Author Topic: The Things That People Make  (Read 3587 times)

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
The Things That People Make
« on: April 25, 2004, 01:17:07 PM »
(if you can't be arsed with the pictures and the writing, skip to the end to see how you can contribute)

Currently on eBay, this was made by a man named Gary who I have exchanged words with a few times:















As some of you might remember, I posted pics of a different Time Machine a while ago - that one is up in Derby and wasn't as accurate as this one - well, most people wouldn't know I guess - it's still a very good converson. That one can be dissassembled to leave the car unscathed. The top one, however, is a different matter alltogether - a DeLorean was harmed in the making of these photos.

This one is geniunely something else. Gary had contacts within the Studios and also knew by email the makers of the first 3 cars for the first film (a total of 8 or 9 cars were used in the Trilogy). In the first film the cars were assembled more or less from Army Surplus parts (from water pumps to Jet fighters, I kid you not) - the crew had to painstakingly recreate the parts for the 2nd and 3rd film cars as they were no longer around. Only one of the cars from the first film is known to exist today - the "hero" car. The "hero" car was the one used for closeup shots, publicity, etc. The two other cars, "stunt" cars, were less extensivlely detailed and were used for high-risk manouvres, long-distance shots. The hero car is currently kept under lock and key in perfect condition and belongs to Mr S Speilberg himself. It is this car that Gary modelled his on, leaving no detail untouched. The majority of compents on his car are the real things as per the original, everything is built the same way - if he couldn't find the real thing, he'd get something custom made. Everything lights as it should, and is as it was. The car is fully roadworthy and waterproofed (unlike the real film cars) - his is actually probably closer to the real thing than the sequel cars. These are by no means easy to make, despite how they'd appear. Normally I don't like people cutting into these cars to make these things (there are a LOT out there), but Gary has done a tremendous job.

He recently sold the car, and the person who bought it from him currently has it on eBay and is trying to make a huge turnaround on it. It'll probably go for $35,000+ with ease. He's working on a replica of the Part II car now!

Next...



Hoo yes. You know what's coming next. This belongs to a friend of mine, Sean (who when he's not doing this works for Dreamworks as a Storyboard Artist). The car above is a '59 Caddillac Hearse. Unlike Gary's DeLorean which was in pretty good nick prior to conversion, Sean had a lot of work to do to his Caddy.



The process of converting this car into what it was was very long winded.







Again, Sean's is pretty much as accurate as you could make it - a lot closer than the "fake" cars that are seen driving around Universal Studios. It was pretty much a one-man labour of love to make this. He's used it several times to raise money for charities. Both these cars pull the biggest crowds when they hit the road - the public adore them.



Those Packs are another story alltogether, but they can wait for another day (for the people who care, anyway) when I should have some rather special stuff relating to them.

Unlike the BTTF DeLorean(s), Sony have been lax in looking after some of thier iconic hardware - the picture below shows Ecto-1 (right) and Ecto-1A from GB2 (left) rusting in a Universal backlot. The picture actually makes them look better than they are; E1 is barely roadworthy any longer and I don't know if E1A actually runs at all. Given how Ghostbusters is actually one of the best selling films of all time, you would expect them to look after such famous pieces, but, alas, no.



Which is a pity really. Romantic notions aside, the marketability (?) of such vehicles is immense - publicity reaped from keeping these running would far outwiegh costs to look after them. They very least they could do is sell them to museums for display, but no. Here they lie. On these backlots, there's a lot of sad, old movie history going to waste - broken Batmobiles, etc - I know a fair few replica DeLoreans made for the Theme Parks sit around there waiting to die. What a shame. On a smaller geek note, both Ecto-1 and Ecto-1A are "detailed" on the inside with about $50,000 worth of vintage music mixing hardware, that's all gone fucked as well.

Anyway... I posted these as these are "my" things - this kind of work was very tangibly a career move for me at one point before I considered the practicality of it all - but I would love to see Stuff Other People Make as selected by you - anything, really - kinda bored of paintings, so I'd love to see models, architecture, scuplture, that sort of thing - it doesn't really have to be "art" per se. By you, or like in my case, by people who do things that interest you. I'm hoping that we'll end up with an eclectic mix of pictures, etc. Fingers and nuts crossed.

