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Why, in a few months it’ll be up on lights in Broadway: The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day, the Eighth Wonder of the World!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

Today we look at a rather great photo of one Mr. Merian C. Cooper who looks to be having a disagreement with one of his stars. Cooper produced many great films, but his legacy will be King Kong. I don’t know what prima dona “I’m the title character!” bullshit Kong was pulling with Cooper, but the man doesn’t seem intimidated. Hell, his fists are up. Shit’s about to get real, son.

Willis O’Brien’s stop motion work in Kong is full of character and personality and will always be the highlight of the movie for me, but there’s something… creepy… about the lifesized Kong built for a few key shots. I think it was the way the eyes moved. It was the giant ape version of those fuck-awful creepy kids dolls.

Anyway, here’s the pic. Click to enlargen!



If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Tomorrow’s pic is gonna play with yyooooouuuuu.

-Eric Vespe
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Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page One
(warning: there are some broken links that will be fixed as soon as I can get around to it)

Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page Two

Readers Talkback
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  • March 2, 2012, 11:50 p.m. CST

    First? Really?

    by RRL

    Wow. I was just gonna tell you it was another great pic, Quint, and man that giant nipple is weird.

  • March 2, 2012, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Also- they really knew how to dress back then.

    by RRL

    Cooper looks like a cross between Dick Tracy and the eminent Dr. Jones, Jr.

  • March 2, 2012, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Looks like Mike Tyson

    by BoRock_A_Boomer

    Who should have been Kong in the Jackson version

  • March 3, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Cooper's reaching for his pistola.

    by MiggsFacial

  • March 3, 2012, 12:16 a.m. CST

    Is the soul of tomorrow's pic stonier?

    by MiggsFacial

  • March 3, 2012, 12:25 a.m. CST

    do we get to meet

    by SpencerBarnes

    a cute little guy named Gage? mean road indeed. used up a lot of pets

  • March 3, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST

    I prefer the 70s version.sorry.

    by KilliK

  • March 3, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Warriors! Come out and play-ay!

    by I Max U Mini

    Walter Hill, BAY-BEE!

  • March 3, 2012, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Is that the world's first Bigature?

    by Zorak5

    Just curious.

  • March 3, 2012, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Mr. Cooper and the Giant Ape Nipple

    by geech

    Looks like Mr. C might be wanting a big of a buffer zone between he and the majesty that is the Nipple of Kong!!!

  • March 3, 2012, 3:32 a.m. CST


    by jpwishbone

    No it isn't a bigature A bigature is a minature that is very big. This is a full scale model, not a minature. Still very impressive though.

  • March 3, 2012, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Wow, look at the soul and the texture of that thing. No computers necessary.

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

  • March 3, 2012, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Cool World

    by Evan Meadow

    That's what the next behind the scenes pic will be from.

  • March 3, 2012, 5 a.m. CST


    by lovesamuelfuller

    My guess would be Child's Play...

  • March 3, 2012, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Why his arms are like that.

    by spudwas

    Merian C. Cooper served as a DH-4 bomber pilot with the United States Army Air Service during World War I. He was shot down and captured by the Germans, serving out the remainder of the war in a POW camp. He remained in the Air Service after the war, despite serious burns to his arms and hands that incurred in the crash of his DH-4. Gee... I sure hated to spoil the fun about his fists.

  • March 3, 2012, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson's version was too short

    by Rtobert

    Needed more dinosaurs :)

  • March 3, 2012, 8:15 a.m. CST


    by rlong

    this is now the main reason I visit here.A book should be made of these pics.just beautiful.

  • March 3, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the info spudwas

    by Mondo_dismo

    Did not know that. What a time it must have been where directors and stars could also be war heroes, and vice versa.

  • March 3, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    That hint for tomorrow...

    by Nice Marmot

    Pet Sematary or Child's Play. Can't decide.... Have really extended his 'yooouu'....

  • Thank god and the roswell aliens for computers. Oh but I love this too. It was all the rage in 1939.

  • Cool- clean break! No wiping really needed. I'll sterilize just to be sure. Mmm. See? My comments actually have more value than the anti-computer throwaway comments that you 12 year olds still seem to think allow you to fit in on this site.

  • March 3, 2012, 9:18 a.m. CST

    The bottom line is

    by UltraTron

    computer sculpting had advanced beyond what even avatar was able to show us when it came out. The advances in digital modeling tech are some of the latest technological pushes. With hd geometry in Zbrush it is now possible to do detail far beyond what latex could ever be capable in macro. In other words I could make this kong and you could drive the camera over its pores like a first person shot in the abyss or something. You could fall into his pores and the cracks of his skin. This would only be possible with computers. It's just that no film has shown you something like that yet. If you were to drive the camera over a giant latex sculpture it would look like latex dust and shit. You would have to sculpt it 3 times actual kong size to get the detail I'm talking about.

