Alien Movie Trivia: Close Encounter of the Third Kind (1977) – 4

When following the trivia associated with the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” you will find out interesting news that involves a well-respected newscaster, as well as the remarkable talents of the youngest actor seen in the film.

How’d They Make Those Clouds?

The cloud effects seen in the movie are the handiwork of Douglas Trumbull, who added white paint into tanks of salt and fresh water.

Stubborn News Station

When Neary is in the living room sculpture scene, it was the intention of Steven Spielberg to have Walter Cronkite play the newsreader for the broadcast. However, his news affiliate CBS would not permit this, which is why producers allowed Howard K. Smith of ABC to take his place. If you notice, the news cutaway scene to Wyoming reporter was filmed before the filming company came to this decision and this is why you will hear the reporter exclaim ” Order your steak well-done, Walter.”

Impressive Young Actor

Do you know how good Cary Guffey’s performances were? He executed his parts in one or two takes. He earned the nickname of “One-Take Cary” on the set. Spielberg would have a T-shirt with these words printed on it. His performance also caught the eye of Stanley Kubrick and he was considered for the role of Danny Torrence in The Shining (1980). In later years, Guffey (who played Barry Guiler in the Close Encounters film) would take on additional roles up until the mid-1980s , mostly focusing on made-for-television shows and mini-series. Guffey was nearly four years old when he filmed Close Encounters.

As an adult, Guffey graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in marketing and then went on to take home an MBA from Jacksonville State University in Alabama. In May of 2003, it was reported that he was a financial planner for Merrill Lynch in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Feds Get In On the Action”¦

Real federal agents were used in the scene that involved the auditorium in Lacombe where the teaching of hand signals was administered. At the end sequence of the film, some of the extras who played scientists were actually scientists in real life.

Special Effects”¦

Special effects played an important role for Close Encounters, as all of the stars in the background during night shots, trees located in the distance, hills, and roads were not real. Even shots that did not include special effects were fake, such as Neary’s truck in the scene where he is driving about country roads.


Exploring a Variety of Techniques

A lot of different techniques were attempted during the filming of Close Encounters in an attempt to portray the aliens. Sometimes, small children were placed in rubber suits. Another method shot scenes at normal speed while the cameras passed through a crowd of mimes dressed as technicians. When the film sped up, the mimes made movements in slow motion. This would create the illusion that the aliens were running at super-human agility. Some actors would move their arms in such a way that the aliens looked like insects.