News Archive for the ‘Comic-Con Features 2006’ Category
One of the founding members of Industrial Light and Magic, Lorne Peterson was hired by George Lucas to create the models for the original Star Wars and oversaw the entire production of models for Empire Strikes Back. Lorne has also won an Academy Award and a BAFTA award for the special effects work in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. During Comic-Con 2006, Lorne dropped by the Sideshow Booth for a special chat with collectors from around the globe to discuss his career and his involvment in the newly-released book, Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop:.
SideshowDusty: Hi everyone – Lorne had such a great time chatting yesterday that he’s back for more! Welcome back, Lorne!
Lorne_Peterson: Hello – thanks for having me back!
homer-simpson: Lorne, has anyone ever told you, you look like Indiana Jones’ Dad?
Lorne_Peterson: Yes they have, but I’ve been around Sean Connery when he’s come to Industrial Light and Magic, and people that show up in movies on the big screen are a little bit more perfect than the rest of us!
Mannix: Lorne, what was the toughest assignment you’ve taken and succeeded at?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, there’s been numbers of what you would call really tough projects. Probably Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer was one of the hardest, partly because it was done in such a short period of time… or rather, HAD to be done in such a short period of time. We did it in about 7 weeks. They needed it for shooting within that time. Plus, since it was so long and thin, we had to make sure that it was very light, and it’s made out of honey comb aluminum.
DarkArtist81: I’ve worked with that material before… it’s amazingly light and strong!
Lorne_Peterson: Yes the honey-combed aluminum was originally used in airplanes (I think) and has to be very light as well as strong.
Mannix: What inspires you to make these cool ideas and designs, Lorne?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, each film company can have a pretty extensive art department. In the case of Star Wars, Ralph McQuarrie did the original concept paintings with George Lucas. Everything would start that way, and then we would take off from there. As you probably know, you can’t build things exactly as they are in a two-dimensional drawing, you have to interpret it in three-dimensions.
DarkArtist81: Lorne, what is the best path, in your opinion, to work in your field? Courses or degrees to go for?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, there have been many many different paths, so it’s hard to say the exact right path. For instance, we work with one guy that studied chemistry, and yet, he’s a model-maker, machinist, and all-around incredible ‘answer guy’… he always seems to have the answer. But I would say, give yourself time at college before diving into it… the more things that you know, you kind of contribute to the whole. There have been a lot of people that have asked the question about courses to take and went on to study industrial design, and many of those stayed with industrial design and found that rewarding. Over the years, I’ve encountered many people who have asked the same question of me or others that I work with and found rewarding careers!
Mannix: What’s the latest project you have worked on?
Lorne_Peterson: About 3 or 4 months ago I was working on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Me and Nelson Hall and Danny Wagner and Randy Ottenberg did the canyon that Johnny Depp falls into, and all the little rope bridges. It was used in many different shots. We constructed it in two sections, 30 feet long and about 15 feet high. A person would be about 2 1/4 inches in this scale.
Estel: I thought it was a real canyon!
Lorne_Peterson: Well, every time you see it, even in the background of the bone cage that they’re in, it’s still our model. They hung the bone cage out over the cliff area on Palos Verdes, and just used the blue sky for blue screen. Then they put in our canyon in the background.
homer-simpson: You’ve probably been asked a thousand times, but what project has given you the most satisfaction?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, you’re right, I have been asked before (in yesterday’s chat, in fact!), and an extremely difficult one was the destruction of Monument Valley for Wild Wild West. It was technically very difficult to make foam rocks look like falling real rocks… real boulders don’t bounce like scale foam boulders tend to do! Also, the weather was getting worse as wintertime approached, and we only had one chance to do it right. Thats a lot of pressure! I could make up another one that’s difficult if you want
DarkArtist81: Yeah, it’s true… I’ve seen model work in some action movies that you could so tell it was a model.. and usually it’s the rocks that give it away. The wood splinters right and the explosions look fantastic, but the rocks are a challenge.
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, rocks, Water, fire… all of that can look pretty terrible if it’s not really thought out and the scale is not taken into consideration. After we did Temple of Doom, somebody tried to do a movie – I think its title was Yor the Barbarian – and when they ran down the cave with water coming down behind them (as it was in Temple of Doom, the water looked like big basketballs chasing them! They had not used compressed air to break up the water droplets.
DarkArtist81: I tried to set a model car on fire for a friend’s movie once, and the flames ruined the illusion… we had to cut it horrendously. It was a lesson learned
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, flames only come in one size, just the same way that there’s only one size for a drop of water, and you have to do very clever things to make it otherwise. One time – not that this relates to fire – but we made water appear to hit a cobblestone street by spritzing it down with alcohol just before the shot. When the alcohol evaporated because of the heat of the lights, it made it look like water was hitting the cobblestones, and rain was added later by CG.
Estel: Lorne, I actually wonder if there’s ever been a mentor of some sort to you, or a person that’s really helped you in developing your skills?
Lorne_Peterson: I wouldn’t say that it would be exactly a mentor, but my mother at times has reminded me that I had about 4 or 5 incredible high school teachers that were very inspirational. Several of them had been in World War 2, and even 10 years after that war they had great stories of their experiences. Perhaps, seeing so much destruction made them think more about what could be created.
homer-simpson: I thought that Computer Graphics were taking over. I’m amazed that was a model in Dead Man’s Chest. I’m just a average movie watcher, but have to say, without sounding like a creep – that’s an amazing model!
