Archive Page 10


it’s off to comicon

Hi all it’s time to hit the road to San Diego for the 2011 Comicon, Stay tuned for a full photo update when I get back


Aliens, the 25th anniversary

Howdy all, sorry for the lack of, and poor post subjects,,, We are moving to Wyoming and all has been crazy at the Eaves house since March!!! Regardless I’ll try n keep the posts coming and get more art and Trek stuff up soon… But today is a special day and as many of you know that it is the 25th Anniversary of James Cameron’s Aliens. July the 18th, 1986 was the day and next to ‘the Empire Strikes Back” This was my favorite part two to any sequel ever made. Aliens is as good if not better in many ways to the fabulous original directed by Ridley Scott in 1979. Cameron wrote the story for Aliens and what he did was magic, not settling for an ordinary sequel he went in a whole new direction with the emphasis on high octane action, thrills and and creating the strongest female characters to ever grace the silver screen. It’s a perfect film in it’s style,  pacing, music, directing, creature design by the late master Stan Winston, the cast, and the brilliant production design. Ron Cobb was back at it again after his incredible work on Alien his strengths were unmatched with his fabulous designs for the drop ship, the armored transport and the entire terraforming complex. As always Ron’s work shines more to me than the actors. Joining the design crew for this installment is another favorite of mine, Syd Mead, Syd’s work has been a staple of science fiction in films since his trademark design style was first seen in Bladerunner. A master and high tec designs made him the perfect artist to design the military transport ship Sulaco. The team of Cobb and Mead for Aliens is in my opinion one of the best designed films to date. As Alfred Hitchcock & Bernard Herrman were a team so are James Cameron and James Honer. Honer’s score for Aliens is nothing less than brilliant. An expanded CD of the complete score came out a few years ago and it is one to have. Aliens is one great ride and leaves you wasted by the time the end credits role. Happy Anniversary Aliens and thank Jim for the awesome adventure.


the queen

the incredible Sigourney Weaver

Lance Henriksen

Mead's Sulaco

in color

Mead's hibernation chamber

Cobb's original design for the armored transport

cobb's drop ship

top of the drop


the 30th of john carpenter’s escape from new york


July the 10th, 1981 was the opening day for one of John Carpenter’s finest films. Escape from New York was released across the nation and I was there on opening night. Hi friends,, It’s been a while since I have been able to blog but I couldn’t miss the 30th anniversary of  EFNY!!! All I can say is what a awesome ride and what an incredible film. John Carpenter was on the rise and “Escape” marked his third feature release as director and also his third film in partnership with producer Debra Hill. Escape is a basically a western set in a slightly futuristic setting. 1997 to be exact and all that John loved and was inspired by from Howard Hawks and John Ford shows with a great homage on the screen. The story was written by Carpenter and his friend Nick Castle, and along with their very imaginative tale Carpenter also scored the film and his music adds a very intense mood and feel to the motion picture.  This has always been one of my Favorites and I find it so hard to believe that opening day was 30 years ago.. Thanks and Happy Anniversary John for sharing your great talents on the screen… You are a master at what you do and your films are so uniquely yours!!! Here is a quick synopsis of the film so if you haven’t seen it yet, stop here and put this one on the top of your list. If you have then carry on and enjoy the text and images to follow. For unknown reasons the city of New York has been turned into the main prison for the entire United States. A security fence has been constructed around Manhattan Island and is patrolled by the United States Police Force. If your sentenced to prison, once over the wall your on your own and life expectancy is rather short. Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is en route to be processed when Air Force One is hijacked and crashes inside of the prison’s confines. Prison Security Chief Hauk (Lee Van Cleef) has 24 hours to get the president and a special cassette recording out before the Hartford Summit ends. A failed rescue plan leads Hauk to offer Snake Plissken full pardon if he can get in and save the president. Plisken, once a war hero takes the offer but not without a price. Hauk injects Plissken with what he says are antibiotics but in fact are tiny explosives in his artery’s that have a 24 hour limit before they go off. Once Plissken finds out about this he is far more determined to succeed at his mission. Armed with guns, throwing stars and a whole bunch of devices that would make James Bond Jealous, Snake fly’s in a glider called the gulf fire and lands on top of the world trade center and begins his search for the president ( Donald Pleasence). Along the way Snake encounters the drudgery of what New York has become and his lonely search gains ground when he meets Cabby (Ernest Borgnine) who knows where the president is, Cabby takes Snake to meet Brain (Harry Dean Stanton) and his squeeze Maggie (Adrienne Barbeau) who work for the Duke of New York (Isaac Hayes) who has the president and is going to use him as their ticket to freedom. A failed attempt to rescue the president by Snake puts him into the Dukes Barbaric world. Snake is forced to be sport in a gladiator style ring and fight for his life. Brain comes up with his own plan and steals the president and is later joined by snake who has escaped from the arena. This motley crew makes a break for the heavily mined 64th street bridge pursued by the Duke. After battling the mines and the loss of Brain, Maggie, and Cabby, Snake and the President make for the wall at the end of the bridge where Hauk’s men are waiting to rescue the two. A final shoot out with the Duke takes place and the President himself serves his revenge with a lethal volley of bullets from an M-16. Once over the wall Snake gets the charges burned out of his neck with only seconds to spare. As the movie comes to a close we see the president getting cleaned up for an emergency broadcast to the summit. A face to face a conversation takes place between the president and Snake and it is quickly realized that the sacrifices that Plissken and and those involved to get the president out are meaningless and quickly forgotten. The film ends with a very nice little twist and the credits roll!!!

