Archive for April, 2009



20
Apr
09

The composer Jerry Goldsmith

Jerry Goldsmith Biography

Jerry Goldsmith was born on February 10th 1929 in Pasadena California and grew up in Los Angeles. Originally intending to become a concert hall composer, he soon realised that the infrequency of concert hall commissions would never satisfy his hunger to write music. Jerry Goldsmith began studying piano at the age of 6 and by the age of 14 was studying composition, theory and counterpoint with Jacob Gimpel and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also became acquainted with legendary composer Miklos Rosza and attended his classes in film composition, at the University of Southern California. It was Rosza’s own score to Spellbound and the film’s star Ingrid Bergman, that had captivated Goldsmith back in 1945 and clearly influenced the composer’s interest in music for film.

In 1950 Goldsmith was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS. There he was given his first assignments as a composer for live radio shows such as Romance and CBS Radio Workshop and progressing on to live TV shows such as Climax andPlayhouse 90. He stayed with CBS until 1960, having already scored the cult sci-fi show The Twilight Zone. Then was hired by Revue Studios to score their Thriller series, which lead on to further TV commissions including the famous Dr Kildare theme and theme and episodes for The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

In 1962 Goldsmith was awarded his first Oscar nomination for his acclaimed score to the poorly received John Huston biopic of Freud. At the same time, he met and became acquainted with the influential film composer Alfred Newman. Newman, recognising Goldsmith’s talents, influenced Universal into hiring him to score the acclaimed Kirk Douglas western Lonely Are The Bravein 1963. From there Goldsmith established himself as a contract composer for 20th Century Fox, quickly re-defining the modern film score. Along with his close friend Alex North, Goldsmith established himself as a leading name in American film music, and by the beginning of the 1970’s the composer had already written a number of landmarks scores that cemented his position and his reputation. These included A Patch Of Blue, Lilies Of The Field, The Sand Pebbles, The Planet Of The Apes, The Blue Max andPatton.

During the 70’s Goldsmith augmented his movie scoring with a plethora of TV assignments and remains one of the few composers to juggle film and TV scoring successfully. This included the critically acclaimed and Emmy winning score to the first TV epicQBVII as well as the popular theme and early episode scores for the TV series The Waltons. Hungry to work, the early part of the decade proved to be one of the composer’s most successful periods with a combination of gritty thrillers and prestigious assignments like The Wind And The Lion, Chinatown, The Wild Rovers and Papillon. The late 70’s brought Goldsmith his lone Oscar for the avant-garde and ground breaking score to The Omen. Never had a film score been so critical to the movie’s atmosphere and dramatic power.

The decade finished with a series of the composer’s most popular crowd pleasing scores, from the military action of The Swarm, a sumptuous English caper score for The Great Train Robbery and the terrifying masterwork Alien. And of course what is generally regarded as Goldsmith’s greatest work -Star Trek The Motion Picture. Here Goldsmith was tasked with re-inventing a franchise and creating a brand new theme. Goldsmith remarked that the theme was the toughest he ever wrote and remains a remarkable achievement. At the behest of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry it later became the signature theme for the popular Star Trek spin off The Next Generation. In 1995 Goldsmith would write a new theme for Star Trek Voyager, a further spin-off. Interestingly Goldsmith’s association with Star Trek may have started even earlier. In interview Goldsmith revealed he had been approached by Roddenberry back in the sixties to write the original TV series theme, but due to scheduling was unable to do so.

The 80’s began with the TV epic Masada in which the composer scored the first four hours and the rousing main theme. Handing the remaining four hours to friend and fellow composer Morton Stevens. Goldsmith also completed the Omen trilogy with an awe inspiring work to The Final Conflict in which he completely transformed the choral and orchestral style he developed for the first two movies into a score that was as terrifying as it was beautiful.

