Tonight, the FX Network showed V for Vendetta, the 2006 Wachowski Brothers film based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.
While watching V For Vendetta, I realized that the movie has one of the coolest domino-knockdown scenes ever. The pattern was created using thousands of black and red dominoes, which form the shape of a V within a circle — the symbol of the film’s protagonist, V (played by Hugo Weaving) — and took four professional domino assemblers 200 hours to build.
In a pivotal sequence in the film, we see the vigilante V finishing up the pattern, while Inspector Finch (Stephen Rea) tells a colleague what he thinks V’s plans are (there’s also flashes to the chaos in the city that V has already caused). The montage then shows V “touching-off” the domino pattern in what results in a visually stunning moment in the film.
You can watch a video below from YouTube that someone created by editing together only the scenes with the dominoes.
There’s also a short time-lapped behind-the-scenes video you can view of the professionals — who designed and did the ‘release’ in the scene — assembling the pattern for the movie.
According to the film’s production notes, the set had to be closed to everyone except the assemblers during the delicate set-up after a previous incident occurred where a “slight disruption flattened the dominoes.”
Tension was palpable on the set the day the scene was filmed, lest anyone’s footsteps or voice tumble the dominos again. Loud gasps were heard when an assistant hairstylist dropped her comb while grooming V’s locks as he sat cross-legged at the head of the domino chain. Fortunately, the comb narrowly missed the first piece. The dominoes were then officially “touched off” – and fell into place perfectly.
There’s a few videos up on YouTube of the full montage from the film (I couldn’t find any with that were embeddable). The sequence is compelling as is, but it’s also great to see the video of just the dominoes falling in sequence.
By the way, I have to say that I found it quite amusing that the first commercial to come on after the dominoes montage was one for Domino’s Pizza. Yeah.