One of the best things about the Internet is how it’s become a giant repository for cool things that would have otherwise been lost to time. The ability to host video on the Web has allowed for the curation of some amazing footage from film and television, stuff like this awesome test footage from John Carpenter’s classic horror film Halloween.
The footage in question comes from owner Billy Kirkus (and is apparently just a small portion of what he has) and features Dean Cundey and camera operator Ray Stella testing out the Panaglide camera system at the Panavision offices in 1978 – right before filming on Carpenter’s film commenced.
If you’re not a big film geek, this might not mean a whole lot to you – but it was pretty historic. Panaglide was the competition for the Steadicam, and both were cameras mounted on the operator that allowed for a “handheld” style of shot without the camera bouncing all over the place.
Halloween was the fourth film to utilize the system – and used it in incredibly effective fashion. Cundey and Carpenter’s reliance on the Panaglide allowed the duo to place the audience in the shoes of murderous Michael Myers. It added an extra dimension to the experience, and Halloween probably isn’t quite as effective as it is without the use of Panavision’s system.
Check out the test footage below. While it doesn’t feature Myers or any of the cast of Halloween, this is still a fascinating piece of movie history. Now I’m really curious to see what else Mr. Kirkus has in his collection...
[via HitFix and Cinephilia and Beyond]
Halloween Panaglide Test, Pre-Production before Principal Photography began. from Billy Kirkus on Vimeo.