Goldsmith’s abilities at being a musical chameleon served him well throughout his career and just as the decades before brought dramatic changes in style the 80’s also saw further development and transformations. Notably with the robust and action packed First Blood and its exciting sequel scores; Rambo First Blood Part IIand the epic third score to Rambo III in which the composer bids a fond farewell to the Rambo character. Then came the animated splendour of TheSecret Of Nimh as well as critically acclaimed works to Under Fire, Poltergeist and the orchestral/electronic triumph to the sporting drama Hoosiers. The mid 80’s proved to be a mix of comedy and adventure scoring for big budget fare that included a series of assignments for Joe Dante, most notably the box office smash Gremlins, to cult hits Supergirl, Twilight Zone The Movie and a rousing sequel score to Star Trek V. This decade also saw further electronic development that had begun back in the 60’s with Freud. In 1985 the composer tackled his first all electronic score to Michael Crichton’s minor sci-fi thriller Runaway, and later followed it up with courtroom thriller Criminal Law and an un-used score to Alien Nation. Goldsmith finally fused orchestra with electronics proper in the 90’s and remains one of the few silver age composers to spend so much time cultivating the technology without betraying the traditional orchestral world.

In the 90’s Goldsmith started the decade with his action opus Total Recall. Goldsmith’s mammoth score apparently is nothing short of a symphony and remains the defining moment in action film scoring, and is now regarded as a classic of the genre. He also became friends with the film’s acclaimed director, Paul Verhoeven and went on to collaborate on the difficult assignment Basic Instinct. The assignment remains a rare moment in the cut throat business of Hollywood where a director showed total commitment to his composer and worked closely with him to encourage Goldsmith to fashion one of his most memorable scores. The decade also brought another of the composer’s finest works, the beautiful score to The Russia House for director Fred Schepisi. Interestingly Goldsmith’sRussia House theme had originally been composed for his aborted score for Wall Street and then tried out for another aborted effort Alien Nation. The theme finally found its rightful home though. Goldsmith’s other noteworthy assignments during this decade included the critically acclaimed score to the minor true life sporting drama Rudy along with further Star Trek sequels, action epics such as Air Force One andThe Mummy, as well as more challenging assignments such as the big screen adaptation of Six Degrees Of Separation (Fred Schepisi) and the critically acclaimed thriller LA Confidential (Curtis Hanson).

Jerry Goldsmith began the new millennium with a further collaboration with Dutch director Paul Verhoeven on the summer 2000 sci-fi thriller Hollow Man where Goldsmith’s genuine love and affection for the director shone through with an enormous and complex thriller score. The next two years featured The Last Castlewhere Goldsmith’s moving theme was adopted to remember the victims of September 11th 2001. Followed by the box office hit The Sum Of All Fearsfeaturing an equally moving score. And a second outing with exciting director Lee Tamahori for the Morgan Freeman thriller Along Came A Spider. By this time the composer’s health began to take its toll and prevented Goldsmith from working as much as he once did but he finished his work on the Star Trek franchise withStar Trek Nemesis, making this his third collaboration with editor turned director Stuart Baird.

Goldsmith’s final scores were for friends. In the case of Timeline directed by The Omen’s Richard Donner. Sadly a score that was not used in the finished film due to dramatic changes in the final cut of the movie. Donner tried to secure Goldsmith again to rewrite the score but the composer was unable to do so. Fittingly for his final score he was with Joe Dante, another close friend, for the comedy Looney Tunes Back In Action. Jerry Goldsmith passed away on July 21st 2004 peacefully in his sleep after a long and gallant battle against cancer.

This info was brought to you by Jason Needs from his awesome tribute to Jerry Goldsmith website http://jerrygoldsmithonline.com/index.htm


