Inside Adam Savage’s Cave: Model Making for Movies

In this visit to Adam Savage’s Cave, we revisit Adam’s past life as a model maker for movies like Star Wars: Episode I. Adam and Will discuss the decline of practical special effects and examine three models that Adam made, some of which never got a chance to be seen on screen.

Comments (35)

35 thoughts on “Inside Adam Savage’s Cave: Model Making for Movies

  1. Reminds me of the old show Movie Magic from my childhood.

    I was just thinking about that show the other day and started to wonder why it wasnt on anymore. Then got kinda sad when i realized why.

  2. Is this the first time Adam says “I’m Adam from Tested”? Usually he just says he’s Adam no?

    It’s the second or third time. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when he says it though.

    This was fantastic because the Y-Wing was always my favorite ship growing up!

  3. Not quite swiped, but having an extra cast made for himself in addition to the four needed for the two Mjølnir models. Not sure if its the fact he has one from the production, or that he got the casting-guys to spend time and materials on a copy for him. =p

  4. If you listen closely, you can hear Norm taking pictures in the background

    for whole 10 minutes I thought my cats were sitting on the stove again (it bibs when you put somthing on it).

  5. Dat workshop…

    So many areas of modelmaking to get into…so little time O_O

    I actually remember the look on Adams face in the behind the scenes footage of the matrix on my dvds when the Hammer crashes through the gates. In fact its the only bit I remember!

  6. If you listen closely, you can hear Norm taking pictures in the background

    yes, and its crazy annoying.

    Holy crap, yes. Norm, stop ruining the videos. Silence your camera.

  7. I had never known the origin of the “Wilhelm scream” before (although I had noticed that a lot of movies use that same effect). I heard it in the Hobbit later that day, when a goblin fell off a bridge.

  8. It is a combination of experienced moldmakers, careful design, and the give of the relatively soft silicone mold allowing for a certain degree of undercuts (requiring careful planning again, in order to allow air to escape when pouring the resin). But yes, I would guess that the large Matrix gun is in fact two or three pieces, maybe more.

  9. oh, that makes sense! when I think molds, I always think undercuts, because with clay you get these fragile things that come out. thank you!

  10. Again, the best place to look to learn about materials and workflow is probably the scale model forums over on the RPF. Lots of people are building SW stuff using much the same methods, complete with large boxes of random greeblies, kit-pieces and electronics to stick wherever it makes sense. 🙂

  11. Norm and Adam,

    Could you please post a picture or sketch of the ILM Universal Greeble from the flakvierling kit?


  12.   so I got a question for Adam, with u creating models for films, did you build one for Star Wars which is actually featured? And is your name on the credits?

  13. Under the category of “giving credit where credit is due”… Virgil Mirano was the artist at Boss Film responsible for the skylight shot in Blade Runner. Virgil was the stills photographer and all ’round special projects guy at Boss. He shot the still of the skylight in the Bradbury location, mounting the print to glass and then cut out all the little sections with an X-Acto knife. A job he described as “tedious, at best!”

  14. I have this “Action Fleet” Y-Wing too. As a collector of these, I would like to know what other three (as he did four) he sculpted as well.

    Yes, I know this is two years old but I just found the site. Take pity on a pour Canadian…

  15. Norm and Adam,

    Could you please post a picture or sketch of the ILM Universal Greeble from the flakvierling kit?



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