Miniatures in movies are way more common than you may realize, and one of the most stylish filmmakers keeping them alive is Wes Anderson. In this video Vox spoke to Simon Weisse, prop maker and model maker for some of Wes Anderson’s recent projects, like The Grand Budapest Hotel, The French Dispatch, and Asteroid City.
Older movies, like 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, had no choice but to use miniatures to make their worlds feel real. But even in the modern day of CGI, filmmakers are still using minis — just look at projects like The Mandalorian, Blade Runner 2049, Harry Potter, and The Dark Knight series. In those movies, miniatures are used for expansive sets that establish the world of a film, otherworldly vehicles like spaceships, and more.
Fully fabricating a 1/18th scale hotel is just the beginning. Then filmmakers have to film it in a way where it looks huge, or, at least, life-size — using the movie magic of cameras, lighting, and forced perspective.
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