I’m so thrilled to share this next project with you! I’ve been working on a number of these for a while and finally surfaced enough to share my very first foray into the Film Panorama world with you: Hotel Chevalier. (p.s. Because these images are long panoramas, this post is best viewed on a desktop. If you’re checking it out on mobile, turn your screen horizontally!)
Hotel Chevalier and The Darjeeling Limited
A little behind the scenes on this short: it was originally intended to be the opening sequence for the film, “The Darjeeling Limited” but was later cut entirely. It told and independent story so well, however, that later they released it in its entirety as its own short. Its really something to watch both together when you know the connection.
I’ve had a few friends struggle with this concept before until I showed them a side-by-side comparison of the stills and the stitch. So here’s your comparison, the top image here are the stills, the image just below is the stitch of those stills:
The panoramic stitch of the above stills:
I had found myself becoming increasingly enamored with specific pan shots from movies like “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and just about every Wes Anderson flick out there. In particular, I thought that if I could see the entire pan shot stretched out in front of me that it would give me some insight into the way the director and his crew saw their world and how they had to build that world to interact with the camera.
While I have large ambitions for this project as a series, I tried to start small with the first project, so I chose Wes Anderson’s short film, “Hotel Chavelier” featuring Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman.
How the Panoramas are Stitched
I acquire the highest quality version of the film that I can and then I edit out everything but each and every pan (or tilt) shot. I capture every frame of those pans and then stitch them together in photoshop. The result is really just about what I had hoped, a long frame laying out the entire set in front of me, many times including blocking points of the actors. The two shots below are tilts, they start standing and then sit, so I was able to add a little headroom to the top of both, which extended the height of the frame a little beyond its normal ratio.
The Hotel Chevalier had a total of 5 pan shots and 2 tilt shots. I was really pleased with the shot below of the two characters walking across the room, because this was really more of a dolly shot than it was a pan. Even with the issue with the lines on the door to the right of frame, I think its stitched supremely well considering.
My absolute favorite composite is the one below of Jason and Natalie on the Veranda facing the end credits as they begin to roll.
One last thing, like I mentioned above, this was definitely an edited version of this short. As with all Wes Anderson movies, do not go look for this short unless you are ready for the foul language (and sometimes other inappropriate bits). I recommend VidAngel if you want to watch the cleaned up version.
My next Film Panorama post will cover “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. After that, tell me, what film would you like to see stitched? It may just be the next on my list!