The King Speaks to Inflatable Dolls

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This Sunday, the stars of Hollywood will line up to attend the Golden Globes awards ceremony, which gives out trophies and accolades to the best examples of acting, directing, etc. in both TV and movies. One of the films that is slated to take home some awards is The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth as King George VI, who had difficulty speaking without a stutter. The film has received positively glowing reviews and is on almost every top ten list of the year, so expect it to get at least one Golden Globe this weekend.

One of the most interesting parts of the film’s shooting was how they made it seem that there were hundreds of people gathered in places to listen to the king speak throughout the movie – they used inflatable people! This article from the Telegraph and Argus discusses the usage of these inflatables:

“Central scenes in multi-award-winning film The King’s Speech involve large crowds of Bradford people – but among them are 1,500 inflatable mannequins. The Inflatable Crowd Company in Bingley used life-size models for the movie, partly filmed at Odsal Stadium, which is on release from today. Extras – many of whom turned up for filming in December, 2009, following an appeal in the Telegraph & Argus – were placed among inflatables in crowd scenes.”

According to the article, inflatable dolls only take moments to inflate and can save production costs up to 90% on the cost of extras. They are also easier in terms of costumes – since the dolls can be moved and inflated anywhere, the costumes are interchangeable or can be kept the same. They are never in focus, so time is saved for maximum efficiency. More and more I am surprised at the numerous possibilities for inflatables, from inflatable extras to inflatable protest rats and so on. I can’t wait to see what I find next!


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