‘Lights Camera Action’…is virtually the only thing I knew went on behind the silver screen. That changed, once I visited the Universal Studios at Los Angeles. Movies are one thing, which all of us have grown up with, and totally taken for granted. What went on behind the scenes was a new realization. Hand drawn pictures and portraits were replaced by black and white cameras, which gave birth to the pictures juxtaposed to give the silent movie which went on to become full blown olor movies in high definition and sound which we see today, with 3D being the next generation. I hope the characters never jump out of the screens for a live performance after that!
Apart from being entertaining, the whole Universal experience was highly educational when I further realized the rigor and genius that went behind creating those scenes which we absolutely fail to appreciate such as exploding cars and buildings, alien space ships flying, racing chases, swimming with man eating sharks, dinosaurs chomping away at people and the million other myriad things that we utterly take for granted.
The studio tour in itself was a revelation, knowing the dreadful Amity island beach of the shark thriller ‘Jaws’ was but a tiny pond, the shark was a mechanical equipment, the underwater shots were from a big tank! It was exceedingly interesting to learn about what brilliant camera work could magnify and the effects that it could produce. I saw quaint European towns, New York city, Mexican villages, all in the course of that one hour! It was a revelation seeing that all these cities were but facades and totally not real! Explosions and floods being simulated seemed almost real and it was amazing to see just how catastrophic these could look on the big screen.
This visit only cemented my belief that film ‘actors’ are just a piffling part of the entire cinema experience. Though they are the face of the final product and get all the money, acclaim and fame, it’s the people who work behind the scenes such as the directors, cameramen, special effects peoples who are the real brains and heart of the entire movie. Give anyone 10 years of experience, a 100 times and several hours to mouth one dialogue in multiple takes that too guided by a director, they better say it right atleast once! Well, if they don’t, God help such people! Fortuitously watching a painful film shooting for 8 hours with star acclaimed ‘actors’ mouthing one dialogue completely made me lose respect for all ‘actors’! But, well, we still have best actor awards for work being done by the directors and everyone else on the set. And that is why, I firmly want these so-called ‘actors’ with their humbug charms and supposed skills to be atleast good-looking, be able to dance well (for Bollywood atleast), maintain a good physique as ‘acting’ really isn’t an art anyway!
Well, now that I have finished venting on this long felt sentiment, back to the other highlights of the tour that I would like to remember forever. Jurassic park was a major highlight of the Universal experience and the knowledge that the massive dinosaurs were actually extinct and I was looking at controlled machines, certainly helped manage those nerves! The 3D fight of KingKong and the dinosaurs was simply mind blowing and I certainly feel lucky to have survived in that jungle where that earth-shattering fight took place! Another of my favorite rides was the racy ride with the Simpsons in Krustyland where I thought I was on a roller coaster flying about in that animated world, but it turned out that, I was in a car that just rocked in several directions while being in one single position while I looked at a giant domed screen! That certainly was brilliant. The rest of the shows on Shrek, the Mummy and the house of Horrors, etc entertained as well and there was nothing that I thought fell short of my expectations.
All in all, a wonderful, fun and educational experience that I would highly recommend! My rating would be 5 stars for Universal studios!
Republished from my other blog RichlandTalk