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, and you can see how much cheaper it was to have four people make a model and have another 4 or 5 people shoot it, then it would be to find a spot like that, set up rope bridges, have cranes for the cameras, and a crew of 70 or 100 people, for who knows how many days in a location that would probably be very remote… just think of the hotel bill for 100 people and the food!
homer-simpson: I meant, I thought they may have created the whole thing inside a computer.
Lorne_Peterson: Oh, I see… well, computers aren’t the best at creating organic environments, as they tend to have a bit of a fractal look about them, and the person at the computer has to describe (in the computer) every detail, Whereas, for instance, in a physical model, you can just throw dust in the little cavities – by dust, I usually mean very fine ground walnut shells – in the computer it would take a lot of time to do that.
homer-simpson: From the outside looking in, I would have thought model-making was a dying art, due to CG. But obviously this is not the case.
Lorne_Peterson: On the first Star Wars, there were only 7 model-makers. By the time of Sith, there were about 100 model-makers at ILM, and many more in Los Angeles, England, France, New Zealand, Australia, Vancouver, and Toronto.
Masao: Why walnut shells?
Lorne_Peterson: Walnut shells are a product that is used in everything, from filtration of water to a filler in glue, or the texture on the surface of a sail boat. It comes in every size, from about the size of a BB pellet, to the finest of flour, and looks great – good color. Plus, the color can easily be changed by adding tempra color, or more appropriately, earth-colored powders.
Masao: I was wondering why not use dust for dust?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, first of all it’s hard to collect dust. You may be thinking of the dirt that you can buy at a nursery supply company, but the scale of that dirt is REAL dirt, not scaled dirt. When a model is 1/4 scale, you need to come up with a material that’s a quarter of the size of reality. When we did the spaceship crash in the first Men in Black, I had to add a lot of mica dust to the mix, along with a lot of ground-up peat moss to make the dirt light enough so that when the ship hit it, it would plow up a large section of earth. If the ship had hit real dirt, it probably would have just kicked up a gallon of dirt and flew across the surface like a rock thrown across the water.
Masao: I was thinking more of the fine desert silt that is readily available, but yes I understand about scale.
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, there is a lot of fine dust that you can buy, like Fuller’s Earth, but ground-up walnut shell isn’t ‘dirty’ – if you looked at it in a microscope, it looks like little round particles rather than flat platelets, as Fuller’s Earth is. Walnut shells don’t stick to things like dirt does, and has a lot of other interesting properties. We still use Fuller’s Earth though, at times.
Masao: As a sculptor and modeler I don’t generally have uses for a non-sticking dirts, but I can see using them for shooting purposes.
Lorne_Peterson: Also, fine dirt, when put into water, turnes into mud, while walnut shells float. It can also be combined with alcohol to make a mortar that eventually evaporates and has the strength of a soda cracker. We can use this to make rock walls fall apart on cue.
Mannix: Ever though of setting up your own special effects or model company?
Lorne_Peterson: No, that would take a LOT of money. George Lucas was fortunate that he had made enough money from American Graffiti that he could embark upon a project like Star Wars.
Masao: Was “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” an alternate script for Star Wars?
Lorne_Peterson: I’ve never heard of “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye”… it sounds like a novel, rather than a movie.
Masao: Did Lucasfilm shoot some of the Star Wars effects at a place near Cave Creek, AZ?
Lorne_Peterson: I’m afraid I don’t know where Cave Creek, AZ is, but I don’t remember Star Wars being shot in Arizona, although we did shoot some of Wild Wild West there in 1999. Also, the Sarlacc Pit monster was shot in Arizona, near the California border.
FlyAndFight: Lorne, when detailing models today, do you still at times go back to the old method of using plastic model pieces?
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, we do, but certainly not as frequently as we did in the past. Now we have two laser cutters that can make small multiple parts for us.
Estel: So Lorne, I see Temple of Doom earned you an Oscar! What was that like for you?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, when they announced the winner, my mind must have fogged up because I don’t even remember walking to the stage! It seemed to take so little time, and all of a sudden I was on the stage The next 10 hours were a whirl of activity… it was fun!
Masao: Did you work with the maquette puppets in Temple of Doom? The radio controlled puppets, I mean. Finding out about those puppets really interested me. They were an influence in my learning to sculpt.
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, we made the maquette puppets and costumed those little characters and animated them. There were two sizes: the first were 1/4 scale and were used for the drop into the lava. The others were smaller and about 6″ to 7″ tall and were stop-motion puppets used in the mine cars.
DarkArtis81: Yeah, that one scene where Indy pulls Short Round back into the car as he nearly hits a wall…
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, the puppets that were dropped into the lava, both Willie and the ‘expendable’ slave, were radio-controlled, 1/4 scale puppets.
FlyAndFight: Were you involved in the scene with the rope bridge collapsing and the ‘dummies’ falling into the ravine?
DarkArtist81: It so amazing that they got that in one shot!
