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Sunken treasures await your re-discovery: Blog 2016
"I always keep my word, I'll send him right where he told me to go ...HELL!"
September 2017
This Blog will be offering a colorful kaleidoscope of movie magic for cinema aficionados.
Crispy peanuts, thin-skinned baloons and thrilling sensations on celluloid.
See offbeat goodies and magic crumbs ...weekly!
The Reality behind the Fantasy!
No inflated endlessly long stories, but short and crisp. 
'This is Helmet time!'
Photos beat content!

The young Director David Nelson (striped shirt) lensed 3 episodes of the ABC TV Show 'O.K.Crackerby!'.
Here we see him directing 'The Saint John Raid' episode (1965).
The long forgotten 'Lost Laughs' of '60s television Show with Burl Ives is hardly known to people outside of the USA.
The ratings were poor and the show lasted just one season (1965-66) before it faded off screen.
I have only seen 2 episodes so far and would love to see the rest of the sitcom.
Some good laughs ...and a few parallels to today's America. 
So what's the problem? I want my DVD box!
Behind the Scenes of a true TV oddity. 
David Nelson (1936–2011) on Stage at the Samuel Goldwyn Studios for 'O.K.Crackerby', 1965.
The filming of 'The Saint John Raid'. Set preparations.
Magic special effects - an exploding balloon? Wow!
The very experienced cameraman Charles Van Enger filmed the show.
Director David Nelson ('The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet') on set.  Does he believe in the success of the show?
Burl Ives (O.K.Crackerby!) is ready for the next take - Samuel Goldwyn Studios.
Finishing touches for the costume of Burl Ives.
A glass of champagne.
Director David Nelson with the marvelous actress Kathleen Freeman and Burl Ives.
'The Saint John Raid'.
The Fun can begin!
David Nelson lines up a shot with the camera, 1965.
Are you ready for more curiosities?
  All O.K.CRACKERBY! Kodak Ektachrome Transparencies are from the www.moon-city-garbage.agency archive.

See how Jonathan Frakes (TNG-Riker!) directs an interactive PC Game with the legendary Gowron!
Click here: 'Star Trek: Klingon'
This and so much more exclusively on:
Your essential behind-the-scenes guide to movie and television curiosities!

Your comments are always welcome!
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. Sometimes.

'Godzilla' (1998) is a gorgeous Monster Thriller directed by Roland Emmerich.
The high-quality production offers an excellent cinematography and a thrilling effects orchestration.
Yeah, Godzilla is an effects Monster!
A challenging job for Visual Effects Supervisor Volker Engel. 
A wide range of traditional effects and high-end computer animation was used.
Excellent creature fx and what a brilliant miniature show.
The 'Independence Day' Team came back to New York City to pulverize a few more landmarks. 
The legendary Joe Viskocil (1952-2014) supervised the fiery end of the Madison Square Garden.
Visual Effects Supervisor Volker Engel (photo) was in charge of an exceptional team of effects facilities, 
brought together to design an up-to-the-minute Godzilla show.
'VisionArt Design & Animation' animated the F-18 Jets that were sent to wipe out the nest of Godzilla in Madison Square Garden.
They used some of their old CG F-18 models developed for 'Independence Day'.
Before they closed their doors in 2000, VisionArt was one of Southern California's finest visual effects houses 
in the 90s, providing fantastic images for feature films, commercials, TV news and special venue projects.
Last preparations for a night shot - The explosion of the Madison Square Garden.
Staged on an old helicopter landing pad of the Hughes Aircraft company in Playa Vista.
The 1/24th-scale Madison Square Garden miniature, with nice detailing and model cars on the parking lot, 
was built by Michael Joyce and his 'Cinema Productions Services' crew.
The surrounding building facades fill out the frame and deliver some great reflections for a perfect 
explosion effect.
'Chief Inspector' Volker Engel goes around the 'Garden' miniature one last time before Joe Viskocil unleashes his pyro show.
Visual Effects Supervisor Volker Engel in discussion with Pyro expert Joe Viskocil (right) and 
Miniature Effects Supervisor Don Baker (left).
The carefully choreographed explosion of a New York City Landmark, captured with multiple cameras.
Volker Engel and VFX Camerman Jeff Sturgill check out the 1/10th-scale 'Glass Tower' Madison Square Garden entrance miniature.
Staged on the parking lot of Hangar 45, Hughes Aircraft Plant.
Excellent explosion effect high-speed shot. All these small flying debris, brilliant!
Look a the Warning sign - Prima Cord on Set!
Seems that Joe Viskocil used this detonating cord for the show.
Its hot fast stuff that detonates along its entire length at a velocity of approximately 23,000 feet (7,000 meters) per second. 
Great to create explosive effects and to build reliable explosive charges.
Joe Viskocil won at the 69th Academy Awards for 'Independence Day', in the category of Best Visual Effects. 
He shared his win with Volker Engel, Clay Pinney and Douglas Smith.
There will be more stories on the 'Godzilla' effects work soon.
Here you see Volker Engel in front of a miniature facade used for another Joe Viskocil explosion, 
the crash of a 1/8th-scale Apache heli into a miniature building. 