I met Jerry on ST First Contact thru my friend Mark Banning who was working on the recording of the soundtrack for Cresendo records. Jerry came over to say hello and invited me to stay a while and watch the orchestra record some of the sessions. I couldn’t believe what a very kind and gracious man he is, Very funny too! Thats great I said and off he went out to the podium on the sound stage. The set up is a recording room with all the equipment and sound boards, An extra little corner was set up for a musician that add’s the electronic sounds. World famous recording engineer and long time associate and good friend of Jerry’s, Bruce Botnick manned the board. There is a huge window looking from this room into the sound stage where the orchestra is set up in a half circle around the podium. above this window and also behind Jerry is a projection screen that will show the scene that the music is being recorded for. From my pov there was a single frame that said “scene missing” showing on the screens. A couple of moments later the go ahead was given and jerry raised the petton and the strings started to play in an ascending and climactic rhythm. the screen proceeded to show the scene missing frame and a few moments later Jerrys ays hold it and everyone stops playing. He points to the right of the orchestra and says I would like you to hold that cord a little longer before it fades out, then he points to the left and says lets pull the harp out for the next set of pages and you pick up at,, and he gives a # that was set as like a chapter the timing count. They start again and record the sequence again,,,,, Bruce stops the orchestra this time and asks for a technical component to be re-calibrated, A few moments later they start again and continue to play the entire sequence. It was amazing to See the orchestra play this unbelievable theme and watch the maestro conduct the musicians. Again from my POV this was one of the most beautiful pieces of music that I have ever heard. I never saw anything on the screens that indicated what scene it was for but it was incredibly beautiful!!. I had to race back to my office before I was missed and once there I had to tell the story of watching Jerry work. Doug Whispered to me after,,,,,PSSSST let me know next time you go so I can sneak over too!!!! But don’t tell Mike!!! HAAAAA! Hope there is no back lash to this one!!! Anyways the next day I put together a collection of the First Contact drawings and ran back over to the sound stage and sadly it was the final day of recording. When I walked in they were just recording the end and credit themes!!! I watched this with awe and It was truly the magic of the movies. I met Jerry’s son Joel a few moments later and he himself was writing music for the film with Jerry. What a great collaboration between father and son. Jerry came out and said, HEY how did you like yesterdays session??? It was hard to find the right words and mannerisms without going complete GEEK!!! I gave him that stack of drawings and he looked at everyone and had something to say about each frame. He was talking about his Star Trek room at his house and that he was very excited about having these for his collection, and with that he grabbed a sheet of music and signed it and said; here’s from one fan to another. That was one of the greatest days of all of my hollywood memories. First Contact came out a few months later and the whole art Department got tickets for The chinese theater in Hollywood,,,,, I couldn’t wait to see where that string piece was going to fall in the film. Before I moved to Hollywood I would go to the movies and you would see some incredible scene or space ship that had an awesome piece of music attached to it as a theme, and I used to think that that would be the coolest thing to be able to create something that had that magical score. By the end of the movie that little dream came true. The scene was Zephram Cochran and the residents of Phoenix town all come out of the bar to see A light in the clouds. There is a narrative by Patrick Stewart building the scene and the the Vulcan ship drops threw the clouds to that incredible string piece I saw Jerry record!!!! OH my gosh I was speechless!!! When the DVD came out I watched that scene at least 50 times!!!   I could have retired from Hollywood that day and been completely geek filled and satisfied forever!!! HAAA! well I just snapped out of my daydream so with that here are some scenes and art from that awesome moment!!!

click below for a wonderful tribute to Jerry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5o27oECQZw

the lander " T-Plahna Hath"

the lander " T-Plahna Hath"

what is it???  ET???

what is it??? ET???

Is it the mothership???

Is it the mothership???

Is it Underdog???

Is it Underdog???

NO it's the T plahna hath!!!

NO it's the T plahna hath!!!

Wow this was such a cool scene!!!

Wow this was such a cool scene!!!

What is Geordi looking at!

What is Geordi looking at!

 

And the landing accompanied by Jerry's elegant score!

And the landing accompanied by Jerry's elegant score!

17
Apr
09

ejecting the warp core from the Enterprise-E

 

the big belly view

the big belly view

 

 

the mighty core itself, or a big silly straw!!!

the mighty core itself, or a big silly straw!!!

 

 

 

 

exploding outer hatch

exploding outer hatch

 

