The Birds (1963)
Here’s a dramatic scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror classic, The Birds. This model captures a scene near the end of the film when the Tippi Hedren character is trapped in an upstairs room and the birds are attacking. The art piece on the wall was “video grabbed” from the actual scene in the film. The challenge with this piece was keeping a few of the birds in flight.
Kit Maker: X-O Facto
The Birds is a 1963 suspense horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock based on the 1952 novella The Birds by Daphne du Maurier. It depicts Bodega Bay, California which is, suddenly and for unexplained reasons, the subject of a series of widespread and violent bird attacks over the course of a few days.
The Birds was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Special Effects. The effect of the flapping of the birds’ wings was done in the Disney Studios by animator Ub Iwerks who used the Disney’s sodium vapor process (“yellow screen”). The SV process films the subject against a screen lit with narrow-spectrum sodium vapor lights. Unlike most compositing processes, SVP actually shoots two separate elements of the footage simultaneously using a beam-splitter. One reel is regular film stock and the other a film stock with emulsion sensitive only to the sodium vapor wavelength. This results in very precise matte shots compared to blue screen special effects, necessary due to “fringing” of the image from the birds’ rapid wing flapping.