'The Ultimate Warrior' (1975) is a Post-Apocalyptic sleeping pill directed by B-Movie tamer Robert Clouse (1928–1997).
Robert Clouse directed a few pretty cool flicks ('Enter the Dragon', 'Black Belt Jones') but what he cooked here, 
I don't know.
A weird story that starts somewhere and ends right there.
Our heroes (Yul Brynner, Max von Sydow) live in a 'tomato breeder community' struggling for survival in
the ruins of New York. 
The cheap-looking sets (Warner Brothers Burbank Studios) were controlled by hungry street gangs (Tomato Friends?). 
William Smith plays the weirdo street fighter good as usual with his special talents.
The rest is silence!
On the photo you see Director Robert Clouse and Yul Brynner discussing the next sleepy 'action' scene. 
'The Ultimate Warrior' was promoted as the first 'Kung Fu Science Fiction' movie! What?
I must have fallen asleep when the spaceship with the Kung Fu Killers from Planet Tomato landed. 
Radiation is a dangerous thing.
Director Robert Clouse with Yul Brynner and 'The Baron' Max von Sydow, 1975.
Enthusiasm looks different.
The veteran actors Yul Brynner and Max von Sydow during a break in filming 'The Ultimate Warrior', 1975.
Yul looks old, just like the movie. Both have much better movies under their belt.

Miss Wet T-shirt Jacqueline Bisset celebrated her 32 birthday during the production of 'The Deep' (1976) 
with a special 'Coral reef' cake. Moray eel with Marzipan. Yummy!
Now, on 13 September 2017, the very active and enormously talented actress celebrates her 73rd birthday. 
Our fondest congratulations!
My 'The Deep' Story is still hidden in the treasure chest, but I wouldn't let you go without a candy snack.
The stunning beauty Jacqueline Bisset surprises in a gripping sixties crime drama with Frank Sinatra.
Check it out here, She's a real looker in 'The Detective'!

A rousing early buddy-cop flick with the congenial duo James Caan and Alan Arkin.
What a vibrant show, fully loaded with humor and firepower, directed by Richard Rush.
Freebie (Caan) and Bean (Arkin) are full of energy and enthusiasm.
The whole movie is brimful with good vibrations and groove! 
Freebie and Bean bird-dog a notorious mobster as if auditioning for a demolition derby,
cutting loose with bullets and wisecracks all the way.
'This is Helmet time!'
Lensed in San Francisco by the highly esteemed László Kovács (photo), who teamed up with Director Richard Rush in the 60s
and shot crazy biker movies ('Hells Angels on Wheels') and psychedelic movies like 'Psych-Out'.
'Freebie and the Bean' is their best collaboration. 
A brilliant love story about two off-beat police detectives who wreak havoc in San Francisco.
Available on blu-ray - Warner Archive Collection.
Bean (Alan Arkin) in trouble - Scene with Stuntwoman Regina Parton.
Freebie and Bean are constantly in trouble, even with the simplest things!
Director Richard Rush always demonstrates how he wants the actor to play a scene. 
The guy who is standing in for Alan Arkin is Stuntman Legend Chuck Bail.
Freebie and Bean get the thing under control. 
Stuntman Chuck Bail is trapped in the car door.
Charles 'Chuck' Bail had a very long, diverse and impressive movie business career that spanned the 1950s to the 1990s and 
encompasses everything from acting to directing to performing and coordinating stunts in numerous motion pictures and 
television shows.
On 'Freebie and the Bean' he was the stunt coordinator and second unit 'action scenes' director.
Furthermore he did a few stunts for the show.
Director Richard Rush is planning the next crazy chase scene, 1974.
Freebie calls the police station at the end of such a chase:
'Hi, Fred. We got a little accident. Could you send a tow truck, please, to 618 Elm Street? Hold it. 
It's the, uh, third floor, apartment 304.'
DOP László Kovács explains to James Caan the benefits of the Panavision cinematic camera R-200°.
The spectacular motorcycle riding stunts around a few landmarks of San Francisco were performed by Mike Bast.
The professional Speedway Rider dances over Cars and a thousand things with his Montesa motorbike.
James Caan did only a few close-ups and slow speed rides on the Montesa, all the rest of the show was performed by 
Mike Bast for him.
Fun & Firepower!
'Sledge Hammer' meets 'Lethal Weapon' back in the 70s.
Bean was hit by a bullet.
Director Richard Rush and James Caan rehearse the scene. 
In this scene, Freebie (James Caan) bends over his injured buddie...
Close-up of Freebie. His amigo is dead?
James Caan squats on a small platform for the close-up shot while László Kovács prepares the R-200°, 1973.
Key scenes were shot on location in San Francisco at Candlestick Park, then home of the 
Major League Baseball San Francisco Giants, and later the home of the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers.
Another Frisco landmark which is prominently featured in the movie is the Transamerica Pyramid at 600 Montgomery Street. 

