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Robot Kong!

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Kristin Moore
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« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2011, 03:37:08 pm »

Employees of the Empire State Building expressed their displeasure at the producers' decision to stage the remake's climax at the World Trade Center by picketing the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building dressed in monkey suits.
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Kristin Moore
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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2011, 03:37:47 pm »

For shots of Kong holding Jessica Lange, the filmmakers built giant hydraulic gorilla arms. The hands were six feet across and the arms weighed 1,650 lbs. each. The design was complex, so the arms were not ready until shooting was well underway. When they were finally built, producer Dino De Laurentiis was invited to the set to witness a test. He walked into the studio, and the giant arm extended in his direction. Then the middle finger slowly uncurled and extended itself. De Laurentiis broke up. So did the arm. It was frozen, finger up, for a week.

A lot of pre-release publicity was given to a giant mechanical robot being built by Carlo Rambaldi for use in this film. It appears on screen for less than a minute in the final version.
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Kristin Moore
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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2011, 03:38:41 pm »

Carlo Rambaldi's mechanical King Kong is the largest mechanical creature ever created, towering a little over 40 feet.

The 40-foot Kong was constructed with a 3.5-ton aluminum frame, covered with rubber and 1,012 pounds of Argentinian horse tails, sewn into place individually. Its insides were comprised of 3,100 feet of hydraulic hose and 4,500 feet of electrical wiring. It was controlled by 20 operators and cost a total of $1.7 million.
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Kristin Moore
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2011, 03:39:19 pm »

Other than the massive mechanical Kong, Carlo Rambaldi constructed the two mechanical hands that held Jessica Lange under the supervision of Glen Robinson at MGM's construction department. Made out of duraluminum metal with special bolts placed in the knuckles to prevent the hand from closing too tightly - even if the main cable in the wrist broke - and covered with rubber and Argentinian horsetails, the hands took 4-1/2 months to create.

Seven different masks were created by Carlo Rambaldi, and molded by Rick Baker to convey various emotions. Separate masks were necessary as there were too many cables and mechanics required for all the expressions to fit in one single mask. The masks were comprised of a plastic skull over which were placed artificial muscle groups activated by cables which entered the costume through Kong's feet, with the outer latex skins molded by Baker were placed over the top. The masks used hydraulics to provide movement, so much like the mechanical Kong and hands, the facial expressions were controlled by the team of operators working off-set with the control boards. To complete the look of a gorilla, Baker wore contact lenses so his eyes would resemble that of a gorilla's.
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Kristin Moore
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2011, 03:40:04 pm »

Pre-production started as early as 1974, with Dino De Laurentiis proposing his ideas and hiring Lorenzo Semple Jr. to write the film's script. Artist John Berkey was commissioned to create artwork of King Kong in various situations, which were:

    * Kong wrecking snake
    * Kong wrecking Skull Island wall
    * Kong wrecking train
    * Kong wrecking boats (a rarely seen variation)
    * Kong wrecking Shea Stadium
    * Overhead view of Kong scaling World Trade Center (the only painting with a different Kong face, albeit partially obscured by the angle)
    * Kong straddling the World Trade Center. De Laurentiis was most fond of Kong on the WTC and used the early draft of the artwork as the film's teaser poster in the New York Times, just days after completion in
    * 1975, promising that the film would be released in time for Christmas
    * 1976. The teaser poster artwork was nicknamed "Travolta Kong" due to the style of his hair. Also depicted in this early poster was Kong crushing a jet in his right hand, an alarmed Dwan in his left, and his shadow being cast over the WTC. After the script was complete, the film cast, director at the helm, and filming ready to begin, the poster artwork was changed to what we see now.
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Kristin Moore
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« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2011, 03:41:34 pm »

The mechanical hands used each weighed 1,650 pounds. During filming of the scene where Kong caresses Dwan, the hand left Jessica Lange with a painfully pinched nerve in her neck.

In addition to the 40-foot mechanical Kong, and the full-sized mechanical hands, Carlo Rambaldi constructed a separate pair of full-sized legs (used in the scenes of Dwan in the oil tanker, Fred Wilson's demise, and the climax atop the World Trade Center), and a full-size non-mechanical styrofoam Kong seen at the end of the film, lying on the shattered pavement.
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