King Kong 1933: Cinematic Spaces
Fig 1. King Kong (c.1933)
King Kong (1933) utilised a series of cinematic techniques which played a crucial element tothe development of cinema; paying particular attention to effects which dominated the productionof the cinematic spaces and the cast which pre-occupied them.
used a range of effects which revolutionised the production of film.
plunders every trick in the book to create its illusions, using live action, back projection, stop-motion animation, miniatures, models, matte paintings and sleight-of-
It isimportant to understand the limitations of early cinema to begin to imagine the impact this wideexperimental range of effects had on the industry of cinema. Technological enhancements allowedproducers to experiment with cinematic spaces and dialogue to produce emotive responses insidethe viewers. Kong features pan shots of humans running from giant insects and Jurassic creatureswhilst also manipulating long, mid and close up shots to convey the shocked expressions of the castwhen they discover the
frightful scale of the creatures in “King Kong” (particularly
in the repeatedclose ups of damsel in distress,
, Fay Wray). Long shots build intensity in approach tothe island which hints at the closing distance of the Westerners journey to Skull Island whichmounted to a climax when the first roars of Kong break the silence. The processes used to shootscene-to-scene in Kong were
revolutionary to the extent that we reflect them in today’s television
“Willis O'Brien created impressive effects that were not only technically brilliant, butalso highly imaginative in terms of cinematic action.”… “The plot was kept simple bu
enough to allow the audience to enjoy the special effects that would dominate.”
Painted panes of glass were used to create an atmospheric feel of density to the jungles of SkullIsland. Giving the cinematic space a three dimensional feel over the 2D backdrops which occupiedthe sets of film beforehand. Similarly digital artists now create layers inside photo shop to createdifferences in the atmosphere for artwork. This added a great impotence to strive to border realitytowards the completely unnatural scale of King Kong which in turn generated the successful fordepiction of a horror film; Using effects made the character of Kong more fluid-like more believableand consequently more frightening.