I was not very impressed with Mad Max: Fury Road, except that it had a laudable shortage of Mel Gibson and a great deal of Charlize Theron. I went to see it, however, because I know director Miller is a big fan of in-camera stunts and there’s real artistry in the over-the-topness of his movies.
Miller is one of those directors like my other favorites, Kubrick and Ridley Scott – there are stories of Scott making sure that the parking meters in “Blade Runner” were functional. I understand why: if you fully detail everything, you don’t have to worry about a compositional shift revealing a piece of duct tape or velcro. Their movies have a feeling of reality to them because they’re real. It’s that simple.
Photographer John Platt got a chance to do unit stills of all the vehicles, before they went out and got all dirty and blown up. There are more here – I don’t need to link all the pictures, as much as I would like to.
Miller’s car klatsch is to have working vehicles and (mostly) working effects on them. The reason the suspensions and power-trains and whatnot look amazingly realistic is because these are working cars.
I have to admit I’m probably biassed: I love Platt’s lighting for these: a great big light to give huge smooth reflections, and a big spotlight on dove grey sweep to knock the objects off the background and give dimensionality. It’s a lighting set-up I use so much that my friends make fun of me.
Just go feast your eyes.
Again: the link is here.It’s interesting that we can say “Kubrick” and everyone knows we’re talking about the Stanley Kubrick. But we can’t say “Scott” and have everyone assume “Ridley.” I could probably say “Coppola” and everyone would know who I was talking about, too. I guess Scott should have changed his last name.
I wish these pictures were higher resolution, so we could enjoy all the detail, but I know that’s not possible in today’s internet. I’ve had the experience of seeing one of my photos used on a piece of product packaging at a store (hey!) and have had endless versions of my work grabbed and photoshopped on. Platt’s photos here would make terrific posters – and if he let us see higher resolution versions, you can bet there’d be some internet punk selling posters on a dozen websites. I actually don’t care about that so much anymore, except I get mad when they photoshop their name onto it, and stick their copyright on it (which really does happen!) I’ve even had internet punks complain to me for having “their” artwork pulled down off websites.
That must have been so darned fun to shoot.