the prison layout

the prison called New York, Matte painting

the deal is made

coming into land, a beautiful VFX shot


the Duke and his court

the President

the ring


Raiders of the lost ark, the 30th anniversary

June the 12th, 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark hits the big screen, and Indiana Jones becomes one of the biggest heroes of cinema, ever.  This movie was instantly an all time favorite, and I was there on opening day at the Mann Christown Theater in Phoenix to see it.  I was completely blown away on all levels. The action,  the horror, the romance, the way cool props, Steven Spielberg’s awesome direction & George Lucas’s incredible story penned by Lawernce Kasdan, and of coarse that incredible John Williams score.  I wish I could write more but we are leaving town so I’ll try and add more through out the next couple of days so in the mean time, dig out your copies of this one and have a Happy 30th screening.

original poster by Amsel

the idol

Indie, and marion

the incredible map room set

behind the scenes with the set up for the remote control glass eyes of the idol,, only a few frames of this made it to the final film


the uss grissom

IF you are a fan of of Star trek III The Search for Spock, there were certainly a lot of new ships to set a fancy to.  The Klingon Bird of Prey, The USS Excelsior, The Massive Space Dock, and one little ship called the USS Grissom.  I walked away from this film in awe and wonder with what ILM had done visually and creatively with all the new ships.  The destruction of the Enterprise seemed unimaginable even after the film was over…quite a shocker.  That moment hit hard, like Spock’s death in the previous film.  These were definitely the glory days for the Trek films.  From the Motion Picture to Trek IV possessed a magical presence on the screen that left me wanting more.

Aside from these fine films, the VFX ws as big of a star as were the main actors.  Many, many  incredible ships and scenes graced the screen from 79 to 87, and I’m sure we all have our favorites.  One of my all time favs was the USS Grissom, named after Apollo astronaut, and Mercury pilot Gus Grissom who died tragically in a capsule fire in the mid 60’s.  The Star Ship Grissom is defined as an Oberth class vessel and had a very unique set of lines and brilliant architecture.  I loved all the designs from film to film in the above mentioned years, and the Grissom stands firm as one very cool designed ship.  I’m not sure if this was a Bill George concept or a Nilo Rodis idea, but whoever the designer is my hat is off to you.

