- fil-if together, fascinated by the relationships that were now so evident. A few excited moments later, Walt had another idea. Why not take Margie Bell (who had been hired to do the live action of Snow White herself) and shoot film of her on the stage, pretending to come through a door, entering the room, looking about in wonder, seeing a small chair and running over to sit on it? This could all be done with the measurements of the model of the cottagc blown up to full size. Then on another reel of film, we could shoot the model house, matching the same camera moves—only this time in miniature measurements. This film would be printed on washoff relief eels (a newly discovered photographic process for printing directly onto the eels) and later combined with the film of the girl. If the distances were measured accurately, it would appear that Margie was inside the dwarfs' house!
It nearly worked. Forty years later, TV cameras using video tape were regularly combining the action of full-size actors on one camera with a miniature set on another, but in 1935 there were too many problems for the idea to be practical. For one thing, the eels were nitrate and the developing chemicals caused an unpredictable amount of shrinkage on each picture. With no consistency from one to the next, the quality of the whole process was in constant jeopardy. Walt continued to search for a way to make backgrounds three-dimensional, even having them animated in changing perspective on several pictures. While this gave startling effects for individual scenes, it further separated the flat characters on the eels from the rounded forms in the background by contrasting the two different techniques.
The model of the cottage was far from wasted since it was used extensively by both the story sketch men and the layout men to determine what they should show when presenting any piece of business. The story people had the job of making the house seem real through the activities going on, and the layout and background personnel had the responsibility of making those suggestions work in a practical way. They cutout little figures that would throw shadows on the walls, then shifted the lights for a variety of effects; they created pictures that had a new authority, for this was no longer a make-believe house—it was there before them in a very real state.
The work of the layout men reflected this stimulation in everything from the design of the specific scenes to the presentation of the whole sequence. More effective camera angles, interesting groupings of the characters, use of perspective to give dimension, types of scenes to build the mood—all were handled so skillfully that the spectators neither noticed nor wondered. They were completely absorbed in what was happening on the screen.
ARTIST: Albert Hurler— Snow White.
Hurler's drawings of lite dwarfs' cottage were so thorough in concept and detail that a model of the whole building was constructed just from his sketches.
Four Styles of Background Painting
painter. Sam Arm* Snow White.
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pajnter: Eyvind Fa Sleeping Beauty.
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