launch door sequence

launch door sequencea view of the big belly

One of the big story points in ST Insurrection was the ejection of the Enterprise Warp Core. It was a huge scene full of action and suspence, dramatic dialog and awesome acting opportunities for Frakes and Burton. Well if you saw the film it didn’t exactly turn out that way. This production was an odd one on a bunch of levels, mostly frustrating levels,,,,,There were a lot of “what the heck’s”, and “why didn’t that make it’s” and “wholly cow you’ve got to be kidding’s” and “your a bunch of giant dog scratcher’s” and an awful lot of GOOGER-FLUEGGENS!!!! Anyways the task was to draw up the ejection system for the “E’s” warp core. Being a HUGE fan of Ron Cobb (who I payed Homage to in these drawings) always drew the greatest escape hatches and heavy space doors for example his work in, Alien, Aliens, and The Abyss. For the “E” we first designated a spot on the under belly of the ship approximately where it was drawn in the cutaway poster from First Contact. Next there were to be a series of exploding hatches and 4 point retractable port doors followed by a big scene of warning lights and venting plasma. VFX wise the core would be ejected with traces of glitter and metal fragments. when we were at the screening of the film not of this had been shot and was only mentioned in anticlimactic dialog. I want to say it was budget but I know there was more behind it than that!!! HAAAAAAAAAAA! I wish I could accent this dialog,, ( here’s a quick safety notice) I am not gripping if it comes across that way,, as I am writing I am jokingly laughing so read it in a funny not cranky way!!! OK so from there the core itself had to be drawn and it was a quick sketch with very little feedback and was passed thru on the first pass. The fun drawing was of the exterior of the ship where I had a little extra time to do a color rendering,,, Doug Drexler liked this one so I gave him the original marker sketch. For point of interest, In most if not all movies and shows the design process is usually what establishes the budget, story advancement, and the pacing, many, many drawings and scenes are created and shot only to be discarded in the end. Thanks to the extras on DVD’s, the internet and blogs all of this stuff has a chance to come out of the closet.  So with that I wanted to wish everyone a great weekend and again extend my thanks to everyone for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and comments, all the cool links, and especially for the good wishes and prayers for my daughter. I have really enjoyed starting up the blog a few weeks back and it’s been a real hoot to go thru the drawers and dig out old forgotten things. Next week is Jerry Goldsmith week, and also I’ll try to find all the orthos requested from previous posts. Thanks again and have a good one.

 

 

 

John

16
Apr
09

the sona battle ship

 

 

 

the first pass

the first pass

 

pass 2 determined that this shape was more suited for the collector

pass 2 determined that this shape was more suited for the collector

the approved design sketch

the approved design sketch

 

basic plans

basic plans

top and bottom views

top and bottom views

the underside detail view

the underside detail view

 

the color pass

the color pass

thank you, thank you, thank you, Mark for the fan boy piece

thank you, thank you, thank you, Mark for the fan boy piece

This one was a really fun ship to work on because I was always wanted to make something out of a boomerang, It didn’t start with that idea but after a couple of sketches, that was where it wound up! Being this was a new race there were no rules or boundaries to follow as far as the architecture went so the use of yard toys were the inspiration for everything Sona. Horseshoes, boomerangs, badminton birdies and lawn darts, were all used to guide the designs. in the earliest of sketches the birdie was the main idea but in the end that idea was used for the collector which was also driven by these begging drawings. With the battle ship it was based on a flat forward flying boomerang, incorporating the Grand Piano string details that were also  incorporated and established as trademark detail in Ruoffo’s ship. the following drawings and especially the orthos were drawn for the CG modelers at Santa Barbara studios to be modeled and composited. When the film came out I was surprised at how few shots there were of this one and it was more of distant pov so you never really got to see what the vessel was made of. The big highlight for me on any Trek project was to sneak over and Watch Jerry Goldsmith score the film. There was a little couch hidden under the sound board right next to the window looking into the studio and I would bring my pad over and draw away out of site from the producers that probably would have frowned upon this. HAAAA! anyways It was always a treat to talk to Jerry, he always wanted copies of my sketches for his Trek collection which Always made me giddy when he would ask what’s new today. He gave me one the  sheets of music that he had written for First Contact and he signed it to!!! HEY-HOWDY-HEY!!! I still remember that awesome day like it was yesterday!!! My Friend Mark Banning was the art director over at Cresendo records and he new I was a big fan of Jerry’s music and I can’t thank him enough for putting the plan drawings of the Sona Battle ship on the CD. That was another giddy fan boy moment.