I was quite surprised when I saw the filming miniature at ILM because from the top it looked nothing like what was seen on film, mainly because the angles the model was filmed at were fairly mid hull shots with the ship traveling to or from the camera.  Greg Jein gave me these pictures of the model and immediately you’ll notice the registry # is different from the ST III film version…this was done a lot on Star Trek so as to reuse a model from the films for whatever one of the TV shows it was going to star in next.  A simple decal change made for a whole new ship at very limited expense.  So with all that said, enjoy the pics and look forward to your comments.

grissom 1

grissom 2








James arness, an american hero and hollywood legend passes at 88

What sad news to come to at the end of the day!!!  One of my all time favorite actors, James Arness, has passed away today of natural causes at the age of 88.  If you’re a regular reader here on the blog, Mr. Arness was no stranger.  He was a big man towering over most at 6 foot 7 and, with his deep mighty voice, he was an actor not to be reckoned with.  Jim was good friends with John Wayne, and together they made many pictures.  John Wayne was offered the role of Matt Dillon for a new TV western called Gunsmoke; without hesitation he offered the role to his good friend who took on the part of Marshal Dillion from 1955 to 1975.  At one point  in time, CBS had both Gilligan’s Island and Gunsmoke on the air at the same time; due to a new season of shows, one of the viewers’ favorites had to go…. The producers chose Gunsmoke.

From as far back as I can remember, I watched that show until the very end in 1975.  Mr. Arness starred in many, many pictures such as “Island on the Top of the World”,  “Hondo” and a couple of SCI FI Classics, “THEM” and “The Thing”.  James will always be one of my favorites and, along with all you fellow fans out there, we will all miss him greatly.

God’s speed, Jim, and prayers to your family.

Below are some links about Jim from past blog posts as well as a grab from Jim’s page.

James Arness


Star Wars, 34 years old today

May 25th 1977, The world of movies and Science Fiction changed forever. Thank you George Lucas for making history and for creating the magic that has inspired us all!!!


Suzieg, aka Miss dixie of new jersey, a pin up update

Howdy all and Happy Friday!  Thanks for all the great notes and stories on the 25th of Top Gun earlier this week, and to start the weekend off right, you all get a special double Friday pin up update.  The below post celebrating the 21st Birthday of miss Kendell Clements, and in this post the introduction to the very Lovely Miss SuzieG. Suzy and I met as fans of each others’ work a few weeks back, and after a few conversations a big shoot was set.  While texting a message last week, I spelled Suzie wrong enough that spell check turned her into a Dixie,  so now Miss G has a new nickname to go along with her real one, HAAAA! Suzie and her husband are flying out from NJ for a week in San Diego come the end of June, and for a couple of hours she is going to sneak away for a pin up shoot aboard the USS Midway and to finish off the theme, Suzie is going to treat us all to her take in the much requested Star Trek Red Dress series.

Miss G’s background is high fashion, which she does ever so elegantly, and she has dabbled into a pin up with a couple of pics and she has set a very high bar in that arena as well.  This is one highly anticipated shoot and can’t wait to work with Suzie at some very cool locations….  Stay tuned for more updates as they come along, and below is a link to follow to check out more of Miss G’s work.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Miss Dixie


pin up update with miss birthday girl, Kendell Clements

This Sunday is my friend Kendell Clements’ big 21st Birthday, and I wanted to post some of her pics and wish her the best on this momentous day!!!!  These pics are from the shoot we did last March out at Thompson’s aviation yard, and like the ones posted a few weeks back you can see Kendell has a charm and a magic in her modeling style and technique.  If she were born a mermaid many a sailor and ship would be lost at sea, HAAAAA!!!!  So be sure to wish Kendell a Happy Birthday if you stop by, and stay tuned because in early June Miss Kendell will be giving her go for the fan favorite Red Dress series from Star Trek!

