Research and Redos- Psycho Shower Scene-Scene 2

Conánn recommended to us that we completely replicate the curtain scene exactly- if we are going to make an homage to it we should rip it off.


The curtain scene from our main inspiration. Psycho (1960).

The iconic scene itself was noted to be a baptism of the character, played by Janet Leigh. She noted that the character, Mario, was cleansed in the scene- the water washing away her sins through the flow of blood down the drain. In an interview  Leigh said, “It was like she was being purified. Cleansed. The water — it was like she was being baptized. She was cleaning not only her body but also the inner dirt. And this made the attack even more horrible.”

The scene itself was supposed to be completely silent. Bernard Herrmann, who wrote the movie’s score,defied this though and completed the screeching climax that we all now. The music was voted in 2009 as the “scariest movie theme of all time.” In our own animation we obviously won’t have such a musical cue- due to the genre difference. However, we could possibly implement some sort of change in music as homage to this scene.

The famous sound clip. (YouTube, 2016).

I thought it was important to look into the shot itself, how it was made and how it aligned on camera, to help Jordan with his new animated section.

The video below shows the alignment on screen for the entire scene, however, I wanted to focus on the curtain part of course. The shot is very short but in this video, I noticed that the curtain lies along the top third of the grid.

Shot analysis of the curtain scene. (Vimeo, 2014).

I found an article online that explained the full analysis of the scene which came in very handy. In the production, both Albert Hitchcock and Russell used only two cameras to film Psych, to take the most advantage of the shots in any scene. This is something that we could use a lot more in or cinematography, for example the opening pan-either one of two cameras for the pan and movement of the character walking across the room.

The scene above took 78 shot set-ups and seven days to film. The set itself had detachable walls, allowing for camera movement in all angles. The shot itself only had one camera. Originally, Hitchcock only intended to see the knife-wielding hand of the murderer, however after talking to Saul Bass on the storyboards, the shot changed. He said that a number of different angles would grasp what screenwriter Joseph Stefano said of “an impression of a knife slashing, as if tearing at the very screen, ripping the film.” A fast-motion reverse shot was used to trick the viewer into thinking that the character, Marion was being pierced in the stomach.

Creating the Camera in Scene 2 and Other Fixes

So I was kind of left on my own with this scene which was kind of scary given that I hadn’t really had much of a chance with texturing and rigging fails. In this scene we replicated the camera from our original Room 1 designs- at the exact distance that the pan at the end at. We held the camera in the one place, along the left third of the screen (rule of thirds) and allowed the journey of destruction to move from one position to the other. Lorna pointed out that we had take inspiration from the Juno (2007) title sequence, the character moving from the left hand size to the right hand side, only changing direction once she reaches her reward (the lightbulb).

The title sequence for Juno inspired the movement of our animation, subliminally of course.

The only frames that the camera changed was for the close up of the curtain, to replicate the Psycho shot. Below is the angle that I created, I think it is pretty close to what I needed.


I knew there would be size differences in the railing and the hoops, luckily I was able to take these into consideration.

In this scene it was commented that we needed more items to be bumped into to emphasise the impact of Lumo’s fall. We decided to add a lamp swing, as we realised she would definitely hit the lamp as she got out of the bed, due to its position. The lamp swing was a simple two stepped animation- one for the lamp in a neutral position and then it’s final resting one. We then had to import this new position into scene 4 to ensure consistency.


Psycho (1960). Directed Alfred Hitchcock [FILM]. USA: Paramount Pictures.

YouTube. (2016). Psycho. Murder Music. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].

Vimeo. (2014). Visual Analysis | Psycho (1960) | Shower Scene. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].



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