Lorne_Peterson: The dummies on the rope bridge were shot live-action in Sri Lanka, and they were very much like balloon people that had a small cork in their stem. When the bridge broke, they fell and the cork was pulled out and caused them to wiggle and writhe as they fell.
Estel: You didn’t work on The Last Crusade though?
Lorne_Peterson: I didn’t – Steve Gawly headed that one up, and I don’t remember what other project I was involved in at the time.
homer-simpson: Do you have a favourite out of the films you worked on? As an overall movie?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, Star Wars and Empire were pretty important to me!
Lorne_Peterson: Well, my time is about up! It was great to spend some time with you all today!
oxbeard: Thanks Lorne, it’s truly been amazing!!!
FlyAndFight: Thank you for putting up with us!
Lorne_Peterson: Thanks for your questions, I’ll see you next time! Oh, by the way, this Fall I will have a book out called Sculpting a Galaxy – hope to see you again then!
Here we go again! Our second installment in the Sideshow Collectibles 2006 Comic-Con Experience video series, featuring all the wackiness that is Comic-Con, including interviews with directors Guillermo del Toro and Frank Darabont, Lurtz and more!!!
Check out the video here »
It’s here! Our first installment in the Sideshow Collectibles 2006 Comic-Con Experience video series, featuring Darth Vader (and a whole slew of other characters from the Star Wars universe), interviews, goofy antics and more!
Check out the video here »
One of the founding members of Industrial Light and Magic, Lorne Peterson was hired by George Lucas to create the models for the original Star Wars and oversaw the entire production of models for Empire Strikes Back. Lorne has also won an Academy Award and a BAFTA award for the special effects work in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. During Comic-Con 2006, Lorne dropped by the Sideshow Booth for a special chat with collectors from around the globe to discuss his career and his involvment in the newly-released book, Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop.
Lorne_Peterson: Welcome to Comic-Con! It's the very first time I've come, probably not the last!
Estel: Are you having a good time?
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, I'm having a real good time! I got to speak to a large group of people - about 350 - about Sith. Showed a breakdown reel - Mustafar, Utapau, and also Geonosis.
SkArY: I need to say I am impressed with the vast number of quality projects you've worked on.
Lorne_Peterson: Thank you very much! It's true, I've been very very lucky. I think I've worked on over 150 different films over the years.
theverse: What's it like working as a model-maker on some of the big budget movies?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, I have to say that I have to use the word fun a lot... it's not ALL fun, like with any job it's a lot of work and sometimes many many hours... but fun!
Darth_Rage: What was the toughest project (be specific) you've done or been involved with?
Lorne_Peterson: Believe it or not, the toughest project was a part of Wild Wild West. We had to destroy Monument Valley.
creecher: How do you get away with something like that?
Lorne_Peterson: The very difficult part of it was that wintertime was coming, yet we had to match summertime in Arizona. Plus we only had one chance to make it work! Believe it or not, one of the ways that we made it work was very similar to the way that a dead-blow hammer works - if you've ever seen a hammer like that, it's plastic but it has many hundreds of small lead balls inside of oil, and when the hammer hits something it never bounces because of inertia. In each rock, we had lead balls and oil on the inside so that they wouldn't bounce... because huge rocks never bounce! These were foam rocks... hard foam.
theverse: Did you enjoy working on War of the Worlds?
Lorne_Peterson: Yes I did, partly because I worked on the part where the helicopter crashed into the wind tower and fell down on a truck. We built it as a very large miniature. It was a sand set about 40 foot by 30 foot, and a funny thing happened... a wild cat knew a way to get into the studio at night and used it as a cat box, so we had to clean it up each morning!
SkArY: Growing up, Dragonslayer was the film that introduced me to fantasy then onto sci-fi.
Lorne_Peterson: In Dragonslayer, we made all of the rocks and cliffs and gullies, and all of the environments that the dragon flew over.
SkArY: All of it?? Out of what?
Lorne_Peterson: What we did, we used a lot of coal believe it or not. We would buy, as soon as it came off the train, huge blocks of coal about 3 times bigger than a football. We then made molds of the coal and in that way, we made plastic rocks. We then composed them the way it looked in the drawings from the art department.
DarkArtist81: Cool thing is that most of the environments look so realistic that you would never notice!
Lorne_Peterson: Well, nothing looks better in scale than coal. If you hit it with a hammer, it breaks into perfect pieces that look just like big rocks in say, the Grand Canyon or Yosemite.
BobaFett02: Do you ever take memorabilia from the films you work on?? Something from the set, etc...
Lorne_Peterson: Very rarely do I take memorabilia. On example of something I did take home is when they were going to throw away the trees from The Hulk... I saved one to use as a Christmas tree and everybody likes it, so I still have it up! It looks like a giant sequoia, but it's actually only about 6 foot tall.
Charlie: Are sets and miniatures ever for sale from an actual movie?
Lorne_Peterson: The sets and miniatures are only very rarely for sale. One of the last times I remember was bout 20 years ago in London... they were selling some of the props from Indiana Jones. And also right now, I understand they are selling models and props from Star Trek.
BobaFett02: What do they do with them all?
DarkArtist81: Don't they archive that stuff sometimes, or is it always destroyed?
Lorne_Peterson: Lucasfilm always archives almost everything.
DarkArtist81: Yeah, I remember seeing the archive setup at Celebration 3... nice stuff!