Kendell in B&W

Kendell and the Huey

those eyes those eyes!!!!


top gun, the 25th anniversary


The date is May the 16th 1986, and Paramount Pictures releases the #1 smash hit of the Summer, “TOP GUN”.  This was an exceptionally exciting time because this was the first movie I worked on, and I drove from LA to Phoenix, Arizona on opening day to watch it in my favorite theater, The Cine Capri.  I find it so hard to believe that less than a year earlier I was a produce clerk at Bayless Markets and then all of a sudden my big dream of working in the movies was a reality.  It was a fast year to say the least and the whole experience of watching the movie and then seeing all of our names in the credits was very surreal!!!  I’m sure Doug, AKA Deg3D is going through this fantasy land experience as we speak with his starting in  Hollywood less than 6 months ago!!!  Go get em DEG!!!!

Writing this post brings back a lot of fun flashbacks and at the same time makes me realize I’m a lot older than I feel, HAAA! Anyways, Top Gun is the story of the best of the best Navy pilots that are hand picked to become even better pilots by training at Top Gun in Miramar, California. During a brief encounter with a Soviet Mig, Cruise and Edwards become legendary by making pretty close contact with the Soviet pilots.  Both men get awarded the chance to train at Top Gun.  A love story begins between Cruise and Navy advisor,  McGillis. and falls apart when drama unfolds as friends are lost.  Cruise has to cope with the fact that he feels responsible for his gunner’s death, and he is unable to operate as a pilot while carrying this heavy burden…Crisis arises at sea and Cruise has to pull himself together to help save his fellow airmen in an all out battle with the Soviets.  In the end victory is ours, love is rekindled and the sun sets on one awesome film!

The movie was the first big hit of the summer and became a world wide blockbuster that launched so many careers into super stardom.  Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, Kelly McGillis, and Anthony Edwards to mention a few.  The Cold War was a big topic in the 80’s and this movie brought it to the forefront.  Full of action, drama, romance, and some incredible aerial sequences that still stand as a milestone to this day.  Director Tony Scott and his crew put together a beautiful film with its awesome color and pacing.  The score by Harold Faltermeyer and the songs by Kenny Loggins,  Berlin, Cheap Trick, Loverboy, and the classics by Jerry Lee Lewis and the righteous Brothers made for a perfect soundtrack full of top ten hits, and many of the hits produced some very cool music videos.  “Take my breath away” was the breakout hit by Berlin with beautiful vocals by lead singer Terri Nunn; the band was on their last years as a group, and they also had songs featured in “Space Balls”, and “Innerspace”.

The live action was being filmed in San Diego and Nevada, with the above deck sequences being filmed aboard the USS Enterprise CV-65 and interiors aboard the USS Ranger CV-61.  In the Bay area, the behind the scenes folks responsible for the visuals were gearing up for the second leg of the film. The VFX team did some amazing visual work that tied together beautifully with the live action Aeriel scenes. The master minds behind the FX was Special Effects supervisor, Gary Gutierrez, and Director of Photography, Rick Fichter.  The two had worked together previously on “The Right Stuff”, and the work they did on that film showed off their talents at creating incredibly real aircraft miniatures in flight that rivaled actual footage of the real planes.  USFX based out of San Francisco was the VFX house that would be used to build all the F-14’s and F-5 models for the flat spin and explosion scenes.  Chief Model Maker David Sosalla was running the crew, and we were working together at Apogee in Van Nuys, CA.  David was finishing up a project he had going in Southern CA before he could break free to go to the bay for Top Gun.  David would often borrow me from my Boss, Grant McCune, to run molds and to build little parts for him and when the time came for the big move up North, Dave asked If I would like to come too!!!!  YEAH!!!!  Everyday a new adventure would take place at Apogee and I was off to work on my first big movie.  This was about mid November when we started working on the planes and we were in a warehouse over looking the bay.  The building was freezing and the ventilation system was a fan in an open window.  After the icy introduction we were off and running on getting all of the planes built.  There were three sizes of the F-14’s, two nine foot planes, a bunch of 6 footers fashioned off of some ducted fan RC models by Larry Wolfe of Jet Hanger Hobbies, and then what seemed to be hundreds of 1/32 scale kits.  The F-5 soviet jets were also ducted fan models recast for the film.  The models were built at a frantic pace and everyday loads of them would be trucked off to the mountain top location in Oakland.  The models, once there, would be thrown off 80 foot manlift’s, spun on wires, blown up, shot at, and burned on a daily basis.  I went on location once to see these incredible events and within an hour I saw three of the jets miss the drop net and disintegrate into millions of tiny pieces!!!  The hill top was terribly cold and horribly windy and there was no shade nor shelter to stop the weather that cursed and beat everyone to death.  The filming schedule for our part of the film was relatively short and we wrapped out at noon on Christmas Eve.

