The Missing Millennium Falcon

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series VFX_archaeology

Evolution of a Design     Story update: Joe Johnston on Twitter said that he did not do the original drawing that inspired the illustration in the middle of this article (which is a re-creation for research purposes only, and not an official StarWars art piece), and that he only used the cockpit and radar dish as elements. This design I saw might therefore be the work of one of the other artists on Star Wars. It could represent an alternate direction rather than a step in the evolution of the current design. That said, this is not to mislead, but now… Continue reading

VFX Archaeology — The Lost Empire Strikes Back

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series VFX_archaeology

Exploring the Evolution of a Lost Shot From Script to Screen [Image from the Empire Strikes Back Blu-ray. Color correction emphasizes blue spill that was normally lost to viewer.] The near final shot of The Empire Strikes Back (TESB) of the Millenium Falcon flying off into the sunset — or rather the ten thousand sunsets of a spiral galaxy — is one of the most iconic, and oft-printed promotional images from the film. Due to the amount of time it takes to preduce the material to coincide with the film release, magazines, album covers, and posters must start as soon as pictures are ready, whatever their… Continue reading

VFX Archaeology: Part 3 — Starship Troopers

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series VFX_archaeology

Recollections of BOSS FILM STUDIOS     A recent post of one of my photos from Starship Troopers on social media erupted into a lengthy discussion about the BOSS Film work, some of which has heretofore received little mention.  Following is a summary of that discussion, beefed up with a little bit of research from extant sources.  You may have read some of these recollections previously, but I will endeavor to add more detail, to illustrate what it took to make visual effects almost twenty years ago, so please indulge me.  Here goes: It was rumored that Paul Verhoeven saw an image… Continue reading

VFX Archaeology: Part 4 — Nurnies and Greeblies

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series VFX_archaeology

You can’t talk about #greebles without mentioning, likely the most iconic miniature ever shot, the #starwars #stardestroyer at only 3 feet long -@FonHDavis   Context is Everything Modern cinema maintains a series of technical terms via oral tradition, that really no longer make sense. How many people really itnow the origin of terms like “Gaffer,” and “best boy?” Yes, those job titles have a clear set of responsibilities, but the origin of the term is sometimes cryptic, or humorous. Visual effects have their own terms as well, developed from a multitude of technical and artistic sources.  Digital visual effects in particular rely on some nomenclature that was… Continue reading