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    misspurple77's Avatar
    misspurple77 Posts: 66, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Sep 12, 2015, 11:47 AM
    How could they emulate thunderstorms in Shakespears plays in the 16th century?
    It might be fiction as well, but I was watching the movie Anonymous and in that movie they showed a thunderstorm including lightning in a 16th century play. How was it possible to create the light effects of thunder before the use of electricity?

    And they also made it rain on stage. Did they really let that much water fall in a theatre? Isn't that bad for the wooden floors?
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,801, Reputation: 2674
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    #2

    Sep 12, 2015, 02:42 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by misspurple77 View Post
    It might be fiction as well, but I was watching the movie Anonymous and in that movie they showed a thunderstorm including lightning in a 16th century play. How was it possible to create the light effects of thunder before the use of electricity?

    And they also made it rain on stage. Did they really let that much water fall in a theatre? Isn't that bad for the wooden floors?
    Oh really misspurple. It is all possible with modern technology.
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    misspurple77 Posts: 66, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Sep 12, 2015, 02:45 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by tickle View Post
    Oh really misspurple. It is all possible with modern technology.
    They didn't have modern technology in the 16th century!

    So my question is, how did they do that back then, or did the makers of the movie made a mistake?
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    tickle Posts: 23,801, Reputation: 2674
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    #4

    Sep 12, 2015, 03:29 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by misspurple77 View Post
    They didn't have modern technology in the 16th century!

    So my question is, how did they do that back then, or did the makers of the movie made a mistake?
    That is the whole point. They did It! The makers of the movie made the special effects. Are you serious or what ?
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    misspurple77 Posts: 66, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Sep 12, 2015, 03:43 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by tickle View Post
    That is the whole point. They did It! The makers of the movie made the special effects. Are you serious or what ?
    I am serious! You seem to misunderstand me. Have you seen the movie?

    Within the movie was a play on stage in the 16th century. How were people of the 16th century able to create lightning without electricity!

    I am not talking about the moviemakers! I am talking about the people back then! There were no cars, planes, no spotlights, or even petroleum lights in the movie either, only candle lights. So it seemed as if they wanted to recreate 16th century London. How did they emulate lightning in theatres in 16th century London?

    So did the moviemakers screw up, did they forget that this wasn't possible in the 16th century, or not? And if not, how did they do that in the 16th century?

    You are starting to annoy me, by acting as if I am stupid. This is not a stupid question.
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    Wondergirl Posts: 37,770, Reputation: 5427
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    #6

    Sep 12, 2015, 04:16 PM
    I've Googled this and also asked my movie-buff son who didn't see this movie and can't imagine how this could have been done back then. I'm guessing the director wasn't paying a lot of attention to historical accuracy. I've seen some movies that used flapping cardboard offstage as thunder and some guy stood on a ladder with precut jagged white lightning that he moved up and down. Now I'm intrigued and will get the movie from my library to watch what they did. And I'll continue to search for an answer as to how lightning and rain would have been shown back then in that century.

    ***ADDED*** Wikipedia mentions there were many historical inaccuracies in the movie which helped make it a box-office flop. The director said he was after "inner truth," not historical accuracy.
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    misspurple77 Posts: 66, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Sep 12, 2015, 04:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    I've Googled this and also asked my movie-buff son who didn't see this movie and can't imagine how this could have been done back then. I'm guessing the director wasn't paying a lot of attention to historical accuracy. I've seen some movies that used flapping cardboard offstage as thunder and some guy stood on a ladder with precut jagged white lightning that he moved up and down. Now I'm intrigued and will get the movie from my library to watch what they did. And I'll continue to search for an answer as to how lightning and rain would have been shown back then in that century.
    Thank you! The movie is worth the watch anyway:-D!

    I looked up this movie on IMDB, but this wasn't listed under goofs. There were some inaccuracies: When a reporter on National Public Radio pointed out to screenwriter John Orloff that this movie is full of historical inaccuracies (for instance, the playwright Christopher Marlowe, who appears as a character in this movie, actually was dead by the time these events supposedly "took place"), he responded that he wrote these inaccuracies into the screenplay deliberately as an homage to the way that Shakespeare himself took dramatic liberties in his history plays.

    But nothing was mentioned about the lightning.
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    Wondergirl Posts: 37,770, Reputation: 5427
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    #8

    Sep 12, 2015, 04:42 PM
    No, but the director of the movie didn't care. Maybe he was too lazy to think of a way to convey the idea of lightning and a deluge as they would have been shown in those days. He claimed Shakespeare wasn't historically accurate either.

    Shakespeare used very few props. His characters used words to describe things so he didn't need props. His plays took place during the afternoon when it was light.
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    misspurple77 Posts: 66, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Sep 12, 2015, 04:51 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    No, but the director of the movie didn't care. Maybe he was too lazy to think of a way to convey the idea of lightning and a deluge as they would have been shown in those days. He claimed Shakespeare wasn't historically accurate either.

    Shakespeare used very few props. His characters used words to describe things so he didn't need props. His plays took place during the afternoon when it was light.
    Well, it is an annoying mistake. The mistake about Christopher Marlowe wasn't that obvious to me, because I don't know those things by heart. They also performed Macbeth on stage, while Elisabeth 1 was still alive, that is also inaccurate. Macbeth was written for King James (of Scotland). But those are facts that a lay person such as me doesn't know by heart. Historical inaccuracies of about fifty years aren't that disturbing. But here it seems as if they were at least a century or three inaccurate, then you have to be really stupid not to notice that!