This financially well equipped Amicus/Columbia Production took me by surprise.
A little noticed flick that normally flies under the radar.
More a modern Horror Film with small elements of the 'Frankenstein' story than the classic Amicus stuff.
Mr. Soames, superbly played by Terence Stamp, experiences another kind of horror.
A child in a man's body. Can this baby kill?
Some really great moments and fascinating ideas are well presented. 
The idea to show us the horror of 'Reality TV' is awesome!
Well, here and there the movie seems a bit too small-scale, Director Alan Cooke is TV movie expert, 
but on the other hand it has a few nice and atmospheric settings.
The few rather flat moments can be neglected.
It started out as pretty small potato and became a surprise hit for me.
A pretty good movie!
Director Alan Cooke (1926–1994) in conversation with the brilliant Mr. Soames (Stamp) on set for 'The Mind of Mr.Soames', 1970.
The British Actor Terence Stamp impresses with a first-class performance!
Robert Vaughn talks with Director Alan Cooke on the 'Soames' Set.
The movie moves along at a good pace, with great Players and a few strange moments.
Finishing touches for Dr. Bergen (Robert Vaughn) before the next take, 1970.

Machine gun fire on the 'Viva Maria' shooting range in Mexico, 1965.
Brigitte Bardot (Maria) needs to learn how to handle the Vickers MK1 Machine Gun.
Special Effects Supervisor Lee Zavitz, standing behind of Brigitte, supervises the training. 
The versatile special effects technician Lee Zavitz (1904–1977), a Hollywood veteran, won an Academy Award for the impressive 
Visual Effects he developed for 'Destination Moon', 1950.
He worked on infamous trash movies ('The Snow Creature'), epic adventures ('Around the World in 80 Days) and 
handled the effects work for many popular Genre movies.
Zavitz prepared the gunfights in Western films like 'Apache', 'Alamo' and 'Guns for San Sebastian', 
and orchestrated the explosions for a few formidable War movie flicks, like 'Men in War' and 'The Train'.
His last film was again a War movie, the bizarre Sydney Pollack satire 'Castle Keep' (1969).
Effects man Leland "Lee" Zavitz had quite a few problems with the biggest 'prop' of the WWII movie 'Castle Keep'.
No, not with the eye patch of Burt Lancaster, but with the fairy tale castle which looks like it's coming right out of Disney World!
The AVALA Film Set Construction crew built the Disney-like Castle out of plenty of plywood and styrofoam, held together by an 
enormous scaffolding, in the Kamenicki park of Novi Sad (Serbia).
Soon more about the anti-war satire 'Castle Keep' and the shaky castle prop.
Lee Zavitz started his career as Special Effects technician under the tutelage of Fox Studio veteran Louis J. Witte (1894–1975).
He was the assistant of the old master for 10 years and learned a lot during these early years of 
Special Effects in Hollywood productions.
And like his mentor he held patents on several devices used in his film work.
Zavitz developed a special 'torch', for example, which is used where an intense light is desired.
A helpful device whenever motion pictures are being photographed during late afternoon or where daylight has varying intensity 
(due to cloud effects,..).
The Zavitz device is capable of giving a variable or constant candle power to overcome any light deficiency.
It is possible to obtain various lighting effects upon a film, such as flashes of lightning, and the like.
A great thing in the late 30's.

