There’s one particularly telling and effective moment in The Skywalker Legacy, the feature-lenght documentary that’s included on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker home release that sums up much of the ambivalence and consternation that some had with J.J. Abrams’ return to the Star Wars universe. After showing the intricate construction of a giant, practical snake monster, the doc cuts back to footage of Jabba The Hutt, that old analogue beast that slithered its way into our hearts. The sentiment is clear – we’re making movies like we used to! A celebration of practical effects, the dripping of k-y jelly to give viscosity just like the old costume days, it’s all there. There’s excitement on set, everyone talking about how amazing it looks, how lifelike, how this is how you’re supposed to do movies like this.
Cut to Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett who shatters the myth, letting us know the creature was replaced by a CGI version in post.
Guyett’s resume is mighty. Having made his bones on groundbreaking films like Twister and Casper, he helped Spielberg bring the events of D-Day to screen in Saving Private Ryan, helped bring to life the best looking film in the Harry Potter series, Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, and even made the theatrical version of Rent feel more than a stage production. Guyett has had many collaborations with Abrams – from the Star Trek Reboots through The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker he was even second unit director on the former, as well as working with George Lucas on Episode III to round off the prequels. He’s in a unique position to speak to these changing landscapes of epic filmmaking.
We spoke at length about the apparent contradictions and indulgences in making a Star Wars film, and he made the case for why nothing was wasted and all contributed to the final presentation. He was erudite and open to the discussion, making for a dream conversation with a man who quite literally has helped shape what amazes us on screen for decades.
The following has been edited for clarity and concision.
We see practical effects being championed as almost a marketing ploy with the “postquels” as a mix of nostalgia and an attempt to delineate from Lucas’ second trilogy. In some ways the love of the practically-realized snake undercuts the extraordinary CGI you and your team accomplished, and raises questions about why the need to fetishize the on-set inclusions when they’re replaced anyway. Could you talk about that ethos, that somehow doing stuff on a computer is a “cheat” while doing an effect practically is not?
I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to do the best that we can, trying to make the best, most dramatic or emotional movie we can visually. I’m coming from figuring out how do you get the most...
He also played the police chief in 'Beverly Hills Cop II' and mogul Louis B. Mayer in 'Gable and Lombard.'
Allen Garfield, the New Jersey character actor who specialized in playing nervous types while appearing in such films as The Conversation, The Candidate, The Stunt Man and Nashville, has died. He was 80.
His sister, Lois Goorwitz, confirmed his death in a brief conversation with The Hollywood Reporter.
Earlier, actress Ronee Blakley posted the news of Garfield's death on Facebook, saying that he had died Tuesday and that the cause was COVID-19. Garfield and Blakley played husband and wife in Robert Altman's Nashville 1975.
Garfield suffered a stroke as he was set to appear in Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate 1999, then suffered another one in 2004 that led him to reside at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills. A spokeswoman for the MPTF facility did not know if Garfield was there at the time of his death.
Born Allen Goorwitz on Nov. 22, 1939, in Newark, he went by his real name in several films, including The Brink's Job 1978 and One From the Heart 1981, midway through his career.
Garfield boxed as an amateur, worked as a sportswriter and studied with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio in New York. He appeared often onstage before making his film debut in Orgy Girls '69, followed by other big-screen appearances in 1971 in Woody Allen's Bananas and The Organization, starring Sidney Poitier.
Often playing jumpy types, he worked for Francis Ford Coppola in The Conversation 1974 and The Cotton Club 1984 and for Wim Wenders in A State of Things 1982 and Until the End of the World 1991.
He also portrayed Louis B. Mayer in Gable and Lombard 1976 and police chief Harold Lutz in Beverly Hills Cop II 1987, and his résumé also included roles in Teachers 1984, Desert Bloom 1986, Dick Tracy 1990, Destiny Turns on the Radio 1995 and The Majestic 2001.
"The reason I didChief Zabu is that Allen Garfield is from the Actors Studio, I'm from the Actors Studio, and we worked together there on stuff," actress Marianna Hill said in a 2016 interview with Shaun Chang for the Hill Place blog. "Allen Garfield happens to be a great actor. He's a really underrated actor. Allen was the hardest-working actor, but nobody realizes that about him because he seems to be a natural."
Source: Hollywood Reporter