|The 20th Century Fox matte department around 1953 while still under the control of long time head Fred Sersen (seen at right). The matte painters pictured here are, from left, Ray Kellogg, Lee LeBlanc, Cliff Silsby, Emil Kosa jr and lastly Max DeVega right down the far end. A wonderfully revealing photograph of matte artists at work in one of the busiest effects departments in Hollywood.
|The mattes unfortunately suffer on the appalling Fox DVD release with excessive grain and bizarre colour shift, not helped at all by the fact that most of the painted effects occur during lap dissolves. Anyone who's seen any number of fifties technicolour films can vouch for the utterly dreadful quality of the dissolve opticals where suddenly a few seconds preceeding the effect the film stock noticeably changes (for the worse) and all semblance of normal colour goes straight out of the window only to be 'spliced' back to the original print at the close of the optical transition. I pity the cinematographer and effects artist who saw their work reduced to this state time and time again.
|I rather like this shot, though once again the colour grading is not befitting of the dvd format and resembles the sort of awful old muddy 16mm television transfers we used to have to put up with.
|I'm surprised that this shot even made the final cut. Again dreadful colour grading and matching of plate to artwork.
|I'd be interested in checking out a Blu Ray of this title, even though I personally don't feel that high definition format is here to stay if the ad-hock marketing and piecemeal release calenders are any guideline.
|This quite nice, expansive matte was probably painted by Matthew Yuricich.
|One of several ROBE matte shots which are recycled for the very poor sequel DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS
|Veteran matte artist Matthew Yuricich seen here recently (circa 2007) attending an exhibition of traditional matte art hosted by visual effects supervisor and former ILM matte cinematographer Craig Barron. The painting seen behind Craig is one of Matthew's wonderful matte paintings from Hitchcock's terrific NORTH BY NORTHWEST.
|As previously mentioned, this film has virtually nothing to reccommend it, with dismal performances (did Victor Mature ever present anything of himself other than dismal?) and an air of desperate cheapness that hangs over the entire film.
|I have only included the few original mattes used in DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS. Several of the other shots are just mattes from THE ROBE. Again I presume Matthew Yuricich would have painted on this show.
|An unusual composition for such a matte shot with unnecessary foreground pillars somewhat ruining the shot.