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“No more steam!” : How Tony Scott lobbied for Top Gun cult credits

The cult action film of the 80s

In 1986 Tony Scott directed one of the most cult films of the late 20th century: Top Gun. An action film that made Tom Cruise an instant superstar, playing a gifted but hot-headed young Navy fighter pilot. The popularity of the film was already exceptional, it is even more so after the 2022 release of Top Gun: nonconformistHollywood blockbuster masterpiece and meta-opera about icon Tom Cruise.

If this film is a cult, it owes it to its impressive aerial action sequences, the rivalry between “Iceman” and “Maverick”, a famous scene of volleyball and one no less famous pseudo-erotic scene…But it owes its cult status, First of all, in his first images. In fact, the opening credits of Top Gunwhich involves take-offs and landings on an aircraft carrier, with the music of Kenny Logins and in the colors so dear to Tony Scott, is a small masterpiece of introduction imprinted in everyone’s memory.

More and more for Tony Scott

During an interview with Eddie Hamiltoneditor Top Gun: nonconformist and close collaborator of Christopher McQuarrie – he is also the editor of the last three films Mission Impossible -, he told us a funny anecdote about it an obsession of Tony Scott during the filming of the credits images of Top Gun.

Tony Scott was obsessed with steam. Jerry Bruckheimer (producer of the “Top Gun” films) told me that he kept shouting: “More steam! More steam! More steam!”. The catapults therefore had to function constantly.

In fact, in the end credits images of the first film, the planes and the crew of the aircraft carrier appear almost submerged by the clouds of steam released by the catapults. These images were shot on the USS Ranger (CV-61), a former American aircraft carrier then operating thetraditional water vapor technology to get their planes off the ground. A technology still in use today, which we find in the end credits images of the 2022 film, filmed on the USS Lincoln.

To the extent that the credits of Top Gun: nonconformist is a remake of that of Top Gunwe therefore notice that it exists much less steam on the screen. An aesthetic choice first and foremost, given that the director Joseph Kosinski and the director of photography Claudio Miranda are not Tony Scott and Jeffrey L. Kimball, but also a practical choice. In fact, if Tony Scott could have asked for the catapults to run permanently and empty to create steam, the Navy and the aircraft carrier commander would gladly play along, the Top Gun: nonconformist they probably didn’t have the same leeway.

Source: Cine Serie

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