The Winner Is . . .

The winner of the design book giveaway is Hogan Lee. His name was drawn from the correct answers, which is: Der Letzte Mann (The Last Man). Made by UFA Films, it was released here in 1925 as The Last Laugh. The American release version was re-edited to be less of a ‘downer’ that the original German version as well as having more cuts added. Proof that even then American audiences had shorter attention spans.

the-last-laugh

 

Beyond the film’s exclusion of the usual silent film title cards in exchange for a more visual storytelling style, it set a new standard for camera movement. The film caused quite a stir here in Hollywood as the studios were stymied as to where it was shot. The ‘city’ in the film was populated with building much taller than anything that existed in the world at that time and yet they were obviously physical buildings and not a glass shot. ( more on this later )

rain-scene

The picture’s Art Directors, Hearlth and Röhring , designed the street to be a giant forced perspective set, populated by progressively smaller cars and pedestrians.

The director, F.W. Murnau would come to Hollywood and make equally visually impressive films here. He died in Santa Barbara. The cinematographer, Karl Freund, would also find a new career in Hollywood and would revolutionize multi-camera filmmaking by creating the technique of “flat-lighting”, which became the standard of TV sitcoms.

the-setup

Take 2! – Design Book Giveaway

Let’s try this one more time. Something was screwy with the blog links yesterday so here we go again!

Today’s book is By Hand & Eye, by George R. Walker and Jim Tolpin, published by Lost Art Press. You can read all about the book here. The winner will get the hard cover edition of the book. This book is a favorite of mine and an excellent primer on designing by proportion.

Contest Question

What is the name of the film these stills are from?

hint: it’s not an American film

rain-scene

 

 

Another hint:

One man in this picture would pass away in Santa Barbara, California and another person would revolutionize television.

dolly-shot
Send your answers to: randallwilkins1@gmail.com