16
Apr
09

The fall of Rome

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Marshal George Lucas

Grand Marshal George Lucas

 

unarmed storm troopers only because they are bad shots to begin with!!!

unarmed storm troopers only because they are bad shots to begin with!!!

stamps by Drew Struzen

stamps by Drew Struzen

 

 

ist event to celebrate ST's 40th

first event to celebrate ST's 40th

2007 marked the 30th of Star Wars and to celebrate this historical year George Lucas himself was the Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade and followed by a garrison of Storm troopers, January 1st started a glorious year of conventions, parties,  and celebrations. In May of the same year the USPS released a sheet of exquisite stamps depicting characters from all the Star Wars films. The USPS also created a very special cancellation stamp to celebrate the anniversary. One  year earlier, 2006 marked the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek. Star Trek is the grand mother of making Science Fiction as popular as it is today. 11 films and 6 series have been created and a world of loyal fans follow with eager anticipation of what is coming next. To celebrate the 40th, Paramount and CBS cancelled Enterprise at the end of it’s 4th season just a couple of episodes shy of the magic 100th show. Next they pulled from  their warehouse all of the costumes sets, props and models that have been hidden away for years, but not to display or put them on a tour, but to clean house. Christie’s Auction house, and it’s a wrap Hollywood both set up auctions to sell off Television and motion Picture history with no regard to the significants or  importance of the treasure that was entrusted to the new executives of the Studio. To end the 40th with a bang, a demolition derby would be the last hooray and what was left was bulldozed.  It is a sad time when history has no meaning and is thrown away.

Various Trek sets

Various Trek sets

 

the torpedo launcher from the NX-01

the torpedo launcher from the NX-01

the NX-01 view screen

the NX-01 view screen

OS bridge pieces

OS bridge pieces

 

let the derby begin

let the derby begin

I tried to stop this guy but he speak-a no english!!

I tried to stop this guy but he speak-a no english!!

 

torpedo room pieces

torpedo room pieces

I was trying to get a truck over to save anything..

I was trying to get a truck over to try and and in less than two hours it was all gone!

 

and within two hours it was all gone

and within two hours it was all gone

15
Apr
09

ruoffo’s flag ship

 

 

 

correct direction and approved design

correct direction and approved design

rear view,,, or is it the front view???

rear view,,, or is it the front view???

 

profiles

profiles

top and bottom

top and bottom

 

fly-N to the left

fly-N to the left

fly-N to the right!

fly-N to the right!

By popular demand here are the ships of Insurrection, Today’s ship is Ruoffo’s flag ship and the most controversial design I have ever had to deal with on all of the Star trek films. This ships scale stayed fairly consistent, and the on going argument was which way do she go! The ship itself is based on a horseshoe flying forks forward. the internals were based on the Grand Piano over on the scoring stage. I was watching Jerry Goldsmith score First Contact and looking in that piano inspired the main detailing on all of the Sona vessels. In the first group of drawings you’ll see the ortho’s and the color rendering showing the ship flying in the original designed direction. the final sketch shows what direction the ship wound up going!!! overall it didn’t really make a big difference,, That is being that that was over 10 years ago, so my sadness has faded. HAAAA!!!!  Tomorrow  will be the Sona Battleship and hopefully the new larger ship scales.. OK Have a great Wednesday!

14
Apr
09

the ship scales of Insurrection

 Here are some drawings that were needed sooner than later on this wild, out of control picture.  I felt so bad for everyone at Santa Barbara, Blue Sky, and Hunter Gratsner, who had a daily change in scale and ship direction!!!  These drawings were quickly put together to remedy the problem, but they did little to no good to help any of the visual effects folks trying to get their shots and hard work to have a consistency.  I saw many of the FX crew blasting out of the building, screaming and running naked out into the surf only to be devoured by the sea and never to be seen again.  If you all will remove your hats and give a moment of silence for those lost in the line of VFX duty,,,,,,,,, daaaaaaaa, da, daa!

 

Yacht scale sheet

Yacht scale sheet

 

holo ship scale sheet

holo ship scale sheet

Sona battleship scale sheet

Sona battleship scale sheet

 

collector scale chart

collector scale chart

overall size comparison sheet

overall size comparison sheet

14
Apr
09

602 club

 

right of the bar views

right of the bar views

untitled-19

blue prints of the Phoenix, on the back wall

blue prints of the Phoenix, on the back wall

 

From Mike's mission patch collection

From Mike's mission patch collection

the beautiful frosted glass door, and a straight on shot of the 602

the beautiful frosted glass door, and a straight on shot of the 602

 

evan more of Mike's patches

evan more of Mike's patches

 

and a variety of bar views!!!

