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All Fall Down: A Look At The Masterful Dominoes Of ‘V For Vendetta’
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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.

Video

7 Comments »

  1. @geeksofdoom I love the idea of V spending hours trying to make that without knocking any down. Visually cool, but ultimately pointless.

    Comment by dberga — October 24, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

  2. @dberga I think it adds depth V’s obsession, which is ultimately what his entire plight is driven by. But ya, it’s both cool & pointless. :)

    Comment by Dave3 — October 24, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

  3. I like that they hired professionals (although, I didn’t know there was such a thing as professional domino assemblers – kinda cool), who spent 200 hours to put this thing together and then had ONE chance to release it and get it right for filming. In my opinion, that’s so much better than say creating it through computer special effects. I totally love this scene.

    Comment by Empress Eve — October 24, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

  4. When I grow up I want to be a professional Domino assembler !!

    Comment by robertarizona — October 25, 2010 @ 2:52 am

  5. *Professional* domino assemblers? There really is such a thing? What does it take to reach the pros?

    Comment by SibTiger — October 25, 2010 @ 10:15 am

  6. I’m guessing a slow and steady hand, lol. It seems like more than just assembly though. These people first had to design this massive piece, and then be able to set if off so that each piece fell down properly AND there was more than one row, so each row had to be in sync. But yeah, I would love to know how one goes into this profession.

    Comment by Empress Eve — October 25, 2010 @ 11:31 am

  7. That’s some job! But it looks like it takes lots of work to get all those dominos just right. I liked the movie a lot and this is a very cool scene. Yeah I know the movie didn’t match the comic perfectly but hardly any do. It’s still good on its own.

    Comment by Fierste — October 26, 2010 @ 10:38 am

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