Alfred Hitchcock, the famed director known as “The Master of Suspense,” has directed over 60 motion pictures in his lifetime, Psycho,North by Northwest, and Vertigo among countless others. One of his standouts, 1954’s Rear Window, has just been turned into a visually panoramic piece of eye candy in a time-lapse video, which has gone viral. You can watch the 3-minute video here below.
Rear Window is a film full of suspense, humor, and bizarre twists that were stock in trade for Hitchcock’s pictures. Its main protagonist, an action photographer played by James Stewart, is incapacitated in a wheelchair, nursing a broken leg he suffered during one of his many dangerous jobs. Stewart’s apartment faces out to a large courtyard, and we, like him, see the action only through his eyes, which creates a very tight, claustrophobic atmosphere. Stewart alleviates his boredom being in the chair by spying in the windows of the other apartment in the courtyard. By accident, he feels he’s witnessed evidence in one of the windows that a murder has taken place. As Stewart is not physically able to put the pieces together, he and we as an audience, feel the frustrations as he is forced to leave those functions to solve the murder in the hands of others, like his girlfriend, played by Grace Kelly, among others.
The film, which is regarded as a masterpiece by many critics and cinephiles, is best remembered for the large courtyard set. That set, was built entirely on a soundstage at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Superb attention to detail was also rendered by the art designers, and even natural sound can be heard wafting from the many windows of the apartment Stewart’s character spies on.
Now, a gentleman by the name of Jeff Desom has broken down the large number of individual shots and uniform angles of the large, sprawling courtyard set using the computer program After Effects and has assembled them into an amazing panorama shot of the entire space, done chronologically, creating a 3-minute time lapse video. The result is an amazing piece of eye candy that not only pays homage to this wonderful film, but also shows what can be done with today’s ever-adapting, rapidly growing computer technology.
For those who haven’t seen Rear Window, this time-lapse clip of the courtyard should certainly act as a catalyst to do so. For those that have seen Rear Window, expect a fresh, amazing artistic re-approach here to one of “Hitch’s” best films.