Pah, this'll sink anyway. Technically, it does belong here.

sproggy

  • I tire of you... and your tiresomeness
The Things That People Make
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2004, 05:43:11 PM »
Cheers Frinky that was really interesting, almost (I repeat almost) as good as your Les Paul thread.  Nothing else to add at this moment in time, unfortunately, just wanted to say great thread.

The Things That People Make
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2004, 05:57:16 PM »
the Star Trek apartment that was flogged on ebay

http://community.webshots.com/user/aja24

Lt Plonker

  • Never forget.
    • Graymation
The Things That People Make
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2004, 07:09:23 PM »
Those would be fucking great to own.

"I'm just popping to Tesco darling, shall I take the DeLorean or the Ecto-1?"

"Well, why not take the 1959 Peugeot, instead?"



Strange thing is, unlike the poor old Ghostbuster cars, the two Peugeots both owned by Peter Falk's production company, are treated incredibly delicately.

The guy who designed the Batmobile for the Tim Burton film, Terry Atkin-Snow, came to give a talk to our college. He was telling us about how he forgot to put doors on the car, how he forgot to leave enough room for Batman's ears to fit into the dome and so forth. I can't remember much. And this isn't what you're asking for either.

There are some passionate Mystery Science Theatre 3000 fans who make their own Bots. Apparently, alot of the bits used to make the originals are incredibly hard to get hold of. The accuracy of the model makers is tremendous - they get it all correct, right down to the type of bowling pin used for Crow's mouth.

Quote from: "A Nutty Genius"

Yet another difficult part to find are these Empire plastic bowling pins used for Crow's beak. They are the older style with an "e" stamped on the top of them. The newer "Crown" style are pretty easy to find. I have a whole set of those. I did manage to trade for two "e" style pins.



http://www.mst3kguy.com/Bots/BotsTop.htm

This site here:

http://www.botcave.net/

is particularly impressive. He's selling them the bots he makes, in various stages of construction.


Fan-made Tom Servo


Actual Tom Servo

He can be yours for $350.

The Things That People Make
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2004, 07:28:34 PM »
if you are a Columbo completist, have you seen Wim Wenders 1987 film 'Wings of Desire' ?

Peter Falk plays himself in that, and very interesting it is too.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
The Things That People Make
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2004, 09:18:02 PM »
Plonker - thankyou, that was exactly what I was looking for, thankyou! One thing that fascinates me about movie props is what they were originally built from (I'm working on another addition to match that). Great post, cheers.

Quote from: "sproglette"
Les Paul thread.


Erm, you didn't save that, did you? I didn't, and now it's gone. Thanks! At least the stuff I'm posting now is true - most of that story is unconfirmed. Great yarn, though, very romantic!

Quote from: "mr rou-rou"
the Star Trek apartment that was flogged on ebay


While I don't like what they've done, I used to have several email discussion with Mike Okuda, graphic designer for the whole of 90's Trek - I might touch on that later - his designs for the sets and control panels was incredibly complex and well laid out. Thanks for reminding me.

Ok, here's another one of my favourites - again - something you may all well know but how well did you know it? A few interesting notes on everyone's favourite scary alien - the, er, Alien:



For a creature that (in the first film at least) had so little screen time, there was a tremendous amount of thought put into the Alien creature. One key feature that distuinguishes the Alien from the first film from the others is the head - the key part of Gieger's design. I don't really wan't to go too far into that scary man's head - but first, to get it out the way - the idea that the Alien's head is somewhat phallic was entirely intentional. Anyhoo.

The keyword to his designs are "bio-mechanical" = the blending of the organic with machinic, and the Alien was a fantastic example of this. The design mixes the hard, cold insect-like exoskeleton with machine-like elements - the picture below shows the cabling running like arteries over the skin, holding all that high-pressure acid blood tightly inside. Some incredible, horrible elements had somehow  come together to create the ultimate killing machine. This much, I'm sure, movie buffs now.



Notice in the shot above that you not only see the cabling, but also a very human addition - lips. This was part of the design brief. The creature had a far more human side than most people realise...



As you can see in the above shot, the top of the creature's head is actually see-through (this is a pre-filming costume test shot). Beneath the very synthetic clear carapiece lie bony ridges - again, that blend. But at the front of the head, is this:



A human skull. The next few shots illustrate how it was implented into the design, and how much more unsettling it is for being there...







