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Behind the Scenes

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I thoroughly searched but could not find this subcategory in this subforum so here is a good place to detail any stuff that went on with performers, producers, directors, photographers,etc. that audiences may have never suspected:

 

I'll start with one from Wizard of Oz (1939):

 Much has been written about the Wicked Witch of the West causing a field of poppies to grow to put our heroic protagonists into a narcotic slumber but no one could have imagined that Glinda the Good Witch may have caused them (or the performers) more harm via having a sudden 'snowfall' blanket the blooms and end their effects on the protagonists. Since actual snow would have been tricky to pick up on camera and likely have instantly melted under harsh,hot studio lights, they used a substitution but it wasn't soap flakes or bleached corn flakes but. . .. RAW ASBESTOS flakes (!!). True, the carcinogen properties of that material were little known at the time but one might shudder to think about how all four of them were completely covered by them and likely breathed in a good amount of them during the production. Oh, and asbestos was also used for the Scarecrow's jacket and the Wicked Witch's broom when she was attempting to set him on fire! 

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With the passing of that marvelous scholar and film historian, Diana Serra Cary at age 101 on February 24,2020,  I think it's worth considering not just how amazingly talented and expressive she had been as 'Baby Peggy' Montgomery when she was barely a toddler but also how amazing it was that she was able to literally survive all the risks the filmmakers put her through! 

She nearly drowned in a real sea storm in Captain January (1924) among other mishaps but perhaps the worst and most avoidable stunt they put her through was when her character was supposed to escape a burning room in  The Darling of New York (1923). No, they didn't use any projected footage of fires, animation or painting the set to appear to be on fire, they actually SET THE ROOM ON FIRE with kerosene and expected her to go out the door with the camera rolling!! Normally, this tiny child did exactly as her strict on-set father Jack Montgomery would say for fear of punishment but she could feel that the door itself was ablaze on the other side and instantly knew that she'd suffer FAR more if she attempted to go through it than whatever her father might inflict upon her so she climbed onto the very last fire-free path on a kitchen sink and went out the window barely avoiding the flames! Audiences would marvel at how well this four-year-old  supposedly 'pretended' to be scared but, in actuality, as Mrs. Cary would recall, she was SINCERELY petrified. Perhaps it's just as well for historic purposes that the only known fragment of this film to survive has the footage of what happened. Alas, she made over 100 films from the age of 18 months to six years (when her career virtually ended- thanks to Mr. Montgomery losing his temper one too many times to the wrong person) but almost all of them have been lost or were deliberately destroyed. At least Captain January HAS survived in full-length form. 

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I just read this about "Unfaithful" 2002 on Wikipedia.  I mean was this really necessary?!

Click on my screenshot to enlarge to read.

Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 4.30.35 PM.png

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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4 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

I just read this about "Unfaithful" 2002 on Wikipedia.  I mean was this really necessary?!

Click on my screenshot to enlarge to read.

Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 4.30.35 PM.png

I agree that was downright nasty to do that to the performers.  Alas, this is by no means the only time this sort of thing happened. According to Leslie Caron in her autobio, the director insisted on having tires burned just out of camera range on the set-  to give just the right kind of 'vintage, smoky' ambiance to the period piece set in World War I  Courage Mountain (1990).That might also explain why she seemed more testy than the script required while playing the school headmistress. 

Hadn't either of these directors ever considered just putting the right colored gel filters for camera lenses?! UGH!

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2 minutes ago, Blergh said:

Hadn't either of these directors ever considered just putting the right colored gel filters for camera lenses?! UGH!

That's exactly what I said to myself.  Unfaithful was made in 2002, not 1932.  Jesus!!!!!!  Use some damn special effects!

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The AMPAS are doing 'watch parties' on twitter and tonight is Scott Pilgrim vs the World.  https://twitter.com/i/lists/1263141888644616192

The director, cast, and others involved with making the film are posting lots of BTS info. I'm not sure which other movies they're doing/have done.

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One my favorite behind the scenes stories was about The Blues Brothers. They were shooting one night and John Belushi had wandered off -- which happened a lot. Dan Aykroyd went out to look for him at a suburb nearby, and he tracked him down at one house: John had basically had just knocked on the door and asked -- very amicably -- the people who lived there if he could come in and crash there for a while.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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On 5/21/2020 at 3:52 PM, VCRTracking said:

The time Meryl Streep almost died filming THE RIVER WILD(1994).

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1994-10-06-9410050418-story.html

A lesson Curtis Hanson learned that day and every director should know:

When Meryl Streep tells you she can't do something? BELIEVE her.

I vaguely do remember this story.   Such a shame when actors are treated this way to please Directors' egos.  I really, really do like that movie though.  One of my favourite Meryl performances and that's saying something!

It's like the now famous story of Uma Thurman getting into a car crash on Kill Bill.

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/02/uma-thurman-crash-footage-kill-bill-instagram

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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