In the place of Screening Gotham, for whose omission this morning I am awfully sorry but which I swear could not be avoided (and whose absence I hope did not whipsaw your day into news-drought catatonia; you found appropriate talking points to substitute, yes?), I humbly submit this great item by Jeff Wells. The Hollywood Elsewhere blogger actually called The Hoax's producer and visual effects providers to find out why there are no shots of the World Trade Center's twin towers in director Lasse Hallström's panorama of early-'70s Lower Manhattan -- which I imagine I probably would have done myself if I could get away from this desk long enough to see the movie:
I tried reaching Hoax producer Mark Gordon ... but it took the better part of a day just to get Gordon's publicist's number -- the subliminal message seemed to be "please leave us alone." So I called Mark Dornfeld at Custom Film Effects, the company that delivered most of The Hoax's CG visuals.
Dornfeld, amiable and easy-going, said "there was no discussion" about pasting in the towers -- "it never came up" -- but suggested that people should cut Hallström a break because "he's not a native." How much would it have cost if Hallström or Gordon had wanted Dornfeld to paste in the towers? "Ohh, I'd say maybe, let's say, $3,500 to $4,000. We're talking about pasting in a still image into a static shot, and it doesn't have to be too distinct because there's a lot of haze in the distance of lower Manhattan anyway, so....yeah, $3,500 to $4,000."
Indeed, as a Swedish tranplant, Hallström has the privilege of botching American period detail all he wants, particularly those involving New York's most hallowed architectural icon of the last 50 years. And God knows $3,500 to $4,000 is a little rich for anyone's blood over at Miramax, especially on a film in which Westchester County is substituted for Ibiza, Spain. Wells, however, wants no excuses -- "amiable and easy-going" or otherwise -- and is calling for historical accuracy at any financial or emotional cost. His commenters, typically garrulous and more than a little encyclopedia-challenged, have their own impressions. I welcome your own impressions here: Should we let The Hoax off the hook?
Posted at March 21, 2007 3:42 PM
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