One other thing no-one notices, with good reason, is that the Alien visually "ages" during the film - if you think about the incredible gestation the creature went through - from chestburster to bitey-claw-me-do in a matter of days - this is nice and consistent with the rest of the film. As the Alien ages, the carapiece goes from completely see-through, to translucent, to almost opaque - as if to suggest that what was once a fleshy membrane is starting to harden over into a tougher shell. An interesting bit of trivia is that originally (and some test scenes were filmed with this in place), the head was supposed to be filled with maggots beneath the dome - to give the impression of some kind of vile, terrible movement. Unfortunatly, the effect was a) unconvincing, and b) the maggots kept falling onto the actor within the suit, so that idea was given up. Here are two shots - one showing the dome in it's translucent state and then finally opaque.





Oh, while we're at it... notice the membranes covering the teeth? Care to take a guess as to what they are?



Condoms. Grim, that.

For the second film, without H.R onboard, they used a different, sleeker, less elaborate design. The Alien Warriors had no dome (and no skull), just one solid shape. There was more emphasis on the mechanical, too:



I'm not going to go on to the later designs, as they're a bit poo really. Shame.

The Things That People Make
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2004, 09:52:56 PM »
Great stuff Frinky.
I'm sure I've read in one of the hundreds of 'Making of Alien' articles that the Alien was originally going to have eyes, but the idea was scrapped. I also had a feeling they went as far as coming up with a prototype with eyes, but I don't remember seeing any Giger sketches of an eyed Alien creature.

The Things That People Make
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2004, 11:15:50 PM »
Frinky - cheers for the Alien info. You've done a rare thing - I used to be a big Aliens/Predator fan and there's one or two tidbits of information there I hadn't seen before, even in the multitude of my Giger books :D

Vermschneid Mehearties

  • phpBB A lesson in quantity over quality
    • http://www.theenoeffect.tk
The Things That People Make
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2004, 01:50:01 PM »
Yeah, that's some interesting stuff there. I've always preferred the Alien3 design (and the actual film itself).

I think it's ironic that the worst looking creature in the entire Alien films is in the last one, that shitty half-human fuckbreed that looked more like the grinch.

The Things That People Make
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2004, 11:05:14 PM »
Yet we've got another incarnation coming this summer.
Does anyone know if Alien vs Predator uses a new design or one of the old ones?

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
The Things That People Make
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2004, 11:06:56 PM »
A newer design - more based on 2/3's styles. I'll get you some pics in a few days.

The Things That People Make
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2004, 11:09:41 PM »
Well aren't you the fanatic?

(winky smiley)

Re: The Things That People Make
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2004, 04:02:22 PM »
Quote from: "FrinkyThose Packs are another story alltogether, but they can wait for another day (for the people who care, anyway) when I should have some rather special stuff relating to them.[/quote


I'm interested. They look almost exactly like the film ones, it's incredible!

The Things That People Make
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2004, 12:18:16 PM »
Deloreans? pah!...this guy knows where its at when it comes to Car modding...



http://www.migweb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=116847

The Things That People Make
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2004, 04:30:02 PM »
i have a good mind to call sony and say 'youbastards' and hang up.

thus showing them my outrage as to how the Ecto 1 has been treated.

I oh so dearly want one of my own. it would make my life time.

It makes me think though, what happened to the original Ecto 1 and Ecto 1a from the films? Does Dan Ackroyd have them in his garage, gathering dust as we weeps over the script of GB3?

(i read it and i know it is worth crying over. great idea, badly written)

The Things That People Make
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2004, 05:01:16 PM »
yay - nothing to add but appreciation really.

i love all this stuff, and find it utterly fascinating, i wish i'd had the vision to brave the creative industries as a lad.

*sigh*

*waits impatiently for more*

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
The Things That People Make
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2004, 07:01:51 PM »
Quote from: "TotalNightmare"
It makes me think though, what happened to the original Ecto 1 and Ecto 1a from the films? Does Dan Ackroyd have them in his garage, gathering dust as we weeps over the script of GB3?


'Twixt the two movies, there were 3 cars. The original, unmodified Black/Rust hearse for the "I found the car!" scene, then there was Ecto-1, which re-appeared at the start of GB2 (ironically, it was made to look knackered for that part of the film - now they'd have a job making it presentable!), and then finally, Ecto-1A which was a scary mess of lights. Geeky aside, Ecto-1A appeared with several numberplates in GB2, some different styles, but one of the latter scenes was tellingly filmed very early on becuase the car appears with an "Ecto-2" numberplate. As for where they are, that's them in that photo up there, covered in shit, out on the Sony backlots. Ironically, the fake ones are well looked after, and preserved in museums.