and a variety of bar views!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As promised here are the images from the beautiful 602 club from “First Flight” This set was Mike Okuda’s baby. He was so excited about doing this set that he actually had to wear adult diapers just in case the glee would get to be to much to handle,  I can get away with saying something like this because he is to far away to hit me or crush my spine with one of his unearthly upper body crushing bear hugs!!!!!!!!! HAAA!  As you all Know Mike is a huge fan of everything Nasa as well as Trek and in this set he got to satisfy both his passions with one artistic stroke!!! Jimmy Meese was to very excited about this one and he found some awesome fixtures and bar garb to dress everything perfectly. Alan kobiyashi and Anthony Fredrickson were doing all the graphics and menu’s, Jim Van Over was having a great time creating all the Animations, and Denise had here hand in a little bit of everything. Doug and I were busy with the ship, and it was always fun to get to do these things together from  our own preferred mediums. After all was said and done I believe this was an art Department favorite episodes!!! Enjoy the pictures.

13
Apr
09

follow up work by Pierre

 

 

 

borgified #1

borgified #1

 

arctic view 1

arctic view 1

What a smoke-nnnn angle!!

What a smoke-nnnn angle!!

 

the alien vessel 1

the alien vessel 1

WOOO-HOOOOO, awesome shot PIerre!

WOOO-HOOOOO, awesome shot PIerre!

 

so very nice!!!

so very nice!!!

well done!!! Pierre your the best!

well done!!! Pierre your the best!

I found the disk of Pierre’s brilliant modeling, so here are some of the pieces he created for Episodes of Enterprise from last weeks posts!!! I so loved seeing What Pierre would come up with and I was always blown away by his awesome talents!!! The EDEN boys were way to good. Rob, Lee, and Coji to name a few really put their hearts into their work and I was always their biggest fan!!!

11
Apr
09

Easter Sunday, April the 12th,2009

U.S. Soldiers in prayer

U.S. Soldiers in prayer

Our brave young men to you we give thanks

Our brave young men and women, to you we give thanks

The Crucifiction from Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ"

The Crucifiction from Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ"

To all my Christian brothers and sisters,,, It is Easter Sunday and the day of our Lord.  There are few that would give there life willingly for our freedom, and to these we give our thanks for yours, the greatest of sacrifice. The U.S. Soldier, (The Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the Coast Guard), The Australian Soldier, The United Kindom Soldier, and The Canadian Soldier, and to the one who has given us the ultimate freedom,,,, Jesus Christ.   Have a blessed and wonderful day.  A special thanks to Mel Gibson for having the courage and the passion to make such a moving film. You use your gift’s and talents boldly and bravely, and without fear of turbulant waters. Thank You For your masterpiece, “The Passion of the Christ”