  • March 3, 2012, 9:24 a.m. CST

    What's really fun is I'm responsible directly

    by UltraTron

    for turning the industry off clay moquettes and forcing them to go all digital with their concept sculpts. If you want to know where the water line was look at watchmen. That's the last clay sculpt concept costume movie. After that it's been digital and you can see much more detail in the costume designs. So everybody can just say anti-UltraTron comments instead of cg from now on. I invented digital hair and made a billion dollars so that I can bitch at you guys indefinitely. Everyone except Dreamworks pays me for digital hair. They prefer to keep one hair guy on staff and pay him instead of my licensing

  • March 3, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

    I also have been directly responsible for getting Eva Mendez

    by UltraTron

    a lesbian encounter with my friend Sherry while Eva was tripping on ecstasy

  • March 3, 2012, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Merian C. Cooper

    by dukeroberts

    He was from my hometown, Jacksonville, Florida. He also produced my second favorite movie of all time, The Searchers. Thanks for the cool picture.

  • March 3, 2012, 10:06 a.m. CST


    by cameron

  • March 3, 2012, 10:43 a.m. CST


    by RRL

    So- Is all that true? Sometimes I can't tell if TBers are just bullshitting... But if so- that is really, really cool. Seriously- My 16-year old were just having the practical vs CG chat, and we both decided that the biggest advances (to an audiences eyes) aren't mo-capture and performance suits, but the level of detail in hair and textures... (ex- Serkis in Kong and ROTPOTA would have still seemed cheesey if not for the Hair/Skin detail) Also- had no idea clay-sculpted macs stopped at watchmen. Wild! Anyway- if you're being straight with us, you have a pretty cool life, sir.

  • March 3, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    -- ultratron

    by MooseMalloy

    Too much information. But at least I now know that you're not some other dickhead in the industry that I thought there was a possibility you were. Haha.

  • March 3, 2012, 2:08 p.m. CST

    moose: it's true I work at Ross.

    by UltraTron

    I just love effects man. Sue me. Just magic in a world of dogshit. Without art there is only nature. Look what we did to nature. We carved it into perfect concrete lined squares. That leaves art where you find it. I study it and learn about the individual strokes. I cherish the year's offerings of distraction that hew towards the most outlandish genres. I climb those kong nipples with vigor and embrace the fire of legend blasting from his nostrils.

  • Not like in Jackson's where she wanted to fuck the monkey.

  • March 3, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    ultratron the new version of jetL93

    by Xiphos_2

    so that means he's another fucktard with a weird performance art fetish.

  • March 3, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    You still can't transfer the human soul with computers

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    Or the true dusty fingerprint of a creator onto his art. Which is why even "cheesy" stuff like Sinbad and the original Kong will always last forever and be embraced by nine yr olds and their Dads until the end of time. CGI has been around for a long time now, but they still don't have even ONE character that has come even close to becoming a part of the public consciousness like ET has. Not even close. Not even one. Kids will still see shit like Toy Story 3 and forget it in a week, and far more of them across the planet are going to bed tonight with Winnie the Poohs tucked under their covers than Woodys. I'm sure lots of kids will still say TODAY "I'd really like to meet the guy who made the Cyclops in Jason in the Argonauts!!" But not too many who will say "Wow, I'd really like to meet mouse-pusher number 87 from 'Wrath of the Titans!!" Also might have something to do with the fact that Harryhausen would never drag his smarmy ass onto a messageboard to brag about how he gave ecstasy to Eva Mendez sisters secretary or whatever. Who gives a fuck about your sweaty chimp pores. Nobody sure as fuck wants to drive a jeep over them, asshole.

  • March 3, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Pet Sematary tomorrow

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • You will never be as successful as your fathers. That's a shame. But honestly in your cases I don't think it has anything to do with the economy. Oh and LA Noire does just fine conveying every aspect of the human condition through the faces of its digital characters.  It's true that Harryhausen is the shit and all eras of film making provide their charms and entertainment.  Here's a little history happening in front of you. Dreamworks still uses nurbs. Rango won this year and modeling was where it shined above what Dreamworks' pipeline is capable of. Nurbs lend themselves and actually define Dreamworks' style. From Madagascar to Megamind those nurbs help contain and corral the style of all of Dreamworks characters. Puss in boots is covered in fur so you can't see his nurbness. Nurbs were fun but Rango can now go further with it's character designs because it's free from these constraints. See guys I can bitch about various digital technologies and their strengths and weaknesses because I invented some of them. No I didn't just wake up and know how to do that. Its starts with drawing. It's hard for me to listen to the mindless shit that comes our of some of your mouths even though I come here for that very reason. You have  no reasoning or processing of the history, time, innovation, lore, mythology, blood and passion that went into turning you into the potato you are. No knowledge of the billions of man hours -or the geniuses involved with each advance and the battles they fought with whatever companies they worked under. Nolan Bushnell sat on space duel for the entire 4 years of his college carreer. He knew what it was the moment he saw it. The guy who invented space duel just left it in the basement of M.I.T. The guy who found it started the multi-billion dollar video game industry. We could have had video games 4 years earlier. Later- if Tron had been a success- we could have had Jurassic Park 10 years earlier. Videogames could be completely photorealistic by this point had the industry been there earlier to back it. So don't bitch about progress kids. Try to steal some of the future for yourselves. Promote discussion instead of knee-jerk response. Embrace the fire of legend folks. I've got a Ray Harryhausen signed earth vs the flying saucers stop motion model used in the film. So just put that horse cock back in your ass and enjoy whatever it is I see fit to slop you with next. I make your fucking dreams. You do exactly fuck and shit. And we all know you ain't fucking fat boy.