This was one of those life changing times and filled with so many memories and new friends.  Long gone are the days of miniature crews and FX being done this way, and I am so glad that I was allowed to share in the fun of these golden times.  On film everything looked so incredible and the crew had really outdone themselves with these incredible visuals.  It was a real treat to work with Gary Gutierrez and I’ll always be a fan.  His work on “The Right Stuff” still stands as some of my favorite movie magic.  Working with David Sosalla and Rick Fichter would go on for many years to come and they were always great fun to do shows with.  Below are the names of the talented crew that put all of these FX together, and it would be so cool to catch up with everyone again.  With all that said, Happy 25th Anniversary to TOP GUN and to all of those that made it happen!

Special Effects by
Peter Cairo
special effects
Steven C. Foster
special effects (as Steve Foster)
Gary Gutierrez
supervisor of special photographic effects
Allen Hall
special effects coordinator
Robert G. Willard
special effects
Marvin Gardner
special effects assistant (uncredited)
Jamie Hyneman
special effects crew (uncredited)
Mike Menzel
special effects technician (uncredited)

Visual Effects by
David Carothers
model maker: USFX
Samuel Comstock
animator: USFX (as Sam Comstock)
Stuart Cudlitz
model maker: USFX
John Eaves
model maker: USFX
Rick Fichter
director of photography: USFX
Whitney Green
production manager: USFX
William Groshelle
animation supervisor: USFX
Donald Hansard Sr.
process coordinator (as Don Hansard Sr.)
Don Hansard
process engineer (as Don Hansard Jr.)
Marghi McMahon
model maker: USFX (as Marghe McMahon)
Ted Moehnke
pyrotechnician: USFX
Earle Murphy
model maker: USFX
Kjell Ness
assistant model maker: USFX
Allessandro Palladini
assistant model maker: USFX
Mitchell Romanauski
assistant model maker: USFX
Steve Sanders
model maker: USFX (as Steven Sanders)
David Sosalla
model department supervisor: USFX
Wes Takahashi,

from the film, the old Paramount logo

the story

the title

the beautiful opening images on the flight deck of the USS Enterprise

F-14 launch


incredible LIVE action areial scenes, no CGI here


encounter with a Mig

Filmed like George Miller's Mad Max trilogy only in the air. awesome shots and incredible lighting

Edwards and Cruise

Val Kilmer

the wooing of McGillis

romance is in the air

the boys are always in trouble and have to get their do from Tom Skerrit

A very young Meg Ryan

death on the high seas

Tony Scott's incredible lighting added so much to the mood and feel of the film as seen in this spectacular image

a row of Tomcats at Miramar

more of Scott's magic

the greatest shot in the world. the tail mounted camera as the F-14 launches from the deck and rolls into battle

a victorious return

the boys are a back and the sunsets with the end of 1986's Top Gun!!!

the VFX maestro, Gary Gutierrez

the world famous Rick Fichter

the F-5 at USFX, hey I have hair in this pic!!!!

David Sosalla

Mitch Romanauski and Steve Sanders work on one of the 6 foot F-14's

Stave sanders on the set

launching missiles

the F-14 takes a bow

the falling F-5

one of the VFX cameras equiped with the shaking drill addition for those bumpy looking shots

off the man lift




getting ready for the wire rigged flat spin

1/12th scale F-104 cockpit models were used!

ready, set,,,,,


Mitch, Earle, and Gary discuss the shot

March 2023