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    Building a Studio Scale Model of the Escape Pod from Star War: A New Hope

    The shot of an Escape Pod dropping away from the crippled Rebel Blockade Runner during the opening sequence of Star Wars: A New Hope has always been a favorite of mine. The imagery is perfection in its simplicity. Reminiscent of a NASA film of booster separation on the Saturn V rocket, this iconic moment conveys an important story point with images that are both new and familiar.

    Image credit: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

    This shot was also a historic one as it was the first visual effect completed by the fledgling Industrial Light and Magic team. The story is that executives from 20th Century Fox were growing increasingly concerned over the amount of time and money being spent on the unproven visual effects department which had so far failed to deliver any footage. Fox threatened to shut them down if they couldn't show some progress.

    Led by visual effects supervisor John Dykstra, model shop supervisor Grant McCune and visual effects cameraman Richard Edlund, the ILM crew hurriedly assembled the model of the Escape Pod, suspended it from the ceiling of the stage over a plain black backing below and filmed it dropping away from the camera in slow motion. A few flakes of mica were tossed in to recreate the look of ice crystal sparkles seen in the NASA footage and a classic film moment was born. The shot was what is referred to as being done "in-camera", no motion control, no composites, just shoot it and done! The execs at Fox must have liked what they saw because the rest is history!

    I've recreated a model of the Escape Pod in what is known as Studio Scale, the same size as the original filming model and using parts from the same vintage model kits for the detailing.

    Making the Creature Costume for "Yoshua"

    Adam welcomes costume designer Patrick Glendening to the cave to check out a creature costume made for the short film "Yoshua". Patrick talks about how a costume like this is made, from character design collaboration with the director to the fabrication suited for on-screen performance.

    The Making of Adam Savage's Chewbacca Mask!

    What's underneath all that Wookiee fur? We visit Tom Spina Designs, the workshop where Adam's beautiful Chewbacca mask was crafted, to dive deep into the mask-making process. Adam and Tom walk through the many parts of Chewbacca, going over little-known details about how the original mask was designed and fabricated by Stuart Freeborn for Star Wars.

    Adam Savage Explores Star Trek Costumes and Props!

    Star Trek has had a long history of iconic costumes, and the uniforms designed and made for the 2009 film reimagined Starfleet uniforms for fans and new audiences. At Prop Store's US headquarters, Adam Savage gets up close with some of these beautiful film-used costumes and props, examining how they were constructed and appreciating the nuanced details that make them look so good on screen. Find out more about these costumes and props up for auction here.

    Tim Shea's Amateur Hour - Episode 80 -11/17/17
    On this episode, Frank and Len look at the hobbyist angle of doing your own design work with our guest Tim Shea. You may recognize some of Tim's work from past Tested videos, although you would never know he is an amateur designer. Tim just wrapped up a whirlwind weekend at DesignerCon in LA and he chats all about it, as well as the Predator design, Frank's haunted apartment and more. If you're digging what you hear, please head over to http://www.patreon.com/creaturegeek and support us with a few bucks. We truly appreciate your support!
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    Adam Savage Tours the Jim Henson Exhibition!

    Adam Savage visits the Museum of the Moving Image, which recently opened a landmark exhibition showcasing the works of Jim Henson. From the Muppet Show to Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock to the Dark Crystal, we get up close with many of the puppets, props, and film artifacts from Henson's world-changing career.

    Adam Savage on Blade Runner 2049's Massive Water Set!

    Adam gets to be an honorary stunt performer on the set of Blade Runner 2049 as he visits the massive water tank used for production. Chatting with Special Effects Supervisor Gerd Nefzer, Adam learns how this tank is used to simulate turbulent waves by dropping literally tons of water into the pool.

    The Making of Hela's Headdress from Thor: Ragnarok

    At this year's DesignerCon, we meet up with Ironhead Studio, the costume and prop fabricators who made Hela's jaw-dropping costume from Thor: Ragnarok! Jose Fernandez walks us through how his team made Hela's iconic headdress for Cate Blanchett to wear in the film, explaining how the helmet's pieces hold together and what goes into its brilliant finish.

