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Detecting Hand Doubles #380427
09/24/08 09:49 AM
09/24/08 09:49 AM
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Indiana, US
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M321 Offline OP
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When I watch a movie and see one of the characters playing the piano, I wonder whether or not the actor is actually playing. How can you detect hand doubles?

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Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380428
09/24/08 09:53 AM
09/24/08 09:53 AM
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sotto voce Offline
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I suspect that gestures that don't match the contours of the music could be considered a clue.

Steven

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380429
09/24/08 09:55 AM
09/24/08 09:55 AM
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izaldu Offline
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if it s dudley moore acting , then it s him!

seriously , movie stars have a tendency to say " i did the scene". brody said he leearned to play piano when shooting polanski s "the pianist" ... i just dont believe it.

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380430
09/24/08 10:21 AM
09/24/08 10:21 AM
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There were some film stars who, I suspect, were well-able to perform the pieces they were "miming".
Watch Kathryn Hepburn in Song of Love (Liszt eflat) Bette Davis in Deception (Appassionata)
Barbara Stanwyck in The Other Love (Rubinstein 4th) Margaret Lockwood in Love Story (Cornish Rhapsody) Laird Cregar in Hangover Square (Hermann's Concerto Macabre) and Louis Jordan in Julie (Pennario's Midnight on the Cliffs)for some really impressive full-screen (not just hands) "silent" performances.
The worst miming I've seen in a well-known film is Anton Walbrook flapping about aimlessly as he mimes to Louis Kentner's soundtrack of The Warsaw Concerto in the film Dangerous Moonlight. Very strange as Walbrook was reputed to have studied piano with the intention of becoming a concert pianist.
Then, of course, there were the concert pianists who made it into films, often playing themselves...Oscar Levant, Jose Iturbi and Eugene List.

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380431
09/24/08 10:22 AM
09/24/08 10:22 AM
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There are a few decent pianists working in Hollywood these days. Clint Eastwood, Sean Hayes, and Hugh Laurie come to mind, and I'm sure there are others.

I would imagine, though, that most use doubles. Generally speaking, if they don't show the face AND the hands, it's a double.


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Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380432
09/24/08 11:25 AM
09/24/08 11:25 AM
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Not hard to figure out that the person 'isn't' playing when you hear some high notes and the hands are in a lower position!!!

I hate it. The director makes sure that the year of the cars are correct, the clothes are appropriate, and then doesn't bother to have someone 'teach' the actor where the hands need to be? It looks rediculous! HAR HAR HAR!

Doubles? I hadn't noticed specifics but I don't expect that too many actors also are good pianists. It's nice if they can sing and dance and act!

I heard Clint Eastwood during a musical PBS presentation that he hosted. He plays well. (I'd say 'great' but then PL might jump all over me again!!!) But I am not sure that I have seen him play in a movie.

Nice list wood-demon...I'll be watching.


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380433
09/24/08 11:58 AM
09/24/08 11:58 AM
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Ohio, USA
signa Offline
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Adrien Brody did play piano himself in The Pianist, except on the sound track they use someone else's.

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380434
09/24/08 12:25 PM
09/24/08 12:25 PM
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Geoffrey Rush is a big faker in Shine....a good faker non-the-less.


"Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors."

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Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380435
09/24/08 12:28 PM
09/24/08 12:28 PM
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There's a really bad movie called "Playing Mona Lisa," where Alicia Witt plays a piano student, and she does her own playing.

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380436
09/24/08 01:00 PM
09/24/08 01:00 PM
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Los Angeles, CA
Akira Offline
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There's probably a lot more, but here are the actors I know of who play the piano.

Jamie Foxx
Clint Eastwood
Kelsey Grammar (attended Juilliard, BTW)
Anthony Hopkins
Dustin Hoffman
Jeff Goldblum
Richard Gere

I think its unlikely the actor you were watching was actually playing.

What movie was it, by the way?

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380437
09/24/08 02:54 PM
09/24/08 02:54 PM
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Doesn't exactly answer your question, but I know of two films in which the actor actually plays. One is The Lives of Others , in which Sebastian Koch, who had not previously played the piano, spent months learning just to play the piece that is used in the film.

