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image - ABPC set

Long before the computer generated imagery (CGI) of recent years, artists were employed by film studios to paint backings to create realistic sets for their studio films. Olga Lehmann painted clouds, rooftops and buildings for all the major studios, including Elstree. Shooting films in a studio was a popular process used by the film unit so that they could control the light artificially rather than location filming - always a problem in gray swept Britain of the 40s and 50s. One of the projects that Lehmann worked on which did not materialize was the Hunchback of Notre Dame (pictured) although the design was well advanced.

In a illustrated lecture given towards the end of her career, Olga revealed how her painted backings for films like the Dark Avenger (1955) passed for authentic interiors of medieval buildings.

image - The Hunchback of Notre Dame image - Design
Last Updated: Monday, 04-Sep-2006 21:45:22 BST