Lorne_Peterson: I've been to the last two Star Wars Celebrations, and I will be at the one in Los Angeles next Spring!
Estel: Lorne, how did you actually start out? Were you always into building models, etc?
Lorne_Peterson: I certainly was when I was a kid, but I wasn't a fanatic about it. I studied art in school, but I was very lucky that someone I knew from school asked me if I wanted to work on a science fiction film. At the time, I had only read about four science fiction books in my life . It seemed 'okay' but the word 'Star Wars' wasn't then what it is today. I went to Long Beach State University, and about seven of the people that originally worked on Star Wars went to that university.
Darth_Rage: How do you feel about the new trilogy of Star Wars films in comparison to the original trilogy?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, the new trilogy is a litle bit like a Baroque painting as compared to a much more simple Renaissance painting... complexity isn't always the best.
DarkArtist81: I love watching behind the scenes stuff about that first Industrial Light and Magic team... Such a brilliant group.
Lorne_Peterson: You know, there will be a DVD included in the limited edtion Sculpting a Galaxy book that will have about 700 of my slides from the first film. Actually, we had to edit that 700 down so it might have about 250 slides... I was the only one that took a lot of pictures!
Abstractharmony: What are the actual goodies included in the limited edition?
Lorne_Peterson: In that book, it will have one 6 1/2-inch long speeder along with R2-D2, C-3PO, Luke, and Ben, all in 1/30 scale. Also included will be seven Death Star pieces, each one a reproduction of the originals that were 3" x 3". ALSO I reproduced the rear end of the Millenium Falcon - about 7 inches across - and that will be on the front of the book.
Abstractharmony: What's on the DVD Lorne?
Lorne_Peterson: The DVD has running footage and slides from Sith, and a Power Point presentation that I did, and it has some pictures of some of the very first tools that we used on the first Star Wars... they were made out of obsidian.
Abstractharmony: What is your absolute favourite piece you have sculpted... the one you are most proud of?
Lorne_Peterson: That's really hard! Although, I was very proud of the shape of Boba Fett's ship. I love the sculptural shape... I got a drawing from Nilo, the art director, which was a small sketch of a lamp on top of a lightpost. Some cities still have this lamp high above their highways.
Darth_Rage: Other than the physical extras (speeder, Death Star pieces, etc) how does Sculpting a Galaxy compare to the Chronicles books?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, for one thing, we tried to find photos that hadn't been published before. It wasn't alwasy possible, but we tried. The look of it is more like the Dressing a Galaxy book by the same publisher. Also, the stories included are my own and include many anecdotes that I seem to be the only one that remembers!
Abstractharmony: Was the original Star Wars the hardest you have had to work on a gig?
Lorne_Peterson: No, the hardest was probably Empire Strikes Back. The reason was that about six of us left Los Angeles in 1978, and had to start all over again in an empty building and make many many new models. I felt that I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel for about a year and a quarter. No matter how hard we worked, or how long we worked, I couldn't see the ending.
Abstractharmony: Did you all have to commute?
Lorne_Peterson: No, the lucky thing about moving up North is that I only live 3 miles away from the studio! And I don't have to go with the traffic.
Abstractharmony: Was there added pressure, given the hit that the first Star Wars was?
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, there was more pressure on Empire because we felt that we had to match the power of the first one. At first I remember I was told it would probably be easier becasue we already had the models made, and we would only have to operate them. It turned out that we made twice as many new ones!
Darth_Rage: Would you say Sculpting a Galaxy is more weighted towards the original trilogy as opposed to Dressing a Galaxy, which was almost exclusively prequel trilogy based?
Lorne_Peterson: Story-wise, there are probably more stories about the original trilogy, but picture-wise, each one probably has equal weight.
Abstractharmony: Do you still find yourself as busy with practical sculpting with CG taking over?
Estel: Would you say your profession has changed a lot now that CGI is being used more and more?
Lorne_Peterson: Yes, it has, but even though CGI is doing, as you say, more and more, the model shop is also doing more and more. On the first Star Wars, there were only seven model-makers, but we were about 20% of the whole... whereas on Sith there were about 90 model-makers - granted, there were hundreds of CG artists - but we were about 9% of the total.
Abstractharmony: What's your favourite medium to work in?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, that varies... sometiems when I do my own art, I like to use walnut ink... but other times at work, it's patternwood or plastic that makes the best model. Sometimes you might think that plastic is just plastic, but sometimes it can carve and cut and do just what you want more than any other material.
SkArY: Will you be working on the upcoming Star wars TV series?
Lorne_Peterson: No, I will not be working on the Star Wars TV series.
Charlie: I have to ask... does being a model-maker make a good living?
Lorne_Peterson: It makes a good enough living (or has) for me to buy a house in a place that I love to live, and cook and eat food that I like to eat, and have good friends!
Charlie: Did you design the home yourself?
Lorne_Peterson: No, I didn't design the home myself... my income is still in the 5 figure range, not the 6 figures
Abstractharmony: Do you find that directors/art directors lean on you more than a 'normal' sculptor given your 'Midas touch'?
Lorne_Peterson: You know, I don't know that I would use the term 'lean on'. As far as aesthetics go, it's very much of a team effort... there's a lot of group energy - a LOT of it. It can be both extremely fun and almost overwhelming, in that heady kind of way. It's money that causes the 'leaning on'.
