The People Behind the MovieBy Caroline Thompson and Jenna Berkenkamp
Forrest Gump (1994) Paramount PicturesGenre: Comedy DramaObjective: By the end of the lesson students will beable to develop an appreciation forthe artistic collaboration of the crew members whocontributed to the making of Forrest Gump• "Life is like..."• "Stupid is as..."• "Run, Forrest..."
Robert Zemeckis- Academy Award for Best Director (1994)- Other films include "Back to the Future", "Cast Away", "ThePolar Express" and "A Christmas Carol"- “Zemeckis, an undisputed master of film technology, showsoff an equal aptitude for vivid storytelling.”
Robert Zemeckis• "a human, life-affirming, hopeful story"• “The hardest thing about this movie was the overall scope and the epic size of it, the logistics we had to handle. We built 150 sets, shot in eleven states, costumed 12,000 people”.
Plot SummaryForrest Gump is the story of a simple man who was ableto achieve great things. The story begins with Forrest as a childliving in Alabama with his mother. Forrest is an outsider atschool and is often bullied but is able to find friendship with agirl named Jenny. Forrest life takes him on a series of journeysincluding playing college football, fighting in Vietnam, playingPing-Pong in communist china, and running across the country.Along these journeys Forrest overcomes major obstacales andgains lifelong friends.
Eric Roth • Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay • Other Films include The Heights, Ali, The Good Shepherd, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
“The writer, Eric Roth, Departed substantially from the book. We Flipped the twoelements of the book, Making the love story primary and the fantastic adventuressecondary. Also, the book was cynical and colder than the movie. In the movie,Gump is a completely decent character, always true to his word. He has noagenda and no opinion about anything except Jenny , his mother and God.”Robert Zemeckis
Don Burgess• "How we choreograph the shot and how we light our work, because the lighting has to match perfectly with the rest of the scene, are very important."
Don Burgess"The camera was mounted on a Steadicam on a dolly that was trackingwith the character while he was walking. We wanted it as smooth andsteady as possible. When the enemy started firing and Gump hit thedeck, camera operator Chris Squires jumped off of the dolly andfollowed him into the ditch. The movement of the camera wassignificant because it allowed the audience to experience the chaoticsituation."
Editing and Special Effects• Throughout the combination of editing and CGI made it possible to shoot Forrest Gump with deceased people.• For the Kennedy scene, Hanks was shot first against a blue screen with reference marks then the footage was matched up against historical footage. Voice doubles were then used to fit the script and special effects were used to match the mouth movements.• The scene where Forrest spots Jenny at a peace rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. required visual effects to create the large crowd of people. Over two days of filming, approximately 1,500 extras were used. With the help of computers, the extras were multiplied to create a crowd of several hundred thousand people. (include pictures)
- Lieutenant Dan’s legs were wrapped in a special blue fabricthat allowed them to be digitally removed later- During the ping pong matches, there was no ball; it wasentirely CGI, animated to meet the actors’ paddles
Alan Silvestri"I know with Bob Zemeckis, he gets me involved before heeven goes to shoot. I see a script I hear about. He tells me thestory at dinner before he’s ready to go. I’m in constant touchwith the project while he’s shooting, I’ll spend some time on theset, I’ll see the first assembly of the film, I’ll see every screeningfrom there on. That’s really the most effective way, and I thinkbecause it’s about assisting the director in its most ideal sense.I think the job is to assist the director in achieving a vision ofthe film."
Alan Silvestri• Combination of original score and songs from the time period (60s and 70s)
Alan SilvestriSoundtrack includes: "All Along the Watchtower" by JimiHendrix, "California Dreamin" by The Mamas and the Papas,"For What its Worth" by Buffalo Springfield
Rick Carter• He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on Forrest Gump• He also worked on What Lies Beneath, Jurassic Park, and Cast away
• The film was shot in several locations in South Carolina even though Forrest Gump takes place in Alabama. Some of these locations included Colleton County, this is where Forrests boarding home was.• Carter also collaborated with Costume designer Joanna Johnston for the original designs for the film
The Legacy of Forrest Gump• Forrest Gump is a classic film because it is an incredible story about a man who is told he is "different" an therefore will not be able to succeed. It is an underdog story so it can and will be appreciated by many future generations.• The film is also iconic because "Gump is not a man to look down on with sympathy as he is a figure to look up to with awe. He also is a metaphorical figure by which we, the viewer, can live vicariously through to witness the various integral events of US history"