North by northwest house

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Deke
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Post by Deke »

The sketches I saw at the Academy Library are the same as those on page one of this thread.

Rood
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Post by Rood »

In the absence of drawings, the most sensible method of measuring distance in the living room is from the carpet, which has a regular pattern. Judging from James Masoin's shoes ... each pattern is probably close to being one foot square. Extend the pattern to the edges of the room and you'll have fairly accurate measurement. I wouldn't worry too much about the exterior shots. Primarily paintings, they would be notoriously unreliable.

Deke
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Post by Deke »

The exteriors would be unreliable, but they are the iconic proportions that make the house so striking. I've take the matte painting and played around a bit with sketch up photo-match to work up a 3D model. You really can tell the various flaws in the perspective that way. If I can put together a whole model this way I'll post the results.

StephenArthur
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Post by StephenArthur »

The Robert Boyle papers and archive (42 linear feet of production files, screenplays, production design drawings, continuity drawings, pencil drawings and photographs from NORTH BY NORTHWEST, THE BIRDS, MARNIE, SABOTEUR, SHADOW OF A DOUBT, etc. are housed at the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

snoopy
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Post by snoopy »

I already measured the interior wide of the living room using the height of the glass windows, in france the height under the ceiling is generally 2,50 m, with this method I found 7,87 m; with the carpet-method I just found 8,27 m.

It's true that the exterior matte paintings are just awesome but very difficult to retranscribe in reality.

Concerning the struts, I looked for the size of Cary Grant on Google : 1,87 m, then I supposed their height was certainly about 2 m in the scene where he climbs under the balcony.

Finally I found that the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is located in Beverly Hills, just little too much far from home concerning me !...
Nothing is impossible if we give ourselves the punishment

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Your first assumption, of ceiling height, is one most likely to be flawed. Ceiling heights in one-off residences like this one are all over the map (as we say), so no single number could be reasonably applied, it seems to me. Moreover, this house has a sloping roof over the living room, and a balcony.

Perhaps you applied your measurement to the perimeter of the room ? This could be somewhat verified by the same method you used for the support brackets, namely, the height of an adult male. There are a couple of stills in which the lanky and loathsome figure of the character played by Martin Landau is seen leaning against the fireplace masonry. Knowing his height would enable you to determine a height measurement at a place conveniently close to a house wall.

Googling "Martin Landau height," I find the majority of references agree on 6'-3" (190.5 cm).

SDR

DRN
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Post by DRN »

I question if a building can be constructed that will accurately replicate the exterior of the house while ALSO accurately replicating the interior. All of this assumes the exterior views (scene paintings) depict a structure of the same scale as the three dimensional sets constructed for interior and small sections of the exterior. Is that the case? If it is not, you may be able to accurately build either the interior or the exterior, but not both as the same structure.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Agreed -- see my post, near top of page 3. My suggestion was two models or sets of drawings, one of which would reflect the interior measurements, the other based on the exterior views. It would be fun to discover the discrepancies, by seeing them thus depicted.

I wouldn't hesitate to call this whole exercise "a fool's errand" -- but we seem to have a determined fool, so why not egg him on ?

:D S

snoopy
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Post by snoopy »

Any method can be used to find the exact measures, but considering there are incountable errors between exterior paintings and interior sets, I'm going to have to make arbitrary choices ! I agree with the fact that it's certainly impossible to build this house or to draw the plans by taking into account the exterior and interior. I think I'm going to privilege the outside views and try to adapt the interior as best as I will be able.

And yes, I'm proud of being a determined fool !

:wink:
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Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

Bring the outside in. Take the exterior and make the floor plan based on the movie but adapt the rest.
JAT
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JJM
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Post by JJM »

Snoopy,

Yes, I think it's the exterior that is iconic. Like Fallingwater, there is thrilling hint of danger in that elevation.

snoopy
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Post by snoopy »

:? Hi everybody,

today I still continued to try to draw the house, especially from the end of the balcony to the front door level, I actually find about all the main dimensions I needed, with different empiric methods... But the most difficult thing is to find a logical way between this part at the outside of the house:
Image

And the different views of the interior like that:
Image
Image

Even with the best volontary of the world it's very difficult because on this point in particular I'm sure that there is absolutely no link between the exterior paintings and the inside sets... Is there anybody here to be able to find where these windows and balcony can be when we're inside the house ?

I tryed to find an satisfactory internal arrangement by beginning from the exterior painting but I have to admit that it is really difficult without modifying largely what we see in the interior scenes...
Nothing is impossible if we give ourselves the punishment

Deke
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Post by Deke »

The exterior "danger" element of the house is more evident when you study the main matte painting closely and realize the landscape drops off as a cliff beneath the cantilevered balcony. It's not immediately evident unless to take a long look at the painting, and the fact that the road Cary Grant wanders up is in the foreground sort of dilutes the impact of that cliff. But if you understand that is a cliff, it adds a more peril when Grant climbs out on one of the balcony braces.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Interesting point.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stewf/2298 ... otostream/

I guess you've concluded that the more brightly-moonlit piece of rock under the house overhang is actually beyond the house -- otherwise it wouldn't be lit as it is ?

If so, then the precipice really is rather treacherous -- as you suggest.


Snoopy, I haven't looked at your floor plans in a while. The bedroom porch visible in the main matte painting is not the one we see in close-ups (Grant climbing, etc) -- which I take to be on the opposite side of the house. Are they perhaps twins, these two bedroom balconies ?

Another element is the living-room balcony, which appears to be set at an angle to the rest of the plan -- somewhat counter-intuitively. Yet another element, also departing from the ideological "purity" of the design, is the curved stone wall seen in the main exterior view. This "decorator" move is perhaps consistent with the appearance of three different (if generally similar) lampshades in the living room . . . ?

SDR

SDR

snoopy
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Post by snoopy »

Hi everybody,

thanks you for your suggestions and your ideas... Yesterday I quickly drew one of my first tries of plan with the exact measures that I decided to take for the house, at first here is the left side of the house, compared with the orientation and the ground around the house, it seems to be the East side:
Image

It asks to be improved but I find that the general style of this side of the house seen in the film is respected, doesn't it ?
Nothing is impossible if we give ourselves the punishment

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