Abstractharmony: Money-men or the weight of the budgets?
Lorne_Peterson: It's matching up the budget with the amount of money the production wants to spend. Making models, or at least model environments, is a little like making a lot of inexpensive Ferrari's, if you can imagine that.
JustinLuck: Do you wish the original trilogy was recognized by Lucas along with his 'special editions'?
Lorne_Peterson: It will be! I'm sure, just give it time.
SkArY: When building a set model, which environment do you enjoy making more, a space one or an earth-bound one?
Lorne_Peterson: Certainly for the Star Wars series, none of them were Earth-based, there's always some fantasy planet, but we humans are almost incapable of imagining a world that isn't somewhat like our own... meaning, Mustafar is like a Lava planet, etc.
JustinLuck: One thing that disappointed me about Revenge of the Sith is that the movie didn't have enough Vader (in his suit) screen time. Is there any chance Vader will make appearances on the TV series?
Lorne_Peterson: I don't know anything about the TV series - sorry!
Abstractharmony: Is there a dream project that you have still to work on?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, I have worked on many a dream project! My dream projects now usually have to do with doing something on my own. I probably drew and painted more in college than I have since, and I miss it.
creecher: Do you have a personal collection of any kind, Lorne?
Lorne_Peterson: I personally don't like to live with a lot of the posters or things that I work on... when I go home I like it to look more like a home than a continuation of my work. But that doesn't mean that I don't ocassionally have things around. For instance, I have a copy of the sarcophagus from the 'Well of Souls' from Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is from an original in the British museum.
Lorne_Peterson: It's exactly a 1:1 - molded from the one in the museum.
SkArY: What would be the most unusual material you ever had to work with and why was it used?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, one time we had to find an unborn calf-skin to make the Taun-Taun. And it had to be white, so that we could color it gray.
Abstractharmony: Where did you get that?
Lorne_Peterson: Well, believe it or not, sometimes cows are pregnant and no one knows it, and a small calf dies with the mom. Another material that is a bit unusual that we use is crushed walnut shells. They are sometimes as big as a BB pellet and sometimes as small as flour.
Abstractharmony: What do you use that for?
Lorne_Peterson: The walnut shells are used for scale sand and dirt. The size of the particle is important for the scale. The sand dunes that Padme (or Panda Bear, whatever her name is!) fell onto in Clones was made out of walnut shells
Abstractharmony: Lorne - I have the most important question of the night...
Lorne_Peterson: What is it?
Abstractharmony: Have you got a Big Vader Bag from Sideshow?
Lorne_Peterson: I haven't gotten my Vader bag yet, but I can imagine a woman I know wearing one for her next Halloween costume!
Abstractharmony: Make sure those pesky Sideshow staffers give you one!
Lorne_Peterson: Okay I will!
Lorne_Peterson: Well, I've got to go talk to the crowd now. Give my boook a look; it's here at Comic-Con - or at least a rough version of it at the SIdeshow booth.
SideshowMarc: Thanks for joining us for a great chat today, Lorne!
Lorne_Peterson: Thanks to everyone! See you in the future... Lorne Peterson
In the coming weeks we will be unveiling videos our team shot during the craziness that was San Diego Comic-Con 2006. To whet your appetite, we’ve put together this quick preview video to give you a taste of what’s to come!
Check out the video here »
Sideshow_Brant Hey everybody! What's the word... any burning questions?
bdarin73 Is there enogh Jabba thrones for preorder tomorrow for anyone who wants one?
Sideshow_Brant The thrones will be up for pre-order for at least a week, probably more, so no crazy rush. Everbody clear that the Jabba throne is exclusive to Sideshow in the US, but being distributed internationally?
JustinLuck Is it pretty loud over there, Brant?
Sideshow_Brant It is pretty loud, but that's just because of Chris' incredible MC powers
SSC022 Any chance Sideshow will follow-up the Predator Maquette with a Major Dutch maquette or any other?
Sideshow_Brant Sorry, no plans for Dutch at the moment.
Sideshow_Brant Yup, we're still working with Stan Winston... some fun stuff coming up!
JustinLuck I'm really glad to see you guys went with the adapter head for Leia. I hope all future masked characters are done like that.
Sideshow_Brant Yup, the design team felt pretty srongly about the adapter heads vs. the wearable helmets. Too much of the realism has to be sacrificed to make the helmets fit.
UniqueSoul Will there be a Spooktacular this year? I hope so.
Sideshow_Brant Spooktacular - I've heard rumors, but that's a better question for Dusty!
Amanaman Is Wol Cabasshite suction-cupped?
Sideshow_Brant Wol Cabasshite (Ghoel) will have a magnet in the body. And the tongue is bendy!
SSC384 Has there been any word on "snowbunny" Padme???
Sideshow_Brant We're working on Snowbunny Padme, but she isn't far enough along to show off yet. We're hoping to reveal something about her in the next month or two.
pixletwin Is the Obi-Wan 12-inch paint job that we've seen at Comi-Con the production paint job?
