Hey, i got some action from that last post and showed the stills in layout class this week, so I want to rave about it a bit more...
Scott had directed a lot of commercials up to this point, including the landmark Apple spot, "1984".
There is some good material about the shoot on the DVD release.
Of course this was before digital post (1977), so much of the sumptuous cinematography was done in camera. He used alot of graduated filters to get the dark skies and in a couple of pan shots you can see the sky move but not the filter area. But overall the lighting and and so on is gorgeous, as are the composition of the shots. Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" kind of paved the way.
And then he (Scott) went on to his next feature, "Alien", which just changed the face of movies.
But I have soft spot for The Duellists , one of those small pictures that have alot of heart despite the non slickness.
The other thing about this pic is the spot on authenticity of the costumes, uniforms, weapons, etc. He never did that so well again, not in Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and especially not Robin Hood, which has some real howlers. Why does this happen? my theory: the more stature, the bigger the ego, the less you listen to the experts.