A couple of Ecto-1A/Ecto-2 concepts for you, a big thanks to Sean for these as he's the only person to own these original sketches:





The rumour was that Ackroyd had the cars, as he's a big car collector, but Sony won't let him have them. Or the Proton Packs... what's left of them.

I'd love to know what stuff on GB3 you read.

Doing another now, by the way.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
The Things That People Make
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2004, 07:44:10 PM »
"Vvvvvwwwwwrrriiiinnng!"

Whoever reckons they didn't want one of these when they were a kid is a big, skanky liar. Liar!

The 3 Star Wars films (there are only 3. Really) were filmed here in the UK - the props and models were also made here. The most famous Star Wars prop, is, quite obviously, the Lightsabres. You'd be suprised what the propmakers scavenged to make these things.

This is one of the first film Sabers: Anakin Skywalker's original one, which Kenobi gives to Luke.



Both this Saber and Darth Vader's Saber look similar (at least back then, there was a deliberate design lineage between them inkeeping with the story). This is probably the most famous design, and the most frequently copied. Very little modification went into this particular item. It started life as:



No idea what that is? It's an old camera flash by Graflex  - and I mean old - these things bolted onto the side of the huge, clunky 1940's cameras. These were previously worthless, but when people realised what they were made into, they shot up in value.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=60361&item=3812243129&rd=1

This one is currently quite cheap, usually around the time of a film release it reaches fever pitch and they go for up to $400 each. Bear in mind camera shops were binning these a decade ago. Camera collectors now hate Star Wars fans for buying these things and butchering them - if you go to a vintage camera shop and ask for a Graflex Flash Unit, they'll throw you out (really, they will. Tried it in London.) The grips on the side were previously thought to be rubber windscreen wiper blades - but they never turned out to look quite right. About a year an a half ago, an English guy appeared on the net saying that he helped make the originals - which I doubt is true - Lucas and thier affiliates watch all these internet communites like hawks - and can get you shut down/court ordered in seconds - I've seen them in action and it scares me - if this guy was for real, they wouldn't let him keep on saying such things, becuase if everyone can make accurate replicas, no-one will buy thier high-priced models. You may think that sounds paranoid, but it's true, alarmingly so. The Lucas Corporation is very, very scary. Anyway, he claimed that they were guide rails from a cheap, DIY wardrobe with sliding doors. All over the world, SW geeks started tearing apart thier 70's furniture...

My favourite deisgn, this is Obi-Wan's Sabre:



Constructed in a very different way to Luke/Vader's. At the base of the handle, is the silvery pommel. What do you think that could be? Well, if you were to see the underside of the pommel, you'd see it says "Armatage Shanks" - if that name rings a bell you've probably spied it a thousand times while pissing into an old, ceramic toilet. Yes, they made bathroom fittings.



Tis the top of a tap! Just above that you have one part of a Graflex flash. Mounted to that is the "control box" - the "bubbly" assembly on the left of it utilieses a part of the following item:



...the LED magnification lenses. I can't remember what Calculator you need for this, but it's very specific, and, as such, quite expensive.



...and then above that, you have a very unexpected item.



Now that is hard to ID, I had no idea what it was. Suprisingly, it's a hand grenade... presumably deactivated. An old  WW1 British Grenade. These go for huge amounts of money, as they're of equal worth to military collectors and SW propmakers. Example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2239235217&category=64824&sspagename=STRK%3AMEBWA%3AIT&rd=1

From there on, no-one's really sure what it's made from. The thought is that emitter is part of a Sink drain, but a matching one has never been found. The original propmakers are impossible to contact - and most don't remember what they used in the first place. The origins of the real props are almost as mysterious as thier onscreen alter-egos.

Star Wars represents my favourite kind of model work - inspired, looney kit-bashing and scratch building. By lumping together random, ancient and rusty items, they created some truly iconic imagery which helped create a totally cohesive universe. The "dirty sci-fi" look has oft been copied, but never seemed quite so right as the original 70's Star Wars worlds did. It wasn't just the Sabers - many everyday parts became parts of the sets and models in the end - and for the filming models, thousands of Tamyia Tank and Car models were utilised. For those interested in learning more about this, http://www.partsofsw.com/ will be of interest to you.