Sideshow_Brant The Obi-Wan on display is still the prototype - I only know because I lost a bet yesterday with someone from Rebelscum. Production looks just about the same.
alice_adrenochrome What's Jabba's base made from. Vinyl? Plastic??
Sideshow_Brant Jabba's base will be fiberglass or polystone, or some mixture thereof.
SSC022 Any chance Sideshow will ever experiment with silicon skin in the future, as far as you know?
Sideshow_Brant Silicon skin IS possible... but no plans to include it at the moment.
UniqueSoul Obi-Wan 12-inch still will ship in August right?
Sideshow_Brant Well, we've fixed the problem with the color on the robes, and we're busy sewing now. He's should be arriving at the end of August or VERY beginning of September. (Han MIGHT beat him to the US - He does like to SHIP first! LOL)
Sideshow_Brant Leia Boushh is actually from the Heroes of the Rebellion line... Sith - the next announcement is still a few figures away.
GRUSON Any details on the 60" Hunter Killer? Does it light up as well? Any idea of cost?
Sideshow_Brant The 60" Hunter Killer - it's huge, it will be fiberglass, it has working lights, it will include a display base, and - it's HUGE! Not sure about the price yet, but we'll have more info after the show.
creecher Do we have to prepare for a price hike for the 12-inchers anytime soon? The other companies are getting hugely exhorbitant prices!
Sideshow_Brant No plans for any major price hike on the 12-inch lines yet - but would you like us to?
JustinLuck I hope more Star Wars environments are in store. I think you guys did a wonderful job with Jabba's throne!
Sideshow_Brant Thanks! It was a big kiddie dream of mine to get Jabba and his throne made in 1:6 scale. If the throne does well, it could very well lead to additional environments.
JustinLuck I'm very glad to see Sideshow branching out beyond basic bodies.
Sideshow_Brant Oh, yea, there's no limit in the Star Wars line now. Jabba is going to pave the way...
SkArY What about The non-existant line THE DEAD?
Sideshow_Brant The Dead. What's that? Did you see the shirt?... Me neither!
GRUSON You hinted at Toy Fair about Star Wars 1/4 troopers coming out by the end of the year, is that still the plan? (hopefully stormtrooper)
Sideshow_Brant Sorry, you'll have to be a little more patient about the 1/4 troopers
Homer-J-Simpson What percentage of figures do you think we will end up with in each range?
Sideshow_Brant That's a tough question... Based on potential? The fewest from Sith, the most from Military (or Scum and Villainy - who knows).
P1X4R Would Sideshow ever consider doing movie props?
Sideshow_Brant You mean more movie props? We've done a few, like Hellboy's gun. We don't have any immediate plans for more props, but it's entirely possible we'll do more.
SSC022 Does your company utilize ideas generated through focus groups like the Sideshow Freaks board?
Sideshow_Brant Focus groups... You guys are the best. It's a complicated dance, the ideas generally originate in house, but we do pay attention to what is in demand. But the planning is so far out...
Amanaman There's always a risk in planning and demographics, but Sideshow is way more flexible than a lot of companies to correct something... I think you guys are on the right track.
Sideshow_Brant Thanks! It's really rewarding when we've done our job right, and demand for a certain character reaches fever pitch about the same time that we're ready to announce.
FlyAndFight Can you confirm an announcement for the next 12-inch LOTR figure after Comic-Con?
Beruthiel Also, any word on when the next LOTR Premium Format will be announced?
Sideshow_Brant About LOTR - here's the bad news... The 12-inch and Premium Format figures are really, really tough to put together. They are amazingly complicated, and difficult (costumes, hair, etc). So... the lines are going slower than we originally hoped. But the good news is... the up and coming figures look GREAT. And I think you'll really be jazzed about the next 12-inch character. But it's going to be a little while before the next annoucements.
dr2red Any hope for the Buffy line to continue after Giles?
Sideshow_Brant If you support the Buffy line, we'll do our best to make sure it continues. In all honesty, the last few figures haven't had the same support that was there for the early figures.
SSC151 Is Sideshow planning a rather extensive Premium Format line for the Buffy license? Or will it probably be pretty small?
Sideshow_Brant We have plans for more, but not a crazy number of characters.
Homer-J-Simpson Have you considered putting voice chips in the Star Wars figures like you did with the Scarface figure?
Sideshow_Brant Sound is possible for certain Star Wars characters...
SkArY We all got to vote for a 1/6 Star Wars figure (snowbunny Padme)... will we also get the same opportunity with the Premium Format line as well???
Sideshow_Brant Maybe we'll run a poll on the site - nothing stopping you from running your own poll
UniqueSoul Any plans to sell the the Star Wars 12-inch bases by themselves?
Sideshow_Brant No plans for individual Star Wars bases at the moment.
Homer-J-Simpson How many more Star Wars do you think will be announced by the end of the year?
Sideshow_Brant More Star Wars announcements before the end of the year? Oh, probably about... a few... the line is running very smoothly!
UniqueSoul I ask you this every chat, do you have a favorite piece from San Diego Comic-Con?
Sideshow_Brant My fav? Oh, it's no secret, it's the Jabba set.
creecher Can you please tell us a 12-inch Ygor will make it to our shelves??
Sideshow_Brant Sorry, no plans for Ygor at the moment.
JustinLuck Any plans to release a short body with corrected forearms, so we can replace Jedi Luke's body?
