Moving Pictures, 1000 Elephants, and James Bond...

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Moving Pictures, 1000 Elephants, and James Bond...

Postby Quatermass » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:01 pm

So, you're wondering why I put in a title like that? Well, earlier today, while I was doing exercise on an exercise bike in front of the TV, I was watching the special features for The Man With The Golden Gun.

What does this have to do with Discworld and Moving Pictures? Well, I remembered CMOT Dibbler's continual insistence about having 1000 elephants in his movies, and was planning to have them in Blown Away. I had wondered if that was just a funny joke about Hollywood excess and what could loosely be called artistic license, but not a reference.

But when I was watching the documentary about the making of The Man With The Golden Gun, they mentioned that Harry Saltzman wanted to have a sequence involving an elephant stampede, and ordered a ridiculous amount of elephant shoes, only to forget about the sequence until they got the elephant shoes. One wonders if this might have been the origin of Dibbler's fixation, even though Moving Pictures precedes the documentary by nearly a decade (Pratchett could have heard the story elsewhere).

Any other thoughts?
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Postby DaveC » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:22 pm

That's awesome and totally believeable! :o

I have none of the Bonds on DVD, (seen them all, though) so I've not seen any othe extras. Good spot!
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Postby Quatermass » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:32 pm

DaveC wrote:That's awesome and totally believeable! :o

I have none of the Bonds on DVD, (seen them all, though) so I've not seen any othe extras. Good spot!


If this is where the 1000 elephants thing came from, it wouldn't have been from the DVD documentary. I'm pretty sure the documentary was made around 1999 or 2000 (it was done for the initial release of the Bond films on DVD, around the time that The World is Not Enough came out), but Moving Pictures was published in 1990. This doesn't preclude the fact being mentioned elsewhere, like in a magazine or a book or something.

BTW, Saltzman ordered 2600 elephant shoes. That means 650 elephants (2600 divided by 4), assuming none were meant for spares. And as of 1990 (according to a James Bond trivia site), EON Productions hadn't paid the man who rustled up the shoes. :roll:
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Postby deldaisy » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:43 pm

Image

Elephants wear shoes??????? What kind of shoes? I figure velcro ties ..... I mean thier trunks are pretty amazing but doing bows?

Sorry... I have images now....

"Elephants!!!! Elephants to costuming! Hurry up! The catering table will be there when you get back! Move it move it!"

"So... Fred.... they gave me a size 230... what did they give you? These feel a little snug. I mean these look like they would be more your style anyways Fred... they are Nike ffs...I told them I have a contract with Puma and I can't break the contract, you know how it is."
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Postby raisindot » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:52 pm

The "thousand elephants" thing is a very old Hollywood cliche, dating back to the early silent movie spectacles of Cecil B DeMille, the master of cinematic excess. His lavish productions and "everything but the kitchen sink" approach helped to create the whole silly notion of larger/more is better, which has evolved over time to mean bigger explosions, more car crashes, and larger scales of wanton destruction.
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:56 pm

I kind of suspect that it has more to do with the general 'selling' of a movie, especially in old movie posters.

"The entertainment experience of a lifetime!" (Ben Hur) "The most magnificent picture ever!" (Gone With The Wind).

"A cast of thousands!" has become something of a Hollywood cliche to express that no cost was spared to make the movie as spectacular as possible. The fact is that there were rarely, if ever thousands of people in the cast - let alone elephants.

You may be right Q, and Terry was influenced by the story in the documentary, but I think it's just as likely that he was expressing general Hollywood excesses. :D
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:57 pm

:lol: Crosspost with JiB. Great minds think alike. :wink:
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Postby Quatermass » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:28 pm

raisindot wrote:The "thousand elephants" thing is a very old Hollywood cliche, dating back to the early silent movie spectacles of Cecil B DeMille, the master of cinematic excess. His lavish productions and "everything but the kitchen sink" approach helped to create the whole silly notion of larger/more is better, which has evolved over time to mean bigger explosions, more car crashes, and larger scales of wanton destruction.


I sort of got that initial impression, but the doco got me thinking as to whether there was another reason.

Tonyblack wrote:You may be right Q, and Terry was influenced by the story in the documentary, but I think it's just as likely that he was expressing general Hollywood excesses. :D


As I said, Terry Pratchett couldn't have been influenced by the doco itself, but the incident could have been in a book or a magazine that he read. This thread is just pure speculation on my part based on an accidental connection (excess, elephants, movies, and disgruntled unpaid middlemen). We could ask Terry himself.

Tonyblack wrote::lol: Crosspost with JiB. Great minds think alike. :wink:


Sorry? I don't understand what you meant.
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:30 pm

I was pointing out that while I was busy writing a reply to your post, Raisindot was also busy writing one that said largely the same thing. That's why there are two very similar posts one after the other. A cross post. :)
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Postby michelanCello » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:34 pm

deldaisy wrote:Image

Elephants wear shoes??????? What kind of shoes? I figure velcro ties ..... I mean thier trunks are pretty amazing but doing bows?

Sorry... I have images now....

"Elephants!!!! Elephants to costuming! Hurry up! The catering table will be there when you get back! Move it move it!"

"So... Fred.... they gave me a size 230... what did they give you? These feel a little snug. I mean these look like they would be more your style anyways Fred... they are Nike ffs...I told them I have a contract with Puma and I can't break the contract, you know how it is."

:lol:

First picture I had in my head was one with elephants on silettos :P
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Postby poohcarrot » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:37 pm

Quatermass wrote:BTW, Saltzman ordered 2600 elephant shoes. That means 650 elephants (2600 divided by 4), assuming none were meant for spares. And as of 1990 (according to a James Bond trivia site), EON Productions hadn't paid the man who rustled up the shoes. :roll:

As of 1990? So 21 years ago then (2011 minus 1990). 8)
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Postby deldaisy » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:53 pm

:D :D :D

Or ballet flats?

ImageImageImageImageImage
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Postby raisindot » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:35 pm

michelanCello wrote:First picture I had in my head was one with elephants on silettos :P


Tusk, tusk!

:lol:
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Postby meerkat » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:07 pm

Del just wanted to trumpet her cleverness with the pictures! :wink: :lol:
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:59 pm

Ivory much resent that remark. :P
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