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Production Shot from Lawrence of Arabia


al mcguire
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I'm more curious about the high pressure air hose that seems to be attached to something under the Hi-Hat base-plate of the camera.

I wonder if that is some kind of air bladder to stabilize  the camera on a rough dolly track.  I don't see any kind of sand deflector around the lens.  I bet that would make recording usable sound impossible.

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I'm more curious about the high pressure air hose

 

I'm guessing that the hose is just for blowing sand off the camera. Working regularly in the desert, I would bet that they either had a compressor for that purpose or worked with tanks of nitrogen. Probably both. The camera assistant has probably left the nitrogen hose draped across the apple boxes where it would be ready to hand.

 

David

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I'm guessing that the hose is just for blowing sand off the camera. Working regularly in the desert, I would bet that they either had a compressor for that purpose or worked with tanks of nitrogen. Probably both. The camera assistant has probably left the nitrogen hose draped across the apple boxes where it would be ready to hand.

 

David

Don't think so, it seems to be attached to a quick release coupler to something under the Hi Hat.  Note the wedges.  I bet with that Worrall Gear head and no Ball mount it was their way of leveling that 250 lb camera.

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There is a great production still from this film with (from memory from my film school years....) what looked like a studio boom (not a Fischer) mounted on the back of a flat bed truck. If I can find it I'll post it.

Also remember David Lean thinking the desert wasn't "white" enough - for the scene where Omar's character is introduced, appearing over the rise - he got the art dept painters to paint all the brown rocks in the wide shot white!

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Back in those days (1962), I suspect a lot of exterior shots would only wind up using ADR for dialogue. My bet is that the location sound would only be for reference a lot of the time. It's interesting to listen to films made prior to (say) 1970 and hear how much ADR was being used during those days, even for TV. There was only so much the re-recording mixers could do back in that era in order to clean up difficult location tracks. 

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Incredible feat of filmmaking, lugging that camera around the desert and somehow keeping everything working.

A dear family friend won the Oscar for editing that film. Holding it as a young boy was one of my main reasons for wanting to pursue a career in film.

I met Lawrence of Arabia camera operator Ernest Day (presumably behind the camera in the photo above), when he was directing second unit on Bethune, in China.  We kept in touch and he subsequently worked twice in Canada,  once on a project with me. Focus Puller Ken Withers emmigrated to Canada and worked as a camera operator.  My favourite story of Ken's:   he worked with a director one day that declared he had worked with someone just prior to that who was the focus puller on the famous shot of Omar Sharif riding through the desert haze.  Ken embarrassed the director by setting the story straight, that he was the one.  The irony of the gullibility of the director was that the gentleman professing to have done the shot was too young.... As was the custom of the time, the same camera crew went on to shoot multiple David Lean movies.

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  My favourite story of Ken's:   he worked with a director one day that declared he had worked with someone just prior to that who was the focus puller on the famous shot of Omar Sharif riding through the desert haze.  Ken embarrassed the director by setting the story straight, that he was the one.  The irony of the gullibility of the director was that the gentleman professing to have done the shot was too young.... As was the custom of the time, the same camera crew went on to shoot multiple David Lean movies.

Thanks ao,  Love those stories as well as the production pics.

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Don't think so, it seems to be attached to a quick release coupler to something under the Hi Hat.  Note the wedges.  I bet with that Worrall Gear head and no Ball mount it was their way of leveling that 250 lb camera.

I'm betting on the side of the gas line being for blowing off the sand. The end of the line is probably connected to 6-foot can of Dust-Off! Would be great to get a confirmed ruling, though. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I mixed a film of David Lean's.. "The Finding of Cook's Anchor"...he called it a Featurementary to me in the dubbing theatre..

 

BVS

 

My father (rest his soul), was a Florida salvage diver, carpenter who could build anything (he fashioned his own tanks for skin diving, long before it was called scuba, built his own hydroplane), a Florida folk enthusiast/recordist, proud Bolex 16mm amateur filmmaker, and a giant fan of David Lean's work, especially "Mutiny" and "Laurence"......would have loved to see that featurmentary.

 

Makes me think of him and how much I miss him.

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