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Back of The Hand Stop Motion Movie Remakes

Alex Menace Apr 12, 2022 Scroll to read in 3 minutes

Our Back Of The Hand Movie series is an A+C foray into the world of tiny abridged film remakes created using stop-motion. Below are our first picks and our reason for choosing them.

Star wars web pic Starwars

Star War: A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away. Since 1977, those nine words have been embedded into the brain of millions, all bonded by their ability to quote lines, theorise what is to come in future episodes and bust out Star Wars dress up. With the films and their endless spawn of comic books, novels, video games, apps, action figures, online forums, and fan-fiction, coupled with the availability of the internet, a powerful community has been born. What makes the Star Wars community so unique and our reason for featuring the film in our Back Of The Hand series is its doctrine. You steered to stand up for what is right via the strong themes of good versus evil. It also features some pretty pioneering stop-motion by visual effects legend Phil Tippett.

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Jaws: We all love the schadenfreude of disastrous productions, and if you haven't read Carl Gottlieb's book, The Jaws Log, which tells of the problematic production of Spielberg's blockbuster, you should.

It discusses how no one understood how the novel would be made into a film, mainly how the shark would move and open its mouth on camera. The pesky shark (affectionately known as ‘Bruce’ on set) didn't perform well, which forced Spielberg to use it sparingly, ultimately giving the film more tension and a true sense of uncertainty. The production was on a knife-edge the entire time and could have been the end of Spielberg before he’s even begun his career. Still, we have one of the most iconic films ever made with a malfunctioning mechanical shark, budget issues, and the last-minute casting of actors to play Quint and Hooper. Jaws made our list because dogged determination and craftsmanship got the film made, and as stop-motion makers, we admire that.

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Jurassic Park: Another Speilberg film, Jurassic Park made our list simply because the dinosaurs were almost pure stop-motion. Phil Tippett created stop-motion animatics of significant scenes, (such as the now iconic raptors in the kitchen) but Spielberg still found the results unsatisfactory despite an early attempt at motion blur. Animators Mark Dippe and Steve Williams stepped in and created a computer-generated walk cycle for the T. rex skeleton and were approved to do more. When Spielberg and Tippett saw an animation test of the T. Rex chasing a herd of Gallimimus, Spielberg turning to Tippett playfully announced, "You're out of a job." Tippett replied, "Don't you mean extinct?" This exchange ultimately made it into the movie, spoken between Dr Alan Grant and Ian Malcolm.

We might be biased, but we think a stop-motion T-Rex would have been just as iconic!

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The Italian Job: Our last Back of The Hand Movie is The Italian Job. Our primary reason for choosing this film is the cars, the topic of choice with Dan and Ben in the office. The heady location sequences in Turin as Charlie's red, white and blue Mini Coopers speeding along the city's pavements and through its collonaded piazzas and those endless shots of cars crashing down mountainsides and, of course, the climax with the famed cliffhanger ending. It's a marvel, especially when you consider that everything on the screen was real - no CGI or tricks. Just how we like it.