[FOLLOW UP] Astaire's Ceiling Dance Broken Down And Analyzed

Submitted by: squrlz4ever 5 months ago in Entertainment

[If you haven't already seen Fred Astaire's gravity-defying dance routine from the 1951 movie "Royal Wedding" posted yesterday, be sure to check it out first.]

In this video, animator Galen Fott analyzes the number and shows how the secret was a hotel room set that could be rotated in a massive steel cage. Furniture was bolted to the floor and the camera and cameraman were strapped in and rotated with the set. Astaire, meanwhile, did his best to make it all seem perfectly natural that a human could dance on the walls and the ceiling of a room.

One of my favorite moments in the routine is when Astaire picks up (picks down?) the framed photo off the desk while he's dancing on the ceiling and then rotates the photo so he's looking at it right-side-up. From the accounts of the set crew, Fott explains that magnets were used to hold the frame in place while the set moved.

There are 10 comments:
Male 517
It's a great effect and must have had audiences at the time open mouthed with wonder at how it was done.
0
Reply
Male 80
Not the same scene/film, but the concept is shown.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tX433O84Qk
1
Reply
Male 4,421
jeanrenaud I've never seeen "Glee" before--but that was a great homage to the original. Thanks.

spanz Was this the footage you had in mind?
0
Reply
Male 1,377
i have seen another video showing the burly guys rotating the room as he danced.  that was a much more interesting video
0
Reply
Male 4,421
spanz O.O If you can locate it, lemme know. I'd love to see it! I didn't know such footage existed.
0
Reply
Male 337
Genius!  Always a pleasure to watch Fred and Ginger. 

















0
Reply
Male 119
gotta love when he spins that chair before the whole room starts spinning
1
Reply
Male 8,435
boredusernames01 That's one of the elements that really sells it.

The best parts are the set up.  The overcoat and jacket at the beginning are obviously free flowing fabric, and the top hat is at on the tree, all subject to gravity. The chair is movable and the door is ajar.  All of that is replaced with bolted chair and rigid props during cuts, but it flows so well that nothing gives away the gimbeling of the room.
0
Reply
Male 4,421
boredusernames01 I agree. Isn't that a great touch?
1
Reply
Male 5,772
Oh What a feeling, Dancing on the Ceiling 
0
Reply