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Tuesday 10 December 2013

How did they shoot the leopard scenes in "2001: A Space Odyssey"?

Chipperfield Circus caravans, Town Moor, Newcastle
Chipperfield Circus caravans, Town Moor, Newcastle (Photo credit: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums)
Cover of "2001 - A Space Odyssey (Two-Dis...
Cover via Amazon
History is often referred to as the tapestry of life. It is a romantic notion and conjures up our intuitive linear way of viewing things. Our stories, we are instructed, must have a beginning, a middle and an end. Unfortunately no one told these rules to the God of Chaos who seems to spawn a type of tangled tree or weaves the confused web of a spider on acid. This is the way history can unfold when you research people and events. Certainly this was the case when I researched "The Legend of Salt and Sauce". I also indulged in recording the life stories of many of the individuals that were connected to these two famous elephants, as I felt it demonstrated just how many extraordinary lives were entwined. This blog have deviated into a variety of subjects often, but not always related to historical circus and their animals. As a result I am delighted when I discover various historians - from academic scholars to amateur genealogists - use this blog for their research.

One such case connected this post regarding the history of the "bounce"  , which evolved into the article "The Bounce: Revisited" with Stanley Kubrick's magnificent adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey". The bounce article referenced Terry Duggan, a wild animal trainer who worked with my two great uncles and my grandfather when they ran "Chipperfield's Circus". I am not directly related to the Duggans, but we share cousins and they have been connected to my family for a very long time now. Terry and my great-uncle, Jimmy Chipperfield, were involved with the prologue sequence of Kubrick's film, where a leopard attacks a member of a tribe of australopiths. I was contacted by the writer for a site dedicated to researching the history of this particular film. We continue discuss the sequence, as my father and I are in regular contact with people from the Chipperfield family (my relations) who were around when the sequence was being set up and filmed.  This is the current article on the subject:

2001italia: How did they shoot the leopard scenes in '2001'?:

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