Tuesday, 15 June 2010

"GONE WITH THE WIND" - a tribute to the genius of Jack Cosgrove

My intention of this blog primarily is to pay tribute to the greats of special effects, with matte
painting being the prime objective.

David O'Selznick's "GONE WITH THE WIND" released in 1939 remains probably my all time favourite matte shot picture and has had a profound effect on me as a 'student' of special visual effects.

I'd like to illustrate the many, many beautiful matte shots and split screen composites here along with some revealing behind the scenes pictures and trivia... so sit back and enjoy.

Special Photographic Effects by Jack R. Cosgrove (pictured above left)
Matte painters Jack Cosgrove, Fitch Fulton, Albert Maxwell Simpson, Jack Shaw, Byron Crabbe

Visual Effects Cameraman Clarence W.D Slifer

Special Mechanical Effects Lee Zavitz

Photographic Effects Camera Operators William Neumann, Bert Willis and Russell Hoover

Process Projection George Teague and Bob Cresco

Jack Cosgrove on the set of "GWTW" and designing an effect in his office at Selznick

A great many paintings produced in the matte department were featured beneath the very long main title credit sequence. Selznick himself oversaw this entire process and was fanatical about the size of lettering, placement upon the screen and the spelling. The lettering was carried out on large glasses at Consolidated Lab Titles in Hollywood. Clarence Slifer photographed the titles in the Selznick Studios matte department under Cosgroves' supervision.
The Fitch Fulton painting that formed the background to the "at Tara" card at right was recently discovered as part of the estate of the late Michael Jackson and was auctioned off for some $20'000.
Here is a rare opportunity to actually view some detail in an actual "GWTW" matte painting as none are known to exist. We may examine the brushwork in Fitch Fultons' beautiful original oil which was in apparently excellent condition at auction.

Fitch Fultons' oil painted view of Tara prepared for the main titles
                                                                                                                                               close detail of Fultons' brushwork

1 comment:

  1. I own a Fitch Fulton, it is a large painting on board and is signed, Its of the CA coast line.