Orson Welles – Filmaker essay

Orson Welles was born May 6th 1915 and died in 1985. He was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked at a high level to produce films, theatre, television and radio. He is well known for his imaginative dramatic productions as well as his very recognisable voice and personality, Welles is widely seen as one of the most accomplished dramatic artists of the twentieth century, especially for his significant and influential early work—despite his notoriously contentious relationship with Hollywood. He was well known for his nonlinear narrative forms, creative uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, distinctive camera angles, sound techniques brought from radio, deep focus shots, and great takes.

A well known shot taken from the film A touch of evil, which was made and produces by Orson Welles and sees a couple driving a car whilst having an unnoticeable bomb attached to it in the beginning credits, The couple drive about and a great amount of people are seen as if going to some kind of party, as the car drives off, an explosion can be heard off screen and the couple is killed in the explosion of the car. In 1935 Welles was given his efforts in the theater as a radio actor in Manhattan, conversing with many of the actors who would later form the center of his Mercury Theatre. He married Chicago actress Virginia Nicholson in 1934 and that year he shot an eight-minute silent short film, The Hearts of Age with her. The couple had one daughter, Christopher. She made her only film scene in 1948, taking the spot of Macduff’s son in Welles’s film Macbeth and later became known as Chris Welles Feder, an author of educational materials for children.
As a director Orson Welles made an extremely large amount of films, his filmography ranged from:
The Hearts of Age
Citizen Kane
The Magnificent Ambersons
The Stranger
The Lady from Shanghai
Macbeth
Othello
Mr. Arkadin
Touch of Evil
The Fountain of Youth
The Trial
Chimes at Midnight
The Immortal Story
F for Fake
Filming Othello
Each film has a specific meaning and can be recognised by almost all people in the more mature side of society. Welles had a range of incomplete films in the works before his death, theses ranged from:
Too Much Johnson
It’s All True
Vienna
Orson Welles’ London
Don Quixote
The Merchant of Venice
The Deep
The Other Side of the Wind
The Dreamers
The were all made between the dates that Orson welles remained an active filmographer, being the years 1934 to the 1980’s.
Welles also acted in a numerous amount of films and can also be recognised through his acting.
On October 10, 1985, Welles did his final interview on The Merv Griffin Show. He died two hours later of a heart attack at his home in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California. Welles’ ashes were buried on the property of a long time friend, retired bullfighter Antonio Ordóñez, in Ronda, Spain. In my own opinion, I feel that Orson Welles has created his own legacy through out the whole of modern history and is a truly inspirational character.

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