Film Work History

Sinbad & the Eye of the Tiger

I sculpted the Walrus and Baboon characters for Ray Harryhausen’s 1977 Arabian Nights fantasy.  Ray had them molded and then cast and finished them himself.

Photos Copyright 1977 Columbia Pictures

 

Return of the Jedi

I was one of several sculptors hired to create the alien characters for Jabba’s Sail Barge scenes. I designed and constructed the Salacious Crumb puppet, originally intended as a pet for the Ephont Mon character.

Ephont Mon
I worked with fabricator and puppeteer Mike McCormick to construct the support harness for the cloak and fabricated and painted the legs and hands and sculpted, cast and painted the head.


Sy Snootles
Designed by Phil Tippett and constructed by Mike McCormick and myself. I did the final painting of the rod and cable activated puppet based on Tippett’s original model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gamorrean Guards
Designed by Dave Carson. I fabricated the 3 body suits, with the heads, hands and feet sculpted by Dave Carson.
 

Oola
One of Jabba’s court dancers, played by Femi Taylor. I fabricated the 2 head “tentacles”, weighted so they would swing properly as she moved, and the costume and make-up departments did the rest.








Rancor Pit Monster
I fabricated the body and sculpted and cast the head for this beast. George Lucas originally decided to try to portray this monster by using a performer in a costume instead of the more time-consuming stop-motion animation, but the suit ultimately looked unconvincing in film tests and was replaced with a rod and cable controlled puppet, filmed at a high frame-rate to slow down it’s movements.

Photos Copyright 1983 Lucasfilm

Star Trek 3

Sculpted the model of the Genesis worm puppet.

 

Photo Copyright 1984 Paramount Pictures

The Dark Crystal

This assignment pre-dated my work on Jedi, and by the time I joined the production the majority of character sculpting and puppet building was well underway, which meant I was given the task of doing various things like the Podling heads, hands and feet and the witch Aughra's horns and feet and so on. After 6 months at the London workshop I transferred to Elstree Studios where the film was being shot, and spent 5 months in the Environmental Design department, designing and making various plants and animals for the swamp scenes.

Photos Copyright 1982 ITC Entertainment

Gremlins

Designed by Chris Walas, who hired me to sculpt the primary Gremlin figure. Molds made from this figure were used to generate multiple versions which were operated as hand puppets, radio and cable controlled puppets and marrionettes. I also sculpted various facial expression masks for the small Mogwai puppets. These were cast in foam latex, painted and affixed to the puppet under-skulls and their features activated by cable-pulls, etc.


Photos Copyright 1984 Warner Bros.

The Phantom Menace

For this episode of the Star Wars saga I was hired to work in the Art Dept. division located at SkyWalker Ranch, and sculpted and sometimes painted a number of maquettes of various alien characters including Watto, the Colo Claw Fish and Opee Sea Killer. Additionally, I contributed a variety of portrait busts and figure models of the Gungans, including the infamous Jar Jar binks, although the version that appears onscreen is not mine.


 

Photos Copyright 1999 Lucasfilm

Attack of the Clones

I designed and produced a painted maquette of the Geonosian warrior bug, and sculpted a life-size scanning head for the CG version of Yoda.

Photos Copyright 2002 Lucasfilm

Beowulf

This movie was based on an ancient Anglo-Saxon legend dating from the 7the century about the Scandinavian hero Beowulf and his small band of warriors who answer a plea from King Hrothgar to rid his lands of the rampaging monster Grendel.

Six months of the year I worked on this feature was spent on the design of Grendel, one of two antagonists faced by the hero Beowulf, the other being the Dragon that confronts him at the climax of the story.

In total, I produced 19 versions of Grendel, both head studies and full figure models, a small sample of which are shown here.

Director Robert Zemeckis saw the character as a severely deformed and hyper-sensitive child who reacted violently to the carrousing warriors in the Meadhall across the moors, even though it was located several miles away from his cave.

The grey version is close to the final, and the slightly larger painted version approximates Grendel as he appeared in the movie, with some minor changes still to be made by Sony Imageworks.

The final incorporates some of the facial characteristics of actor Crispin Glover, who supplied the motion capture and vocal performance for the Cg animated creature.

 

 


Two half scale head studies of Beowulf in his mid twenties and mid fifties, done before actor Ray Winstone was hired to play the part.


Three of several head studies done for the dragon, and the final scanning model, cast in resin. Only the right side was finished with skin texture, the left was depicted as muscle structure so the animators could capture the anatomy.



A Christmas Carol 

Working with concept sculptor Robert Barnes, I produced a number of maquettes during my 11 months on the film, among them Jacob Marley, the Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge's fiance, Belle, Scrooge as a boy, an adult and an old man and life-size head studies of both Scrooge and Bob Cratchit, used as part of a travelling exhibition to publicize the pending release of the movie.

These pictures include an early 6 "tall head study of Scrooge, a 10" tall figure maquette and life-size sculpted portraits of Scrooge and Bob Cratchit. These head models were produced from laser scans of actors Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman, but required a lot of re-modeling and general cleaning up and correction of artifacts and discrepancies caused by the scanning, and the addition of skin texture. I made silicone molds and cast them in urethane resin, added acrylic eyes, then painted them and added facial hair and wigs.

 

Photos Copyright 2009 Walt Disney Pictures