10
Apr
09

The 30th of anniversary mad max

and a pic of GeorgeThis Sunday April the 12th will mark the 30th anniversary of the Australian theatrical release of Mad Max. Australia and a good part of Europe were calling it a masterpiece during it’s initial run, and it was over a year old before it hit the states. I was a huge fan of Steven Spielberg’s TV movie Duel, and from the trailer this one looked just as good!! I went on opening weekend and was amazed at what I saw on the screen,, Unbelievable action and horrific violence wrapped around a love story hidden in the middle, The camera work was unlike anything I had ever seen and I remember that awesome score by Brian May, I went out and bought the LP (Thats a long playing record for those that don’t know) right after I saw the movie. It was a film that hung in my mind for several days after I saw it, and I wanted to go and see it again but it’s run was exceptionally short and It was not until a re-release a year or so  later that I got to see it again. I so loved this low budget film but I remember the actors had the worst voices I had ever heard,,, It seemed like they were dubbed but the lips were speaking in English. It sounded like all the voices were from the old Bullwinkle cartoons,, Just awful and it was worse the second time… As much as liked the movie that sound really turned me off. Race forward a couple  of years to 1982. 82, was probably the greatest summer of movies ever to come out all in one season!!!! There was Conan, ET, Poltergeist, Star Trek II, Tron, Bladerunner, John Carpenter’s The Thing, and a little movie called “The Road Warrior”. The RW had a really bad poster and not a single trailer in the theater. just from the initial look of this one it didn’t make the must see cut. One night we were out of new movies to see and it came down to the flipping of a coin to see what we would see that night, A 3D movie on TV or Road Warrior.  Well reluctantly the Road Warrior won the toss so we went to surprisingly a full house. The lights went down, and the movie started. A sepia toned/ montage started with a gravely narration describing  an end of the world story!!! a few minutes into this sequence I saw some familiar images from Mad Max. I thought WOW somebody bought some scenes from M.M. to put in their movie to go a long with the old news footage. The Max clips were getting more promionate and the narrator started talking about MAX!!! I screamed it’s a SEQUEL TO MAD MAX!!!!! I couldn’t believe it. (This is a story all of it’s own and I’ll save it until another time) but after the show I had to see the original again. Videos were just starting to come out and I found a copy and took it home,,, AHHHH those horrible voices ruined the movie again. Some time later there was a TV host talking about the summer’s films and he was talking about The Max films and made the point of bringing up the fact that the Original Mad Max had been dubbed with American voices so as to get rid of the heavy Australian accents. He said the reason was because the US distributors felt that the American Audience wouldn’t be able to understand the dialog!!! It took 25 years to finally get a copy of the film with the dubbing removed and that made the movie a masterpiece on all levels. What I liked most about this film was the story of the producer and Director team of Byron Kennedy, and George Miller. Miller was actually a DR. who happened to have a fascination with movies. The two men met, I believe in film school and they together made a film called “Violence in the cinema part one”. I saw a copy of this one many years ago and it certainly shows the talents of these two in their early days. Bitten by the bug George put more focus into films than his medical practice and in 1979 Kennedy and Miller made and released Mad Max. George has an incredible style of working his camera and setting intense scenes and emotions just by his visuals. I was a big fan right from the start and  his work was one of the strongest inspirations for me and my wanting to work in the movies. If you follow his career you’ll see he has an unmatched talent for very emotional story telling using his camera as an artist would with paint and a canvas. Not only a director but a writer and producer as well. I started working at Apogee VFX in 1985 and Thunderdome had just come out, and I was a fan of this one too. I missed the Brian May score and overall it felt different from George’s earlier work.. I found out later his great friend Byron had passed away in helicopter accident and the story was that George had a difficult time due to the loss. He brought on a co-director named George Ogalvie to help with the directorial duties. What I liked most with Thunderdome was the understory that there is hope and a future despite the fact that the world we know now has been lost to nuclear devastation!!! While working at Apogee I heard that George Miller was going to direct a film called “The Witches of Eastwick” and that he was going to tour our facility as a possible FX house. I ran out, bought the book and read it that night. For the next couple of days I made notes on what I thought he would be trying visualize as an effect. I thought that it would have to be the elaborate Lennox Mansion so I drew up two sketches detailing the descriptions from the book. I had them all ready and then the day came when Mr. Miller came thru the model shop. He stopped at every desk and said hi to the modelers and when he got to mine. he put out his hand and we talked for a few minutes. He was extremely gracious and complimentary to what everyone was doing. By this point in my Hollywood career all the directors I had met up to this point carried an ego and status of  Arrogance. Mr. Miller on the other hand  was void of this and he treated everyone with honesty and respect. Over the years the studios have really treated Miller badly and He wrote an article once stating that Hollywood mistakes kindness for a weakness and this kills the passion for wanting to make movies here… Being from somewhere else I too see this attitude ever so strongly in Hollywood. Anyways He was rushed out and I forgot to show him the sketches,  ILM got the gig and they did an awesome job with the Mansion shots. Millers work inspires me to this day and I was in the process of being a part of the Mad Max IV art dept. in Africa. The Iraq war began and sadly George’s film got pulled because of the dangers of a foreign location and the call came that they were all closing down and going back to Australia. This was sad news but I hear it is still in the works to start again soon!!! So with that lets end this lengthy diolog with A happy Anniversary to George Miller and see some images from the film and the sketches drawn for both Witches and Mad Max Fury road. Now for the real fun!!! If you are a true Max Fan, here is a site that will give you days of images and great info and faq’s to read. I found this one a few years back and it is the best.

http://www.madmaxmovies.com

Peter Barton put the Mad Max movies site together and he did an awesome job!!! Thanks for sharing your passion for the films Peter….

title art

those awesome low and extremely close angles.

those awesome low and extremely close angles.

the end of the RV

the end of the RV

the pursuit cruiser

the pursuit cruiser

A Miller trademark, Exploding oil drums.