As a nice final touch, just as Star Wars recycled old junk, an old, junked model of the Millennium Falcon appeared, painted black as a building in the Blade Runner skyline.

The Things That People Make
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2004, 12:21:31 PM »
Frinky, I haven't posted for about a month, but these posts are pure genius!

Hats off

The Things That People Make
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2004, 04:49:44 PM »
Brilliant thread Frinky! I usually can't be arsed reading big long posts but this thread kept me interested from start to finish. I'm fascinated by all this movie props stuff.
Also, when I've got a bit of money I've got to get myself a BTTF deLorean. Not to show off, just so I can feel like Marty McFly on the way to work :-)

Have you seen the deleted scenes from Alien Frinky? There's one scene showing the original idea for the alien life-cycle, that the victims are actually transformed into alien eggs, which was scrapped by James Cameron for the second film because he thought it was "a stupid idea". The scene was re-inserted into the recent special edition release of the film.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
The Things That People Make
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2004, 05:48:50 PM »
Thanks, guys. Trying to rack my brains to see if I have any other stuff worth mentioning, I would love it if some of you guys could contribute, push it away from films - but I've pretty much given up hope :)

Quote from: "The Unicorn"
Have you seen the deleted scenes from Alien Frinky? There's one scene showing the original idea for the alien life-cycle, that the victims are actually transformed into alien eggs, which was scrapped by James Cameron for the second film because he thought it was "a stupid idea". The scene was re-inserted into the recent special edition release of the film.


Well, the eBay one is pushing $28,000 at last check, if yer keen! Bargain, if you ask me - you won't find a better one and as DeLoreans get scarcer (and the real movie cars get even more battered), it's only going to go up in worth.

I've not seen the "new" Alien, but I did see that brief scene in the ad, yes. I don't know how it fits into the first film though? Since it was incubated in Kane? Were there more aliens in gestation?

I promise I'll finish you a BTTF mong one day!

The Things That People Make
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2004, 06:17:07 PM »
Quote from: "Frinky"


I've not seen the "new" Alien, but I did see that brief scene in the ad, yes. I don't know how it fits into the first film though? Since it was incubated in Kane? Were there more aliens in gestation?

I promise I'll finish you a BTTF mong one day!


The scene appears near the end of the film, when Ripley has set the ship to self-destruct and is running around. She stumbles into a room and finds Brett, who has almost entirely turned into an egg, and Dallas, who is halfway through the process. She burns the pair of them with her flamethrower.
There's info on it (plus a full download of the scene, via Fileplanet) here:

http://www.planetavp.com/al/Alien/DeletedScenes/ (at the bottom)

Regarding the BTTF mong, my wife had a stab at doing one:
http://www.theunicornden.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/BacktotheFutureme.jpg
Hard to tell it from the real thing eh? ;-)

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
The Things That People Make
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2004, 09:31:04 PM »
Heh Heh, neat.

Thanks for that link. I still don't understand though... I thought only the Queen could lay eggs? Why would a singular warrior be cocooning people? For fun?

The Things That People Make
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2004, 09:47:41 PM »
Sadly I have nothing original to add to this thread but I have enjoyed it so much I feel I need to, like everyone else in here, thank you for making it - it has been a very interesting and enjoyable read and I would say it's even better than your Les Paul one.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
The Things That People Make
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2004, 11:27:14 PM »
Heh, thanks. I only do this becuase my friends won't listen to me go on about it any longer!

"The Proton Pack is not a Toy," once said Harold Ramis, in character as Egon Spengler - protagonist of one of the best-selling films of all time - and also of a vastly inferior sequel, ahem - much to the dissapointment of many a child. Of course, the toy was released as a handy tie-in, but it just wasn't the same.



The following items are pretty much responsible for my whole interest in this area - I thought they were the coolest things ever made when I was younger and whenver I set eyes on them today, I still think they're just plain ace. The appeal is obvious to a lot of people, I guess - it's a Boys Own adventure with crazy science and Ghosts - and a "get the girl" ending. The film was perfect, and like the above stuff, the props pretty iconic.

These props are still ongoing work for me and a few others - whereas the Star Wars, etc stuff has all been identified, the GB stuff is much harder to work with. For a start, the makers of the real things are pretty much unknown. Ghostbusters was very much a rushed production - and all the special effects and practical work was given to out-of-studio prop houses - that have a habit of disbanding/going broke very often. Very little to no archive stuff exists for them, save what's left of the props themselves.




