Autopsy on a Dream Premieres

Lost film opens celebrations at the Sydney Opera House and on ABC1

To launch their 40th Anniversary celebrations, the Opera House premiered Autopsy on a Dream, John Weiley’s long-lost 1968 film about the troubled birth of Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s masterpiece, to an audience including former Opera House construction workers on Thursday 17 October 2013.

 

SOH 40th Anniversary 039 - credit Prudence Upton

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The film was then screened for the first time on Australian television on Sunday, October 20th on ABC1. Australian audiences can watch it on demand on iView until the end of the month.

John Weiley’s mesmerising and still controversial film about the creation of the Sydney Opera House… beautiful to look at, often funny, frequently moving and occasionally shocking.

Graeme Blundell The Australian,  19 October 2013

The program is a valuable time capsule – far more than a simple retrospection. Its original character sustains, and its relevance is enhanced.

Doug Anderson, The Guardian, 21 October 2013

terrific in its own right… a wonderful document of Australian life and history

Melinda Houston, Sydney Morning Herald Critics Choice, 20 October 2013

Autopsy on a Dream

Opera House Sketch

The basement of BBC Television Centre – London 1969

Racks of film cans – thousands of them stretching into the distance. A balding man in a grey dust-coat working his way toward us running his finger along the titles. Finds what he is looking for and pulls it off the shelf.

A large traditional butcher’s chopping block.  The man comes toward us, takes the rolls of film out of the can pops the cores out and places them on the block.  He picks up a large meat cleaver (that we hadn’t noticed before) checks with his thumb that it is sharp then steps back and with a mighty swing chops the roll of film in half. He keeps chopping the rolls into smaller and smaller pieces. It’s quite hard. As he chops we zoom in slowly to the title on the discarded can:

Sydney Opera House – Autopsy on a Dream“.

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3D in movies : How it works

Everything in the world that has eyes has at least two of them, so clearly nature thinks that stereo vision is worth the investment. You live in a 3D world – you see in stereo all the time: what makes it so amazing in the movie theatre is the novelty of seeing 3Ds where you are used to seeing 2.

There is no practical way of presenting stereo in a theatre without some kind of glasses because what you call ’3D’ or ‘stereo’ is really something that is happening inside your head.

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Making Antarctica

Some notes by John Weiley

If you described the equipment you would like to take on an expedition to Antarctica; light, flexible, easy to operate….you would be describing the antithesis of an IMAX camera.

IMAX equipment delivers images of unmatched clarity, sharpness and size but you pay a price for that…. It is very big, very heavy and very demanding.

Part of the sense of ‘presence’ comes from our use of very wide angle lenses and we have to get those lenses very close to the action…you can’t use long lenses to pull things up close; there are no tricks.

To give you the feeling that you are “really there” we have to actually BE really there…….we cannot give you the feeling that you are falling into a crevasse unless we really do fall into that crevasse. We do sometimes look around and say to ourselves “This is completely insane…” but as any war photographer will tell you, looking through a lens makes everything seem less dangerous.

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