The Pink Panther Page

In everyone's career there is the "Production from hell".

Such was the case with Blake Edward's "Son Of Pink Panther", an attempt to wring one more film out of the concept even though the star of the series, Peter Sellers, had just passed away.

Bad idea.

Mind you, I have a high regard for Blake Edwards. "The Great Race" ranks as one of my all time favorite films.

Anyway, lacking a star of the status of Peter Sellers, Blake Edwards decidedto spend more money to dress up the film, and handed the design of the opening titles to his son, Jeff Edwards, who subcontracted the digital work to Sidley/Wright.


Click for QuickTime movie.

The concept for the opening credit was a studio scoring stage. The panther appears on the movie screen, then steps off and walks down among the band.

The "band" was actually just one person, Bobbie McPheren, who does wonderful instrumental sounding music with just his voice, and who performed the opening theme music. All the Bobbies were shot with motion control and layered together around the cel animation of the panther.

None of the technical people had been allowed to supervise the actual shoot, and the result was that set pieces were moved from one motion control pass to the other, lights were changed, in one case the camera had continued to shake after starting the run which "wobbled" an element.

Click for full size picture.

Following the above sequence, the Panther takes over the podium from Henry Mancini, who had composed the original panther theme. This gag was accomplished by having a girl dressed in a pink leotard step into the scene and take the baton from Henry.

The girl, although the right color, was not panther-shaped, and stuck out behind the cel animated figure. A background plate had been shot of the curtains and empty set, but the curtains had been moved, which mis-registered the scene.

Click for full size picture.

Portions of the scene were all cel animation, as this lip shows.

Click for full size picture.

This was one of the most complex shots in that it combined mechanical gag effects which were timed to the cel animation. The problem was that the live action footage was missing almost a second, and from the head end!

So, for the first 20 frames, the background is actually a cut and paste assembly copied from the later frame

The only reason I keep this stuff around is that it was on this film that I met my lovely wife Claire.

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