Another is Vitus , in which a wunderkind is played by actual piano wunderkind, Teo Gheorgiu.

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380438
09/24/08 02:57 PM
09/24/08 02:57 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by signa:
Adrien Brody did play piano himself in The Pianist, except on the sound track they use someone else's.
and had never played before? well that s definitely impressive. i dont remember well, but my favourite scene is when he s put in a flat where he has to remain totally silent and there s a piano in there, he just plays a piece without touching the keyboard

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380439
09/24/08 03:05 PM
09/24/08 03:05 PM
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Pacific Northwest, US.
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Quote
Originally posted by Akira:
Kelsey Grammar (attended Juilliard, BTW)
:p wow

Frasier, my favourite American sitcom...


Jason
Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380440
09/24/08 04:28 PM
09/24/08 04:28 PM
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Urbandale, Iowa
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Quote
Originally posted by yok:
Another is Vitus , in which a wunderkind is played by actual piano wunderkind, Teo Gheorgiu. [/QB]
I saw that movie, amazing playing, amazing acting. He really is a wunderkind. Does he play the stock market in real life too?

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380441
09/25/08 03:45 AM
09/25/08 03:45 AM
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UK
Wood-demon Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by lilylady:
Not hard to figure out that the person 'isn't' playing when you hear some high notes and the hands are in a lower position!!!

I hate it. The director makes sure that the year of the cars are correct, the clothes are appropriate, and then doesn't bother to have someone 'teach' the actor where the hands need to be? It looks rediculous! HAR HAR HAR!

Doubles? I hadn't noticed specifics but I don't expect that too many actors also are good pianists. It's nice if they can sing and dance and act!

I heard Clint Eastwood during a musical PBS presentation that he hosted. He plays well. (I'd say 'great' but then PL might jump all over me again!!!) But I am not sure that I have seen him play in a movie.

Nice list wood-demon...I'll be watching.
Yes, it's all enjoyable tosh, Lilylady!
You might like to add Dennis Price in The Dancing Years and George Sanders (in full drag!) in The Kremlin Letter to the list as accomplished players who didn't really need the studio pianist.
After posting the thread I watched "Deception" again on dvd last night and was impressed by Paul Henreid's "miming" of the solo part in Korngold's 'cello concerto. I'm not a string player myself, but would be interested to hear from anyone who is, and who knows the film, just how convincing Henreid's "playing" is.

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380442
09/25/08 05:24 AM
09/25/08 05:24 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Wood-demon:
After posting the thread I watched "Deception" again on dvd last night and was impressed by Paul Henreid's "miming" of the solo part in Korngold's 'cello concerto. I'm not a string player myself, but would be interested to hear from anyone who is, and who knows the film, just how convincing Henreid's "playing" is.
I know nothing about strings, so I had the same thoughts about John Garfield miming violin in Humoreske to Isaac Stern's music. At least I could just relax and enjoy the acerbically irrepressible and inimitable Oscar Levant!

Steven

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380443
09/25/08 07:10 AM
09/25/08 07:10 AM
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This may be of topic ... but I read somewhere
Condi Rice is actually a great concert pianist
before joining the political circle! Wow!

Re: Detecting Hand Doubles #380444
09/25/08 07:23 AM
09/25/08 07:23 AM
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Wood-demon Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by sotto voce:
Quote
Originally posted by Wood-demon:
[b]After posting the thread I watched "Deception" again on dvd last night and was impressed by Paul Henreid's "miming" of the solo part in Korngold's 'cello concerto. I'm not a string player myself, but would be interested to hear from anyone who is, and who knows the film, just how convincing Henreid's "playing" is.
I know nothing about strings, so I had the same thoughts about John Garfield miming violin in Humoreske to Isaac Stern's music. At least I could just relax and enjoy the acerbically irrepressible and inimitable Oscar Levant!

Steven [/b]
Actually I think that was done by using clever camera angles and that the hands and arms you see playing the violin didn't belong to Garfield (or Isaac Stern for that matter), Steven.
In Deception it's definitely Henreid's hands and arms doing the work; it looks convincing to me but whether it would pass muster by a 'cellist is another matter.


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