Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Thirty seconds Over Tokyo 1944

Won the Academy Award for Special Effects in 1945  for A. Arnold Gillespie, Donald Jahraus and Warren Newcombe.

The movie depicts the Doolittle raid on Japan which saw 16 fully loaded B25 bombers take off from an aircraft to carry out a bombing raid on Japan with no hope of directly returning to the carrier, but attempting to land in China, with no spare fuel and avoiding the encroaching Japanese forces.

It is certainly one of the all time classics of the model aircraft movie with some of the most spectacular scenes of destruction ever filmed.

The shots of the B25s taking off had the models wire hung from an overhead trolley that could raise and lower them while traveling forward as they depart the miniature carrier deck.

The miniature Tokyo set that the model B25s fly over is staggering in scale and breadth. A great deal of that modelmaking effort is then destroyed in a series of massive miniature pyrotechnics. The B25 models were pulled along guide wires threaded through their wings amongst all the flying destruction.

Slate with the miniature Tokyo in the background.

Blow up of previous photo. There is an effects technician standing with his hands on the roof of a building, to the left of the round tank, showing just how huge this set up is. It also indicates how high the camera platform must have been to get these shots.

 The aircraft carrier is represented as a miniature in a number of shots complete with miniature flight crew. There is also four or so miniature escort ships that can be seen in many of the rear process screen shots.

There is also many very well executed matte painting shots.

Small model carrier and Pier on rippled glass to represent ocean. Rear Screen projection behind actor in cockpit set.

Rear screen process with miniature ship and aircraft as well as miniature ship crew figures.

Miniature background again.

Note miniature crew members lining the carrier deck at the left of frame.

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