    Mike Hill Takes On Werewolves - Episode 79 -11/10/17
    Frank and Len close the classic monster trilogy of podcasts by covering one of our favorite topics, werewolves. And we've brought in werewolf expert and master sculptor Mike Hill to chat about lycanthropes. We also look at these lists of favorite werewolf film from Paste Magazine and Den of Geek and see if they match our list. (SPOILER: Mostly, they do.) If you're digging this podcast, please head over to http://www.patreon.com/creaturegeek and support us with a few bucks. We truly appreciate your support!
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    Adam Savage Explores the Props of Blade Runner 2049!

    Before Adam Savage watched Blade Runner 2049, he stepped behind the scenes of the film's secretive production and visited the prop department where prop master Doug Harlocker and his team built intricate hand props, weapons, and futuristic wearable devices. Doug walks Adam through the some of these hero and stunt props, including many that you may now recognize. Very minor spoilers within!

    Mid-October Pop Culture Wrap Up - Episode 78 -10/20/17
    On this episode of CreatureGeek, Frank and Len chat about a bunch of stuff that's been out, coming soon and more including Blade Runner 2049 chat, IT and Stephen King talk, The Orville, Halloween and more. Plus a shout out to Haunted Houses and Mike Mekash (husband of Eryn Krueger Mekash) If you're digging this podcast, please head over to http://www.patreon.com/creaturegeek and support us with a few bucks. We truly appreciate your support!
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    Adam Savage's Set Tour of the Blade Runner Universe!

    Adam takes us behind the scenes of the filming of the 2048: Nowhere to Run short film that's part of the official Blade Runner universe. From the static set dressing to the functional props and vehicles, Adam shows how the production builds a believable science fiction world out of the pieces of our own reality.

    Building Adam's 2001: A Space Odyssey "Moonwatcher", Part 1

    My passion for the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey launched me into the quest of a career at the age of 16. I wanted to be a filmmaker. I wanted to make things for movies. I wanted to make space ships, creatures, props and more. I started learning everything I could about Kubrick and film making. I started making my own films and, eventually after graduating from school, I got a job at the American Zoetrope with Francis Coppola. George Lucas was there also and was working on the movie version of his short film, "THX11384eb". This was another film I loved that inspired me.

    To make a long story short, in 1974 I moved to LA and started working for the studios as a special effects makeup artist. I met Rick Baker who helped me start my career as a creature maker and Gorilla man. My career exploded and for years I made creatures and makeup effects for films, TV commercials, and TV shows.

    I worked on "Star Trek the Motion Picture" where I made Spock's ears, GhostBusters making creatures and puppeteering them just to name a couple. I made one feature motion picture with Charles Band, "The Day Time Ended" that I wrote and produced. I played an alien in the opening sequence of "Laser Blast" and did all the makeup and props. This lead to a SAG career of playing creatures for films along with my Gorilla suit work I did for many years.

    This is just the short story but it all began with 2001, which brings me to this project: Moonwatcher.

    I always wanted to make something from 2001. Most of the models have already been done. The helmets and suits by Mike Scott had been done (and they are amazing!). But no one had done Moonwatcher or the Star Child. So I set off to do both.

    Adam reached out about the project asking me if he could get in the build. I said yes, of course. So let's get going here and I'll show you how I made Moonwatcher based on Stuart Freeborn's fantastic work 50 years ago.

    Adam Savage Incognito as 2001: A Space Odyssey's Moonwatcher!

    Adam goes incognito at this year's New York Comic Con as Moonwatcher, the lead ape in 2001: A Space Oyssey! This character is special because the mask was originally designed by make-up artist Stuart Freeborn, who also created Chewbacca's costume. And in a first for Adam Incognito, he was able to walk the floor and explore the convention without being detected! (Check out the work of Steve Neill, who made this Moonwatcher mask for Adam!)