This Pack hangs behind a glass case in The Mall Of America (no, no idea either) in Minessota. Unlike the legions of "Packs" that you see in Planet Hollywoods, this one is actually a real one. And even more unique is that it survived both films. More on that later. (And Plonker, looky what is on display just around the corner from it - clicky)

For the first film, a total of 8 Packs were made - 4 Fibreglass "hero" units that the  actors wore for most of the film, and 4 foam rubber packs cast from the same buck but with a lot less detail. These were the "Stunt" units that the actors could bash up and fall over on. Sharp eyed GB fans will notice several scenes in the film where a Pack brushes against a wall and seems to "bend" - that'd be the rubber ones. I suspect they decomposed eons ago. The Hero units weighed - shockingly - over 40lbs each - touching on 3 stone. They were each cast from a master in Fibreglass, but also carried a car battery to power the various incandescant lamps contained within (no LEDs in those days. The circuitry for the units was so complex that I believe the cost of the wiring harnesses etc came to about $15,000 for them all in '83). Then there were the various attachements to the body, cast in metal, resin, etc. So far, no-one is really sure what the master mould was made from. The assumption these days is that it was scratchbuilt. The last thoery I heard that the overall shape was moulded from the underside of a Golf Cart! No idea how true that is.



The various metal attachments are all war-surplus electrical resistors, and the various cables and connectors are mid-70s to current plumbing and pressure units for for scientific experiments on fluids. There's also a crank knob, for use on heavy Military field hardware (that does what? Dunno... it needs cranking, whatever it was). Any respectable propmaker has tonnes of these doodads kicking around in his parts bin. Despite it's fairly convincing "metal" appearence, it's Fibreglass with several coats of silver paint. The lumpy nature of a rushed Fibreglass buck gives the impression of having rust marks pitting the surface. It's a clever illusion - it looks solid and wieghty, but to tap the thing will glean you a hollow, resonant sound. The cylinders, as will be seen below, are all PVC plumbing pipes - another staple to your average model maker. The only exception is the round part on the top right (the readers' right, that is) - that's some sort of part from a military-issue water pump. Found that one out by freak accident. Most propmakers tended to scour junkyards for parts - which why I still suspect a rough, whole shape of the thing may show up one day.



Obviously, there's 20 years of wear on this thing, but a lot of the detailing and dust is very intentional. There was a design progression at play here. This closeup is a nice shot showing what went into it - industrial surplus fittings like the cable clamp, old computer ribbon cable, and lots of PVC piping. The PVC pipe with the sticker is plugged with plaster of paris (poured in while it's standing on a smooth surface), hence the whiteness of the scouring there. Other details you might see there are the lid of a poster tube, some rubber floor matting and a pill lid.



This round part, nicknamed the "cyclotron" by builders for reference - has always been a bit of a hard one. Theories have gone from basting tin lid, to brake drum of a 40's truck, to the innards of a washing machine. Nothing ever really matches up. Maybe the armature over it originally was part of it - some kind of spinning mechanism. But then, note how that armature fits the rest of the Pack - it could have been just another part lying around that perfectly happened to fit - like the tap top, camera flash and hand grenede in '76. It's kind of hard working back on these things. No tell-tale moulding marks, nothing to base it off (on closer inspection, the blue label reads "Motor Synchronous" - suggesting a spinning movement... it's a real, industrial surplus label like all the others - but a bit of a red herring as it certianly wasn't originally attached there).

Before I go on (shut up, Frink), note the overall look of this pack, and bear in mind it started the film like this:



...shiny and clean. Though they got battered on the sets, the propmasters were feverently working away, aging the hardware (and tarting it up when needed) to create that cohesive look for the film. You know they're doing it right, becuase you don't notice it. Unless you're a fucking spod like me.

So far as I know, only one pack - the above one - lasted till the sequel (which was unplanned at the time). By that time, the original prophouse had gone bust - so it was up to the new makers to make the next set entirely from scratch. As ever, not all the parts were available that time around - so a few parts look a little different - I won't go into them because that really is proper minute detail that I wouldn't expect people to care about - but the above Pack slowly changes details over the course of the second film - while still retaining the old characteristics - hence how I know this one made both films. The part one and part two packs (one of which hangs in Planet Hollywood - which has seen better days - click here (500kb+) fo' a massive photo) are slightly different sizes. How do I know this? A few years ago, when, for various, ahem, financial reasons, myself and several others were working on creating perfect copies (actually not allowed to say more than that, just in case, like), one way we found of working out the exact measurements was to use Photoshop. By taking a real part that we had in front of us - say, a resistor - and using a perfect plan photo - we could scale the rest of the Pack from there. The differences between the two stumped us for many months before we even considered they'd be different sizes. Dolts.