  • March 3, 2012, 4:56 p.m. CST

    It was called space war. I fucked up. That's why I work at Ross.

    by UltraTron

  • March 3, 2012, 5:12 p.m. CST


    by RRL

    magic in a world of dogshit. Without art there is only nature. Look what we did to nature. We carved it into perfect concrete lined squares. That leaves art where you find it.

  • March 3, 2012, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Cheers! This is one of the best pictures ever taken

    by UltraTron

  • March 3, 2012, 5:52 p.m. CST

    @ultratron, etc

    by RRL

    I actually wrote a really long-winded post about how that great quote of yours sums up the current state of film, how the artists and designers are the only magic left in the industry, etc... But I screwed up and used quotation marks! Now, I gotta go to work- can't retype my masterpiece- but really, that was a fan-fucking-tastic line you wrote. You may be over the top and harsh toward others sometimes, but at the end of the day, you have a very valid point of view. Cheers!

  • I apologize if i've ever offended anyone who didn't completely have it coming.

  • If you're all good maybe I'll open one in your neighborhood.

  • than the Alamo Drafthouse and isn't movie themed. It's better than any themepark but has very few actual rides. It will be something new. An original thing you can go and do.

  • out of their minds..

  • March 3, 2012, 7:27 p.m. CST

    What, you work at Ross department stores?

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    Pixelated clothing for fat women? And who writes your dialogue- John Milius? 'And when the future cometh we will hew deep valleys out of latex, and the audience will gasp in awe behind their 3D glasses....' EMBRACE THE FIRE OF LEGENDDDDD Really can't wait for the 'drive the jeep over the monkey's pores' theme park ride, dude, I'm all a tingle here. Or the 'ride the serotonin wave up Eva Mendes' spine' ride, sure to be a fuckin family classic. The Actor won best picture. Silent. Black and white. No protein shake drinkin monkeys like you to lay a finger-or-a-mousepad on it. Oh, handmade is coming back. There will be a backlash. And Herbie the Love Bug will piss all over your sports car, the Dragon from Dragonslayer will eat your meticulously rendered dino-bunnies BECAUSE HE'S REAL AND GOT REAL TEETH, MUSCLEBRAINS People are gonna get sick of these movies trying to do everything for them. Even your writing is an attempt at 360 degree sweeping camerawork with artificial lighting and a Morgan Freeman voiceover. It sickens me. The old school is coming back and it is going to eat you.

  • March 3, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Q: How many bears died to supply Kong his fur?

    by foles

    SHITLOADS APPARENTLY! Someone must have an idea as I know the full size Kong was....well...MASSIVE!

  • March 3, 2012, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Please see my question re this post :)

    by foles

  • that the 6 million dollar man punked your ass down. Your career never went anywhere after that.

  • March 4, 2012, 2:05 a.m. CST

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    hahahahaaaa... okay. pffft hahahahaaa

  • March 4, 2012, 2:20 a.m. CST

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    nothing defuses nerd rage like a well timed joke referencing Lee Majors Vs. A Bigfoot. good stuff

  • March 4, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    I just looked up Cooper's bio on Wikipedia.

    by Royston Lodge

    That mofo was a serious badass!

  • March 4, 2012, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Re: Stop Motion Vs. CGI

    by ArmageddonProductions

    I hate to break this to you all, but aside from rose-colored lens of nostalgia (which some of you seem to be interpreting as "character"), stop-motion looks like complete shit, it always looked like complete shit and there were very rare instances (JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK AT-ATs) where the process actually worked as "movie magic". O'Brian's King Kong looked like a furry turd made out of Play-Doh, and the "artist's fingerprints in every frame of the stop-motion" speaks more to the fact that those fuckers were even sloppier with their work than they should have been, given the artistic and technical limitations of the time.</p><P> That's not to say that CGI is, by comparison, a flawless process ... but unless you're just determined to be contrary, it's certainly no worse, and ESPECIALLY no more fake-looking than that horrid shit Harryhausen was cranking out. Case in point: CLASH OF THE TITANS 2010 versus CLASH OF THE TITANS '81. In the '81 version, it was almost as if they'd given the gig to Harryhausen out of pity, rather than actual ability. If you compared it to SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER, made just a few years earlier, you'd swear Harryhausen had outsourced most of the shots in TITANS to a starving family of Mexicans who had maybe once heard about "moving pictures". The 2011 CLASH OF THE TITANS was terrible ... but damn if most of that CGI at least looked like it belonged in the same shot as the live action stuff.</p><p> At the end of the day, you can bitch and whine all you want, but I'm about 99.9 percent sure they're never gonna go back to stop motion special effects and rear projection plates. Sorry, gang.

  • March 5, 2012, 10:49 a.m. CST

    That's one big nipple...

    by CREG