'The War Lord' was a dream project for Charlton Heston, and he had a heavy input into all aspects of the production.
But Chuck could not prevent the film from being cut from 3 to 2 hours.
Scenes of epic splendour are hardly seen between the Studio backlot scenes and cheaply Stage scenes.
Embarrasing close-ups and cheesy mattes (Albert Whitlock), but I love this bumpy epic directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (1920–1989).
May be its the atmosphere, the pace, the exquisite action scenes arranged by Joe & Tap Canutt ...? 
I dream of the 3 hours version ...! 
The Bird Trainer of the Show was Ray Berwick (photo).
Ray trained different hawks, eagles and Chuck to become 'The War Lord'.
Charlton Hesten (1923–2008) loved the birds of prey and learned how to use the falcon for hunting.
Chuck shows a hawk of Ray Berwick.
Holly Ann, the cute little daugter of Charlton Heston, enjoys the visit on the Set of 'The War Lord' in California.
Ray Berwick (1914–1990) was the bird trainer on Hitchcock's 'The Birds'. 
He trained 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull', the raven for 'Damien: Omen II' and was the animal coordinator on 'Gremlins'.
Ray was in charge of 'Muffit the Daggit' for the 'Battlestar Galactica' show as part of the Universal Studio tour.
He trained the chimp Livingston to play 'Muffit the Daggit'. 
The chimp had to wear a full costume, which even had radio-controlled functions (movable ears).
The chimp Evie played Muffit in the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica television series (trained by Boone Narr).
After working in an uncomfortable costume, Livingston always got a banana ice cream.
All contractually regulated. This is Hollywood!

Because of his expertise in handling reptiles Ross Allen (1908-1981) of Ross Allen’s Reptile Institute (Silver Springs, Florida) 
served as reptile handler on several movies that were filmed in Silver Springs, including 'Tarzan Finds a Son!' (1939) 
and 'The Yearling' (1946).
Ross used his Reptile Institute for research and education about alligators, crocodiles and snakes, also sponsoring and 
conducting collection expeditions.
For 'Blindfold' (1965) Ross Allen provided the alligators for the swamp scenes, 
claiming to have trained them so they were no risk for Claudia Cardinale, Rock Hudson or the production team.
On the photo above Ross Allen showed one of his snakes to the slightly frightened Claudia Cardinale.
Claudia steered the 'Undiedummies Inc.' Van into the Silver River (Paradise Park).
She and Rock stumbled through the swamp and 'met' some of Ross Allen's alligators.
Whenever they saw an alligator on their way, they hoped it was one of the trained...
Other scenes were shot at the Sharpes Ferry Bridge, at Indian Lake State Forest and at the Silver Springs Airpark.
Philip Dunne (1908–1992), a well-known writer of Screenplays, directed the entertaining little thriller.
'Blindfold' is available on Blu-ray.
Filming of 'Blindfold' in the swamp of Silver Springs, 1965.
The nice couple Cardinale/Hudson had to stay in the cold water of the reptile-invested swamp for several retakes.
The swamp is not an easy shooting location, you have to bring in all the equipment on boats and pontoons.
Here you see the flat-bottomed pontoon of Captain Dunne. The barge for the camera and spotlights.
The Illumination was surely tricky, but how did they get electricity?

'The Longest Day' mastermind Darryl F.Zanuck (1902-1979) managed to get the permission to film inside the Church of
Sainte-Mčre-Église (France). With the help of a small donation?
They filmed the scene with Father Louis Roulland (Jean-Louis Barrault) here.
He preaches in the small pulpit of the Church.
Tourism in Sainte-Mčre-Église today fully centers on its role in the D-Day invasion. 
There are many small museums (such as the Airborne Museum) and World War II-related giftshops and restaurants. 
A dummy paratrooper (the big brother of Rupert) hangs from the church spire. 
Sainte-Mčre-Église - The wooden pulpit today.
The Ghost of Zanuck is everywhere.
The famous french stage actor Jean-Louis Barrault (1910–1994) learns the right gestures with the help of the real 
Priest of Sainte-Mčre-Église.
More 'The Longest Day' behind the scenes stuff can be found here: Pointe du Hoc.