For the second film, technology had moved on - as can be seen in the photo below (same GB2 Pack as in the large photo), they were using Radio Controlled Car batteries to power them - rather than actual car batteries. I have no idea how many they made - although, notice on the right I've ringed the "6" etched into the board - suggesting there was at least as many "hero" units - why they'd need that number, I've no idea. 5 should suffice.



Yet more military surplus - the Straps are US Army issue "ALICE" frames - steel frames with padded straps to which you mount your kit.

Anyway, as this is far too long already, I'll wrap up quickly with one last bit...

Another prop which survived both films was the rather nifty PKE Meter... used, for, erm, Metering PKE things.



This prop wasn't actually made by the Ghostbusters guys - it was a rental unit from an external prophouse. This thing started life off as, not that you can really see it below, a shoe polisher.



After starring in Ghostbusters, it went off to feature in another film....



Yes, that is Hulk Hogan. It's Suburban Commando. No, I've never seen it.

When Sean sends me the relevant stuffs, I'll do an addendum on How He Made His. I'm not allowed to show my stuff off anymore (Really, I'm not...)

gazzyk1ns

  • "I don't give a shit if your dad's dead or anything else"
The Things That People Make
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2004, 11:43:49 PM »
That is not fit to feature in any other film.

I have forgotten what it was called now, it's really on the tip of my tongue... in the cartoon it was grey with red arms and yellow lights at the end of them... bah... fill me in frinkster.

The Things That People Make
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2004, 12:48:26 AM »
Quote from: "Frinky"
Heh Heh, neat.

Thanks for that link. I still don't understand though... I thought only the Queen could lay eggs? Why would a singular warrior be cocooning people? For fun?


The Queen wasn't introduced until Aliens. So, this was the initial way of making eggs. It's since been deleted from the Alien reproductive cycle.

I still haven't got my copy of the big shiny box set yet. Does it have the crabwalk airwalk sequence? I used to have a load of the Alien cut scenes as very dodgy .avis can't seem to find them anymore...

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
The Things That People Make
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2004, 01:12:15 PM »
Gaz - is this the thing you mean? http://www.collectorman.com/images/S608.jpg (the arms on the toy are wrong, they're a bit like fold-down helicopter blades, yes?)

If it is, that was the cartoon PKE Meter - drawn in such a fashion becuase the studios didn't own the design copyright to the prop I photo'd, that they had to make thier own design up (ok, now I do know too much...).

Xerode - thanks for that. Makes sense now!

The Things That People Make
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2004, 06:43:06 PM »
Quote from: "xerode"
Quote from: "Frinky"
Heh Heh, neat.

Thanks for that link. I still don't understand though... I thought only the Queen could lay eggs? Why would a singular warrior be cocooning people? For fun?


The Queen wasn't introduced until Aliens. So, this was the initial way of making eggs. It's since been deleted from the Alien reproductive cycle.



Yes. Basically, if they had kept that scene in Alien they wouldn't have been able to feature the alien queen in Aliens because it would be inconsistent. But because they cut it (purely done to make the final scene faster) Cameron was able to make up a new idea for how the aliens are born. Now that they've re-released Alien with the scene put in back in, however, it makes things kind of confusing.
The queen idea is better, I think, more believable, but I kind of prefer the original idea just because it's a lot weirder and more disturbing, the idea of a person being gradually transformed into an egg.

The crab walk scene is on both versions of the dvd, and is also available here:
http://www.planetavp.com/al/Alien/DeletedScenes/

gazzyk1ns

  • "I don't give a shit if your dad's dead or anything else"
The Things That People Make
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2004, 10:39:26 PM »
Quote from: "Frinky"
Gaz - is this the thing you mean? http://www.collectorman.com/images/S608.jpg (the arms on the toy are wrong, they're a bit like fold-down helicopter blades, yes?)


Yeah that toy doesn't look THAT much like it but you know the one I mean, I just googled and that was the best one I could find too. Once in the cartoon when the Marshmallow man escaped from the containment unit, Egon used it and the arms went nearly vertical, I got excited about that when I was young.

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