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Rear projection in Written on the Wind

by Critical Commons Manager

This process shot from Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind uses the classical Hollywood visual effect of rear projection to simulate movement of the characters' car through the oil fields of Hadley, Texas. While this technique provides great control over continuity and dialogue recording during production, by contemporary standards the effect seems obvious, bordering on comical. Sirk uses his control over the background images to good effect in this scene, which is meant to underscore the omnipresence of the Hadley Oil company on the lives of these two characters. Hence, the background of nearly every external shot in the film includes one or more oil derricks and other artifacts of the Hadley Oil empire. Compare with the production values of the convertible driving scene with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in The Rum Diary (2011) on location in San Juan Puerto Rico.

Rear projection in Written on the Wind

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Rear projection used to simulate motion through oil fields

from Written on the Wind (1956)
Creator: Douglas Sirk
Posted by Critical Commons Manager