Sideshow_Brant The Darth Maul short body will have the shorter arms.
JustinLuck I would buy a new body for Luke if you guys offered it. Maybe one day, you guys will update the Sideshow basic bodies?
Sideshow_Brant It's always possible that a new body will make an appearance.
Sideshow_Brant Well, it's time for me to get back to the Con floor... Hope you are all having a great time experiencing San Diego Comic-Con from your seats at home... it's a lot easier on the feet that way! Bye y'all!
If a winner is confirmed, the name will be in bold. For our general Contest terms and conditions [Click Here]
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|Word of the Day 7/19 (DROIDTACULAR)||M. Scheri||Lynn, MA||78071 Skinner|
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|Random Contest 7/20||A. Alonso||Miami, FL||Vader t-shirt|
|Random Contest 7/20||J. Anderson||Kings Mountain, NC||7728 Moonraker|
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|I WANT XANDER||M. Schoofs||South Milwaukee, WI||20181 Xander Ex.|
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Greg_Mowry: Good Morning Sideshow Freaks!
Greg_Mowry: I am the senior designer for the Premium Format figures.: I do some work on 1/6th scale, mainly the new James Bond re-issues, but we have another cut and sew artist, Margaret, that handles most of our 1/6th line. But mostly, I'm not really that involved in the 1/6th scale stuff.
feedme: Did you work on the Spider-Man Premium Format?
Greg_Mowry: No, I didn't work on the Spider-Man.
NSFolsom: Do you have to make sure that they have the same fabric in China when the "clothes" are made?
Greg_Mowry: I try very hard to design the figures with fabrics that can be found internationally. It would do no good for me to design a figure using fabrics that are too unusual or hard for the manufacturing plant to procure.
SkArY: Was the Premium Format Lurtz costume a hard one to do??
Greg_Mowry: As far as the Lurtz costume goes, we were very fortunate to obtain an original costume from the movie! And I was able to take all my patterns from the original and reduce them in scale. So there was no guesswork involved in how the original costume was constructed or the materials that they used.
dr2red: What has been your biggest challenge this year?
Greg_Mowry: Um... my biggest challenge has just been a project I just completed and will be previewing soon! But they have a gun to my head right now, and I can't say anymore about it!
feedme: I'm looking at my Jason and Freddy right now... excellent work on them both... and they've so far stood the test of time.
Greg_Mowry: Thanks for your comments... I also agree that they have stood the test of time, and I'm very happy to say that I have never seen a Sideshow product on a flea market table!
dr2red: How many Premium Formats are you working on right now?
Greg_Mowry: At any one time I'm working on about 3... Right now, more Lord of the Rings characters, more Star Wars characters....
Salaciouspcrumb: More Bond?
Greg_Mowry: Well, we have some more Bonds coming up - and I still have that gun to my head
SkArY: More Legendery Musicians line maybe, hmmm?
Greg_Mowry: I did work on the 1/4 KISS, and I am working on more in the Legendary Musicians line... Also, concerning the Paul Stanley and Pete Criss, there are more than 200 heat-set rhinestones on each of those costumes... Actually, looking back on it, I'm sure there's at least 3 gross of rhinestones on each costume, designed from their "Destroyer" period. And I also work on 1/4 scale figures for my personal collection.
feedme: Which ones you have made?
Greg_Mowry: Some are: the Lone Ranger, 1943 Batman, the Shadow, and I'm currently working with Andy Bergholtz on 1/4 scale Sgt. Pepper figures from the album cover.
Salaciouspcrumb: Is there a gallery? Can they be viewed?
Greg_Mowry: I have my personal website at www.geppettoproductions.com You can see my other work there, although I don't have photos of those particular 1/4 scale statues up yet.
oxbeard: Greg, have you been involved at all with any of the 1:1 busts??
Salaciouspcrumb: How long does it typically take from conception to sign-off?
Greg_Mowry: I would say minimum of about a month between when I first get my assignment, to when I sculpt the body of the figure (I sculpt about 60% of all the bodies for the Premium Format), through the licensor approval and making any changes required by the licensor, then when it finally gets shipped off to China. Sometimes longer of course, depending on the variables.
SkArY: Did you work on the Boba Fett, and if so, what was the biggest challege on that piece???
Greg_Mowry: Concerning Boba Fett, I sculpted the body, and the pose, and the cloth suit, and the fabric pouches, the belt, and the wookiee scalps. Another artist created the armor, and the helmet and his backpacks.: The biggest challenge was pegging the colors correctly... Every photograph, depending on the light it was shot in, shows the Boba Fett costume as different colors, ranging from beige, to dark sky blue.: So, we really had to go to many differnt sources and some private collectors to really find out what the true colors of Boba Fett are.
oxbeard: What did you use for the wookiee scalps?? Does the potential for a 1/4 wookiee still exist?
Greg_Mowry: I used combed yarn, braided together for the wookiee scalps, and I haven't heard of a 1/4 Wookiee in the mix... yet. I know that many LOTR and many Star wars figures are on deck.. but I STILL have that gun to my head AND... they've kidnapped my mother!
oxbeard: Is one scale more challenging than the other, or does it just depend on the project??
