|Ray Kellogg (center)|
|Pinewood special effects chief, Bill Warrington.|
An excellent no frills script, tight editing and a highly effective documentary style look courtesy of lighting cameraman Geoffrey Unsworth. Long time head of Pinewood special effects department, Bill Warrington took the bull by the horns by keeping the special effects always at the service of the true life event. Warrington (pictured here with models for the QUATERMASS films for Hammer) was a true legend among British effects people having had an extensive career in SFX from the formative years where he specialised in the then state of the art compositing process, the Schufftan Process Shot and gradually showing a flair for model work and mechanical effects, for decades at J.Arthur Rank-Pinewood where he would work with figures such as Albert Whitlock, Les Bowie, Peter Melrose and Cliff Culley on many pictures before striking out on his own. Miniatures proved to be a skill which would see Warrington recieve the visual effects Oscar in 1961 for THE GUNS OF NAVARONE. Bill kept active right up until his death in 1981 as special effects consultant for Spielberg on RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.
Although information is hard to come by I'm certain that Pinewood's in house process man Charles Staffell would have had a hand in things here, and possibly George Blackwell with miniature work, which included motorised lifeboats and occupants. The travelling matte shots at the end would probably have been handled by well honed experts Vic Margutti, Bryan Langley or maybe a new talent, Roy Field.
I vaguely recollect that future Bond optical effects man and cinematographer Robin Browne may too have been involved in the effects photography both here and on SINK THE BISMARK shortly after.
For those interested in all of the myriad TITANIC films, I'd recommend this site for much detailed info on these as well as practically every disaster movie ever made. Well worth a visit.
|The 1953 version of event - with more of an accent on hystrionics and endless padding than disaster, with the eventual 'incident' almost appearing to be an afterthought.|
|Entertaining...just, but a pale comparison with the unforgettable 1958 rendition.|
|Opening shot of the infamous iceberg surfacing is very effective and menacing fx shot.|
|Miniature rear projection comp by Sol Halprin.|
|The left frame is one of the most effective miniature shots in the film, shot in daylight with well scaled waves and wake, though looks as if it's been 'borrowed' from the 1943 version made in Nazi Germany.|
|One of four matte shots in TITANIC, with this being a painted ceiling set extension.|
|Misc model shots, probably shot by L.B Abbott, Harry Dawes, Paul Mohn and James B.Gordon who were but four of the numerous effects cinematographers employed by Fox in 1953.|
|The moment of truth: miniatures and process, plus an effective underwater view of the ripping open of the hull.|
|The second of four mattes. Among the artists in Kellogg's matte department in 1953 were Matthew Yuricich, Lee Le Blanc, Menrad von Muldofer, Max de Vega, Cliff Silsby and Emil Kosa jnr.|
|A complex split screen matte shot of the live action lifeboats added to a probable painted ship. Thanks to Jim at http://www.jimusnr.com/Catastropheinthemovies.html for this frame which I missed.|
|Effective process work.|
|And down she goes with what appears to be a large miniature Titanic and motorised row boats.|
|The closing shot features a matte painted composite.|
|A few behind the scenes pictures from TITANIC where we can appreciate the process screen set ups and a partially obscured glimpse of the large (approx 12 foot) model ship in the Fox tank.|
|Bill Warrington's model work from A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. I read that the effects budget amounted to a mere 90'000 pounds on this show.|
|Side by side frame comparison of the engine room flooding miniature sequence shows that several effects cuts from the 1943 German version of the tragedy were in fact reused for the 1958 British version, usually flopped in the optical printer.|
|The effects techniques applied appear to be the same for both films, with what appears to be motorised model lifeboats perfectly integrated with the larger sinking cruise liner.|
|Miniature Titanic interiors are flooded and then rear screen projected by Rank's resident process expert Charles Staffel.|
|Rare shots of the miniature tank shoot at Pinewood. many thanks to my pal Roger Todd for being so helpful with these and other great behind the scenes imagery.|
|The pictures here would suggest that the model is around 30 feet in length.|
|More wonderful photographs of the miniature Titanic set up with technicians giving a good sense of scale here.|
|Miniature tank at Pinewood with what appears to be a completely cut away right hand side of the ship to facilitate electrical wiring and internal lighting requirements.|
|"The unsinkable Titanic.... well, you see.....um, er"|
|And down she goes to the icy, pitch blackness some 2 miles below. The lower left frame is probably a travelling matte composite by either Vic Margutti or Bryan Langley, both key exponents of the blue screen process in Britain.|
|Although there is a one hour behind the scenes documentary on A NIGHT TO REMEMBER I've sadly never managed to see it, with this one off frame from some on set fx footage all I have to show the miniatures and technician.|