Sunday, 20 June 2010

"SINCE YOU WENT AWAY" Jack Cosgrove matte shots

The 4th of five Oscar nominations that Jack Cosgrove recieved throughout his career "SINCE YOU WENT AWAY" made in 1944 was another showcase for the matte artists' ability in expanding limited sets and wartime budget constraints to broaden the directors' canvas considerably.
A limited set, quite typical of the time where it was often simply left up to the matte painter to expand where neccessary - and invisibly to boot.

 The beautiful sky above I can't precisely say is a matte but my feeling is that IT IS.  A magnificent composition that many an art director or cinematographer would die for.  Skies and angry cloudscapes were a Cosgrove specialty in many films.
 As pointed out in Craig Barrons' book "The Invisible Art" wartime tightening of the belts meant that even props such as the jeeps and military trucks were also added by the matte painter in several shots.
The airforce base - entirely created with paint and backlit slot gags.

 Matte artist Jack Shaw painted these broad interior views adding to an extremely limited soundstage set.

Practically all painted with just the people in the original plate photography.  There is a curious matte line weave which almost suggests that the standing group at the rear were again added seperately?

 The wonderfully atmospheric hayride scene aided considerably by Cosgroves storm clouds approaching.

Matte painters on this show were Spencer Bagtatopolis,  Jack Shaw and Cosgrove himself.

 above - the magnificent hospital matte shot - one of the best in the film with a rare view of the original painting on masonite above which recently came up for auction.  If ever I could own a Cosgrove painting then this would be it.
Matte painter Spencer Bagtatopolis created this lovely shot which according to effects cinematographer Clarence Slifer was painted very quickly and perfectly matched the requirements of a great matte shot.
Two frames from Craig Barrons' wonderful book "The Invisible Art" which I include as they were shots I couldn't find in the DVD itself so maybe they hit the cutting room floor?  The shot with the jeep is fabricated and the truck on right is actually painted in by the matte artist(!!)

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