|Carlos, (Manuel Padilla,Jr.) looking lean & mean leaning on a lit up pinball machine.|
|Filming downtown San Rafael, CA.|
|Owners pose in front of the Mels street sign for the giveaway promotion of a new T-bird, 1962|
Wexler and Lucas had a disagreement about shooting DFN: "I didn't want it to look like day-for-night," Lucas recalled, "I wanted it shot using low light level. Usually DFN you shoot the scene and then you 'stop it down' so it looks dark (pull the aperture down on the lens). It all came back the next day black. You couldn't see anything. So we lost one whole day shooting because I insisted on making the DFN look so black." The eventual sequences used in the film are not visually weak, quite the contrary, the long shot of Toad & Debbie walking from the car, down to the orchard by the canal, is gorgeous, but it appears to break the continuity of the film because the the sky is not very dark and the scene was so obviously filmed during the day at a time when the sun was low in the sky. It has the effect of disrupting or confusing the time frame for the audience because earlier Toad had been hustling booze in front of a liquor store probably around 10:00 PM and then once he & Debbie get to the canal to drink it, the time appears to be dusk. One can't help but wonder how much more natural a scene such as this might have looked had Lucas used natural light sources such as car headlights or maybe flashlights to illuminate the actors. This inconsistency bothers this writer only because it seems like it could have been done better, However, the average audience member in 1973 employed a certain amount of suspended disbelief when viewing nighttime scenes that were filmed in this manner.
|The two actor's bright while wardrobe, worn for the entire film, was chosen expressly to make them visible during the dimly lit scene where they walk through the graveyard of cars.|
YOU WEAR IT WELL
|Wexler adjusts a light at Mels|
SHAVING CREAM & SEARCH LIGHTS
|Carol & John do a celebratory vengeance dance in front of a searchlight after defiling a Cadillac filled with girls.|
- American Graffiti, Special Edition. [Blu-ray] (1973, 2011). Universal Studios.
- Clark, Candy, Feb 2011. Personal conversation.
- Kline, Sally editor (1999). George Lucas Interviews. University Press of Mississippi/Jackson
- Pollock, Dale. (1983,1999). Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas. Updated Edition. New York, DeCapo Press.
- Stock, Dennis. (1972) PHOTOGRAPHS. (July 2011) Hidden Treasure: Lost Photos from the Set of American Graffiti. Wired Magazine Website 1. Manuel Padilla on pinball machine, Retrieved 8/20/2011: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/06/pl_americangraffiti/