the truth, it's not as exciting as you would think -- no matter how big of a fan you are. It'll really show you what it means to trim the fat of a movie.
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#12 Jeff Kolada

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 06:45 PM

Joe, what book is it that you are reading? I've been trying to locate info on Sotoraros work on Apocalypse Now for a research paper and have been coming up empty handed. On that note, anybody know where I can find info like this? From what I can tell there was never an article in ASC about this movie. Or maybe I completely missed it when I was browsing the archives....
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 07:19 PM

Joe, what book is it that you are reading? I've been trying to locate info on Sotoraros work on Apocalypse Now for a research paper and have been coming up empty handed. On that note, anybody know where I can find info like this? From what I can tell there was never an article in ASC about this movie. Or maybe I completely missed it when I was browsing the archives....


There was an interview with Storaro on "Apocalypse Now" for the Oscar nominees issue of American Cinematographer, and much later, there was a retrospective article when "Redux" was released. I don't have the exact dates of either article because I'm out of town right now, away from my personal index of 1970's issues.
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#14 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 07:25 PM

After reading some of these posts I feel like I'm the only one who has a 6-hour workprint of Apocalypse Now anymore. It's on VHS, looks horrible from the generations of copying, and has timecode affixed. Got it on eBay when I first saw the movie probably 10 years ago when I was in my teens.

To tell the truth, it's not as exciting as you would think -- no matter how big of a fan you are. It'll really show you what it means to trim the fat of a movie.

Regardless, I would love to see the footage!!
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#15 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 07:26 PM

Such an excellent post, Steven. Indulge me while I take it and run. My best assessment of musicals is: Ya' gotta' have a chick-side. It's THE critical tool for success.

I drag my chick-side out for three things: Art. If I don't put it in my paintings they end-up devoid of magic. Deep trouble. I've had ship loads of emotional pain in the last five years or more. If I hadn't used my chick-side to survive I wouldn't have made it to here. Musicals. Every once in a while I get a hankerin' to watch a musical. Without my chick-side they don't even make sense.

How's that for "too much information"?

What happens if you don't HAVE a chick side? :rolleyes:
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#16 Paul Bruening

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 11:09 PM

Every guy's got one. It's a weird place. I try to use it on my three preferred categories only. It would have been a hazard back playing football in junior high, working at a dangerous convenience store, bail bonding and, definitely, when running security at riverboat casinos. Guys fear that if they use it on purpose that they'll get stuck there. You know, like what your siblings told you would happen if you crossed your eyes too much.
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#17 Joe Riggs

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 06:43 AM

Jeff,

It is "Ready When You Are" by Jerry Ziesmer an A.D., and it covers his experiences on a number of films but mainly Apocalypse Now. Storaro is quiet a character, and the stories about him and his crew are the best parts of the book. For example, a member of his crew refuses to film a shot until Storaro personally gives him the F-stop - the only problem is Storaro is 30 miles away.

Another great story is after Coppola shows Storaro, the shots they need to get that day. Storaro and his crew dissapear into the jungle, Jerry, Francis, and the actors wait, and wait, and wait....
Finally, the light is just right, Storaro and crew spring forth from the jungle, Storaro announces "We have 30 minutes of light and we must do 12 shots!"

They proceed to accomplish this impossible feat.
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#18 Nigel Smith

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 07:23 PM

Jeff,

It is "Ready When You Are" by Jerry Ziesmer an A.D., and it covers his experiences on a number of films but mainly Apocalypse Now. Storaro is quiet a character, and the stories about him and his crew are the best parts of the book. For example, a member of his crew refuses to film a shot until Storaro personally gives him the F-stop - the only problem is Storaro is 30 miles away.

the book sounds great!
Just did a search on amazon and they only have some used copies [in average condition] starting at £176.18 :(

Edited by Nigel Smith, 19 March 2010 - 07:24 PM.

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#19 Hal Smith

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 07:53 PM

the book sounds great!
Just did a search on amazon and they only have some used copies [in average condition] starting at £176.18 :(


That's a ridiculous rip-off. Search Amazon.com (USA) for ISBN 081084964X

They're available over here new for $35 or so.
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#20 Mark Dunn

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 01:28 PM

see if you can dig up the Rex Harrison footage of him reheasing for My Fair Lady. He did not like doing musicals. B)

He got his revenge by not actually singing much at all. Just speaking his lines with a bit of intonation.
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