VFX Voice

The award-winning definitive authority on all things visual effects in the world of film, TV, gaming, virtual reality, commercials, theme parks, and other new media.

Winner of three prestigious Folio Awards for excellence in publishing.

Subscribe to the VFX Voice Print Edition

Subscriptions & Single Issues


January 02
2020

ISSUE

Winter 2020

Final Frame: Peering into the Future – in 1927

People in every era are curious about the future. Legendary director Fritz Lang was certainly curious back in the original “Roaring Twenties” with his landmark sci-fi film Metropolis.

Created in Germany, this black-and-white masterpiece centers around a future Utopian city called Metropolis, where wealthy residents enjoy the good life above the surface and downtrodden workers underground toil ceaselessly for the benefit of these elites.

Not only is the film notable for its subject matter, but for its pioneering visual and special effects as well. Eugen Shüfftan was credited for much of the special effects wizardry. He fabricated a miniature of the city, a camera on a swing, and came up with the “Schüfftan Process” whereby mirrors were used to create the illusion that actors were occupying miniature sets.

This image above depicts the city. The shots that establish the city with cars, planes and moving elevated trains were filmed using stop-motion photography. The autos were modeled after a new generation of taxi cabs found in Berlin. It took several months to build this city, which was inspired by Lang’s visit to New York in 1924 where he was dazzled by the skyline, tall buildings and lighting.

In addition to Shüfftan, Ernst Kuntsmann was credited with special effects. The other technicians included Erich Kettelhut for trick photography and painting effects, model makers Willy Muller and Edmund Zeihfuss, trick photography assistant Hugo O. Schulze, and Konstantin Irmen-Tschet for special photographic effects sequences.


Share this post with

Most Popular Stories

The Miniature Models of <strong>BLADE RUNNER</strong>
02 October 2017
Final Frame
The Miniature Models of BLADE RUNNER
In 1982, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner set a distinctive tone for the look and feel of many sci-fi future film noirs to come, taking advantage of stylized production design, art direction and visual effects work.
The New <strong>Artificial Intelligence</strong> Frontier of VFX
20 March 2019
Final Frame
The New Artificial Intelligence Frontier of VFX
The new wave of smart VFX software solutions utilizing A.I.
THE PEARL: THE SUPER ALIEN MODELS OF<strong> VALERIAN</strong>
02 August 2017
Final Frame
THE PEARL: THE SUPER ALIEN MODELS OF VALERIAN
Among the many creatures and aliens showcased in Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets are members of the Pearl, a beautiful...
Converting a Classic: How Stereo D Gave <strong>TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY</strong> a 3D Makeover
24 August 2017
Final Frame
Converting a Classic: How Stereo D Gave TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY a 3D Makeover
James Cameron loves stereo. He took full advantage of shooting in native 3D on Avatar, and has made his thoughts clear in recent times about the importance of shooting natively in stereo when possible...
2018 – Year of the Rapidly Expanding <b>VFX Moviemaking Vocabulary</b>
03 April 2018
Final Frame
2018 – Year of the Rapidly Expanding VFX Moviemaking Vocabulary
Industry leaders discuss trends and issues.