A fairly quick post, mostly with pictures! Many might think I do very little but a lot is done in fact. Last year for the 50th anniversary of 2001 A Space Odyssey I did dozens of titles because I had planned on doing quite a number of posts but then I thought ‘hey no-one wants 2001 shoved down their throats for a month’ thus the idea was dropped. In the event three posts were published and the rest were simply left as drafts. One or two of these posts are finally being published for the 51st anniversary of the film.
And these titles? Well the plan was to do a series of posts and have each a title to go with it, thus providing uniformity throughout the series. The bad? The first post to be finished had one of these specially created title pictures to match it. However the problem was no matter what I did I just couldn’t get the title pictures to fit the posts – unless I put them in letter box format (that is, smaller, longer and with a black edge all the way round.) In the end I threw practically the lot out and used a different approach as seen below.
Last years 2001 feature with a different title image – its not quite the same as that used for the film. I created it specially. That intended for use is shown below. It was disappointing these images could not really be used after much effort making them.
The intended original title picture for kicking off the first of the 2018 series of 2001 posts. And rejected!
No matter what I did each title came out differently. It was a quirk. Some would work better than others. I tried several different sizes of lettering and images but none of it seemed to work. I did begin to revert to the idea of letterbox formatting for the series but didnt really want that thus the second instalment of the series was the only one to get this modified version of these title pictures as shown below.
The letterbox version image used for the second of the 2001 posts last year.
Here are some of the others, whittled down from several dozen choices! I haven’t resized them exactly as I intended for last year’s posts. The first sequences are from the untitled section of film set between The Dawn of Man and The Jupiter Mission. These sequences begin just after that famous jump (or match) cut, the bone rising in to the air and coming back down as a spaceship (or if one really prefers, it was a nuclear weapon in space.)
The Pan Am spaceship Orion, with Doctor Heywood Floyd on board, turns towards the space station.
The pilots prepare Orion onto a path for docking with the space station.
After his enigmatic speech about a strange anomaly at TMA-1, Floyd heads for the moon aboard the Aries spaceship.
Floyd and his crew at TMA-1 (the Tycho crater) ready to investigate the mysterious monolith.
I used hardly any images from the Jupiter Mission section as didnt think they offered much potential for this project. What was wanted was quite dark pictures and most of the Jupiter Mission segments are quite bright scenes. Similarly the hotel room scenes wouldn’t have suited either.
That takes us thence to the penultimate segment of the film – Jupiter and beyond the infinite – where the monolith makes its longest appearances in the film, nearly five minutes. There are many panning shots in these sequences, probably because it gave a better sense of depth and more excitement than simple shots.
Another reason could be that it was technically impossible given the scale of the project, to bring motion to the planets themselves (orbiting and rotating) without incurring huge expense – much money had already been thrown at the film making it as authentic as it could possibly be – thus this panning technique was used instead as the next best thing.
The scene where Jupiter and its moons can be seen the bigger one at right is Io. This was done on a slightly different scale to try and force the image to fit into the feature image section but it was not successful.
I cheated a little on this one! One cannot see the monolith hovering above the Discovery in this shot. What Kubrick did here was to pan down from the monolith to the Discovery. I simply merged two different shots to produce this composite image. It wouldn’t have worked of course but I enjoyed creating it! The huge planet is of course Jupiter.
This is the next scene which shows the monolith hovering in almost total blackness. I enhanced it to make the stars in the background stand out. I used this one as shown earlier in this post but converted it to letterbox format to make it work in the way I had wanted.
This is where Kubrick pans the camera right round from the rear of Jupiter to the Discovery, and then as the spaceship’s pod doors opens, the monolith comes into view. Again in the film itself one can almost not see the stars nor even the monolith thus I made these stand out more. The lettering was made smaller here but still not good.
The Discovery’s pod (with Dave Bowman piloting it) is then seen in space heading towards the camera, before the scene switches to this conjunction of Jupiter and its moons. The monolith then appears for the last time in space (it is seen once again in the hotel room at the end of the film.)
The famous Star Gate sequence came next and this is pretty well my favourite bit from that.
I’ll be publishing the next 2001 A Space Odyssey post in the next few days or so!