    In this movie they used a lot of props though, including fireworks, and I also doubted if they had the technology to create those kind of masks for the witches in Macbeth back then.
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    Wondergirl Posts: 37,770, Reputation: 5427
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    #10

    Sep 12, 2015, 05:00 PM
    The director wanted to get his point across (that Shakespeare may not have been the writer of all those plays) and didn't give a rat's patootie about the history. The movie Life of Brian was somewhat like that. If I sat down and thought about it, I probably could come up with a lot more movies containing inaccuracies and anachronisms.
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    misspurple77 Posts: 66, Reputation: 1
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    #11

    Sep 12, 2015, 05:04 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    The director wanted to get his point across (that Shakespeare may not have been the writer of all those plays) and didn't give a rat's patootie about the history. The movie Life of Brian was somewhat like that. If I sat down and thought about it, I probably could come up with a lot more movies containing inaccuracies and anachronisms.
    Life of Brian is a Monthy Python movie! Those movies are satirical. But this was a rather serious movie and the Oxfordian Theory, that this movie is about, is also a serious theory.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford...are_authorship
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    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,278, Reputation: 7690
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    #12

    Sep 12, 2015, 05:09 PM
    Agreed, historically it was a terrible movie. As noted it was intended or modern people to enjoy who want special effects and to seed doubt on the historical version.

    No disrespect, but I find it hard to believe, one would not just know that such special effects would have been totally impossible at that time.
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    Wondergirl Posts: 37,770, Reputation: 5427
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    #13

    Sep 12, 2015, 05:14 PM
    Apparently, the director didn't care how serious the topic is. He wanted to make money. Maybe if he would have stuck to business and history, he would have done a lot better financially. He had a perfect idea to work with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck View Post
    No disrespect, but I find it hard to believe, one would not just know that such special effects would have been totally impossible at that time.
    misspurple knows that and wonders why the director used special effects, so out of time and place. And how would Shakespeare have done it. (I said he let his characters use words to describe the weather, etc.)
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    misspurple77 Posts: 66, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Sep 12, 2015, 05:21 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck View Post
    Agreed, historically it was a terrible movie. As noted it was intended or modern people to enjoy who want special effects and to seed doubt on the historical version.

    No disrespect, but I find it hard to believe, one would not just know that such special effects would have been totally impossible at that time.
    I was surprised when I saw those effects in the movie. I thought, hey, that wasn't possible back then right? And I thought that the movie was meant to be historically accurate. They used male actors for the female roles, so that was accurate. I wasn't aware of the inaccuracies in the movie, so I thought that I just didn't knew how it worked. All the other special effects, like the fireworks seemed possible back then.

    The Icehouses in a little House on the Prairie used to be a mystery to me as well, until I looked up how they worked on the internet. So I thought that this might be the same thing again.

    Did you see the movie? What do you think of it?
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    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #15

    Sep 12, 2015, 06:54 PM
    They could do all of those things and more. History doesnt always look so backwards when you look at what was going on at the time. Even back in the Roman days they used to fill the entire lower end of the colosium with water to recreate sea battles.

    To make thunder all you need is a sheet of metal. To make lightning you have other props like painted lightning or glass projectors. There are many ways to make "movie magic" in the old days. That is half the reason why theater was so popular.

    scene design and stage lighting: The Renaissance to the Seventeenth Century
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    Wondergirl Posts: 37,770, Reputation: 5427
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    #16

    Sep 12, 2015, 06:58 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by cdad View Post
    They could do all of those things and more.
    But Shakespeare didn't do all that. As I wrote earlier, he let his characters describe what was happening.
    misspurple77's Avatar
    misspurple77 Posts: 66, Reputation: 1
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    #17

    Sep 12, 2015, 07:11 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    But Shakespeare didn't do all that. As I wrote earlier, he let his characters describe what was happening.
    In France the first permanent theater had been the Hôtel de Bourgogne (1548), and in England, the Theatre (1576; later known as the Globe). The early English designer Inigo Jones was influenced by the Italians, although in his time scenery was reserved for court spectacles; Shakespeare's plays were given on a bare stage. The Restoration period saw the development of a "popular" theater, although it was still primarily for the upper classes.

    Yes, indeed does the provided link say that Shakespeare used a bare stage:-).

    I almost always after movies like this, try to find out how realistic they were. This one was a lot less realistic then I thought, but I learned a lot by asking this question. In other movies that included Shakespeare, like Shakespeare in Love, there never was a bare stage!

    Quote Originally Posted by cdad View Post
    They could do all of those things and more. History doesnt always look so backwards when you look at what was going on at the time. Even back in the Roman days they used to fill the entire lower end of the colosium with water to recreate sea battles.

    To make thunder all you need is a sheet of metal. To make lightning you have other props like painted lightning or glass projectors. There are many ways to make "movie magic" in the old days. That is half the reason why theater was so popular.

    scene design and stage lighting: The Renaissance to the Seventeenth Century
    I never wondered about the thunder;-), only about the lightning! Thank you very much for the link!
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    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #18

    Sep 12, 2015, 07:13 PM
    Sheets of thin metal for thunder, flash powder for lightning. They had these thing in the 16th century. "Some had backstage theater experience where they had shaken a metal sheet to replicate thunder or slapped one board against another to create gunshots."
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    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #19

    Sep 12, 2015, 07:22 PM
    First... those were plays... not major motion pictures... If you have ever attended a play... you would see the set and any background effects are significantly different in a play than they are ANY movie...They only set the mood. No expectation of reality.

    In fact from everything I can remember about Shakespeare from High school English classes.. The set and effects were a far less important part of a play than they are today.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,770, Reputation: 5427
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    #20

    Sep 12, 2015, 07:44 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ma0641 View Post
    Sheets of thin metal for thunder, flash powder for lightning. They had these thing in the 16th century. "Some had backstage theater experience where they had shaken a metal sheet to replicate thunder or slapped one board against another to create gunshots."
    But Shakespeare didn't use those.

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