Posted on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 by Russ Fischer
I’ve talked in the past about my love of the ways in which current technology can give us new perspectives on old movies, and this is a great example of that in action.
Jeff Desom built a sort of 3D digital model of the apartment courtyard from Alfred Hitchcock‘s film Rear Window, and then composited all the events seen from the window of Jimmy Stewart‘s apartment into a single shot that covers a couple days and nights. It’s like watching the film play out if you were the person who lived next to or above Stewart’s character, and it is a surprisingly beautiful way to look at the film. Check out the video below.
If you follow through to Desom’s site from his Vimeo page, what you see is that this is actually the ‘making of’ clip for a video installation that runs for about 20 minutes on a loop, and presents all the events of Rear Window at the same speed seen in the film. (That is: the shots aren’t sped up to Hungarian Dance speed.)
I dissected all of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and stitched it back together in After Effects. I stabilized all the shots with camera movement in them. Since everything was filmed from pretty much the same angle I was able to match them into a single panoramic view of the entire backyard without any greater distortions. The order of events stays true to the movie’s plot.
What was needed to do this? Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. And coffee.