A Miller trademark, Exploding oil drums.

the brutal end to the love story.

the brutal end to the love story.

vengeance gives birth to Mad Max

vengeance gives birth to Mad Max

unbelievable stunts

unbelievable stunts

a great low angle shot

a great low angle shot

 A young Mel Gibson and his co star the interceptor.

A young Mel Gibson and his co star the interceptor.

application drawing for Mad Max IV interview

application drawing for Mad Max IV interview

trek rigs inspired by Max

trek rigs inspired by Max

this is a model I made about 20 years ago also max inspired, wound up being rendered in a Star Wars galaxy trading card.

this is a model I made about 20 years ago also max inspired, wound up being rendered in a Star Wars galaxy trading card.

lennox mansion 1

lennox mansion 1

high view

high view

here is a copy of George’s acomplishments courtesy of IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004306/

  1. (2011) (pre-production) (producer)
  2. (2006) (producer)
    … aka Happy Feet: The IMAX Experience (USA: IMAX version)
  3. (1998) (producer)
  4. 40,000 Years of Dreaming (1997) (producer)
  5. Video Fool for Love (1996) (producer)
  6. Babe (1995) (producer)
    … aka Babe, the Gallant Pig
  7. Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) (producer)
  8. Flirting (1991) (producer)
  9. (1989) TV mini-series (producer)
  10. Dead Calm (1989) (producer)
    … aka Dead Calm: A Voyage Into Fear (USA: poster title)
  11. Fragments of War: The Story of Damien Parer (1988) (TV) (producer)
  12. The Clean Machine (1988) (TV) (producer)
  13. “The Dirtwater Dynasty” (1988) TV mini-series (producer)
  14. The Year My Voice Broke (1987) (producer)
  15. “Vietnam” (1987) TV mini-series (producer)
  16. The Riddle of the Stinson (1987) (TV) (producer)
  17. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) (producer)
    … aka Mad Max 3
    … aka Mad Max III (Philippines: English title)
  18. “Bodyline” (1984) TV mini-series (producer) (unknown episodes)
  19. “The Cowra Breakout” (1984) TV mini-series (producer)
  20. “The Dismissal” (1983) TV mini-series (executive producer)
  21. The Chain Reaction (1980) (associate producer)
    … aka Nuclear Run
  1. (2012) (announced)
  2. Happy Feet 2 (2011) (pre-production)
  3. (2006)
    … aka Happy Feet: The IMAX Experience (USA: IMAX version)
  4. “HBO First Look” (1 episode, 2006)
    – Happy Feet (2006) TV episode
  5. (1998)
  6. 40,000 Years of Dreaming (1997)
  7. Lorenzo’s Oil (1992)
  8. (1987)
  9. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
    … aka Mad Max 3
    … aka Mad Max III (Philippines: English title)
  10. “The Last Bastion” (1984) TV mini-series (co-director)
  11. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) (segment 4)
  12. “The Dismissal” (1983) TV mini-series
  13. Mad Max 2 (1981)
    … aka Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (USA)
    … aka The Road Warrior (USA)
  14. (1979)
  15. Violence in the Cinema, Part 1 (1971)
  1. (2011) (pre-production) (writer)
  2. (2006) (written by)
    … aka Happy Feet: The IMAX Experience (USA: IMAX version)
  3. (1998) (written by)
  4. 40,000 Years of Dreaming (1997) (written by)
  5. Babe (1995) (screenplay)
    … aka Babe, the Gallant Pig
  6. Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) (written by)
  7. (1985) (written by)
    … aka Mad Max 3
    … aka Mad Max III (Philippines: English title)
  8. “The Dismissal” (1983) TV mini-series (writer)
  9. Mad Max 2 (1981) (written by)
    … aka Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (USA)
    … aka The Road Warrior (USA)
  10. (1979) (screenplay) (story)
  11. Violence in the Cinema, Part 1 (1971) (written by)



April 2009
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930