Greg_Mowry: I would say that the 1/6th scale stuff is a little more difficult, in that the pieces are smaller to work with, and because of the small size, more contrivances are necessary. With 1/4 scale figures, since they are not intended to be dressed or undressed, I can achieve a much more realistic effect with clothes.
Salaciouspcrumb: How's the Creature from the Black Lagoon Premium Format coming along, Greg?
Greg_Mowry: IF, hypothetically, the Creature were to be made, I would not be involved with that project, since he's naked
feedme: Do you collect many figures from the current crop of companies... or does anything catch your fancy at the moment?
Greg_Mowry: One of the artist's work that I do collect is David Whitford, who also works freelance for Sideshow, painting Masters of 1/4 scale and 1/6 scale figures to send to the manufacturing plant... he is also a sculptor in his own right. He sculpted the hat, head, and hands for my personal Lone Ranger figure, and he also sculpted his own personal, beautiful rendition of the Mel's Drive in Girl from American Grafitti.
Salaciouspcrumb: Clayton Moore (as the Lone Ranger)?
Greg_Mowry: Yes, Clayton Moore, from 1949, the beginning of the Lone Ranger television serial. I chose Clayton Moore because he is still considered one of the last great American heroes.
NSFolsom: Greg, where did you go to learn fabrication... did you go somewhere in particular?
Greg_Mowry: Here's a little background about me... I spent my 20's as a professional musician, then I went back to college (Rutgers in New Jersey) to study costume design for the theater. After that I apprenticed with Master Italian tailors in New York City, and I started my professional career making costumes for Cats, Starlight Express, and Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. In 1989, I moved to LA, and began making clothes for Bob Mackie, the television shows Designing Women, Star Trek:DS9, and I've made personal clothes for Paula Abdul and Raquel Welch. So, through many years of doing this, I've picked up my training through practical experience, and the generosity of older tailors.
Estel: What Premium Format work are you particulary proud of?
Greg_Mowry: I would say, Lurtz... because the fan reaction and its selling out so quickly was so gratifying for me.
NSFolsom: Please tell me you've been dreaming of making sculptures and fabricating clothes for 3 or 4 Ghostbusters!! LOL
Greg_Mowry: I could do those, on my own as Geppetto Productions, although I don't think that Sideshow has plans (at least none that I've heard).
feedme: Is there anything we should note in future to care for fabrics on our Premium Formats?
Greg_Mowry: Yes... in the absence of a plexi case to keep the dust off, then dust your figures regularly (just to keep a fine appearance, but the dust will not deteriorate the fabrics).
pordey2: What is the best way of dusting Premium Formats... compressed air?
Greg_Mowry: Compressed air will certainly do the trick, especially in small areas.
Mannix: What was the toughest project you've undertaken & succeeded???
Greg_Mowry: The toughest I have just recently completed... however it has not been previewed yet, so I'm not at liberty to say what it is!
SkArY: Can you hint to what line it is from???
Greg_Mowry: Here's a hint, we premiered a different format of this character at last year's Comic-Con...(and they just cocked the gun at my head!)
Greg_Mowry: Well, I'm about out of time... Thank you all, thank you all... I love you all! And I hope to chat next year, if not sooner!
By Larry D. Curtis
SAN DIEGO – Comic-Con has ended and the aftermath has made San Diego seem deserted. While it is still one of the ten biggest cities in the U.S., after more than 100,000 people have gone back to life as normal, the downtown area near the convention center, the place seems positively empty.
The final day of the convention was just a bit more relaxed than previous days with a lighter schedule and a few less people milling about. Still, New Line Cinema, Sideshow Collectibles and a few other companies committed to the Lord of the Rings line got together and made some special announcements, including big news for SSC.
Sideshow announced that it would debut a new 12-inch figure of non-fellowship figure that deserves some attention in the SSC lineup. Specifics were not released but there was a lot of talk about who would be next among collectors on hand.
Heath Hammond and Brant Bridges appeared in person at the panel to represent Sideshow. Hammond’s voice was almost completely gone from talking so much on the retail floor but the pair managed to get through the presentation, including behind-the-scenes looks at the process a figure takes from beginning to end.
New Line previewed its latest version of the LOTR DVDs that will be released August 29 and will likely be sold only through Christmas. Each of the three movies of the trilogy will be sold as a two-disc set with one disc containing the theatrical and extended edition of the films on a two-sided disc. The second disc will contain a documentary by Peter Jackson’s private documentarian Costa Botes. Each documentary will be about 90 minutes in length and will be presented in the chronological order of the film rather than in the order it was shot. Alan Lee illustrated the packaging for the discs.
EA games was on hand as well and Sideshow teased that the game company has been admired by Sideshow and some future projects might include versions of new polystone of LOTR world that include EA’s vision.
EA showed scenes from its forthcoming LOTR game “Battle For Middle-earth II: Rise Of The Witch King.” The game focuses on the rise of the Kingdom of Angmar, in the still-mortal years of the Witch King of Angmar.
There was also a presentation in the same panel of a forthcoming LOTR card set and future plans for miniature games and sets.
At 5 p.m. the dealer’s floor closed and security chased everybody away while Sideshow dug in collectively and tore down its gigantic booth, dismantling the much used and much admired area and prompting worked to start discussing possibilites for next year.