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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 01:11 AM

Not sure where to post this, since it is off-topic, but anyone into old shows like "Space: 1999" should look at what this guy did in Photoshop:

http://www.scifiairshow.com/
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 09:33 AM

That is fantastic.

Of course, it's unlikely we'll ever see anything so fine this side of the pond.
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#3 Thomas James

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 04:36 PM

The TV series "Space: 1999" is currently being revitalized by a new release of the episodes on the Blu-Ray disc format. However the new name of this release will be changed to "Space: 2099". If this new marketing proves sucessfull perhaps entire new episodes will be created just as we have modern day episodes of the classic "Star Trek " series.
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#4 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 05:27 PM

What a hoot!
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#5 Karel Bata

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:09 AM

At the time PanAm offered tickets for their first trip into space - when it eventually happened! I can't remember for how much, but they weren't cheap and my dad refused to buy one. I guess PanAm figured someone else in the future would sort out the details...

Weird idea that site. But not as weird as the emails he'll get from folks that are going to believe it's all true! :lol: Reminds me of Space Nazis attack. Daft as a brush, but some extraordinary images.

Space 1999 was one of the more successful Gerry Andersons. I worked for a bit on Space Prencinct (directed, among others, by Scott Glen and Piers Haggard!) Great fun. Terrahawks was brilliant. But there were also plenty of bizarre turkeys like The Secret Service.

Posted Image
Space Precinct

Simone Bendix was gorgeous. (She's the one on the right)

Edited by Karel Bata, 28 June 2010 - 04:11 AM.

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#6 Karel Bata

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 07:51 AM

At the time PanAm offered tickets for their first trip into space - when it eventually happened!

I meant when 2001 was released...

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93,000 wanted to go :D
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 08:29 AM

Space Prencinct


Oh, god. Oh, god. Where can I begin? The expletives are queueing up in my brain ready to be propelled forth with great vehemence.


Shall we start with, as I said in another thread, the fact that all British sci-fi looks like shit?


Or shall we wonder at the fact that you can get Steve Begg involved in a series, and have it look that bad.


Well, no. Let's sit in the corner, rocking quietly back and forth, mumbling incoherently about The Horror.


P
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 08:42 AM

[Shall we start with, as I said in another thread, the fact that all British sci-fi looks like shit?


"Space: 1999" was well-shot and production-designed. And if you include movies, what about "Star Wars", "2001", "Alien" and a host of other great sci-fi movies with British cinematographers and production designers?
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#9 Karel Bata

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:52 AM

Hmm...

While I was on Space Precinct I'd visit the sets for Alien 3 and wonder where I'd gone wrong. :lol:

We had some decent television you probably never saw Out of the Unknown I so love those haunting titles. Day of The Triffids (70s version), Blakes 7 still has a cult following (not me) as does Dr Who. I liked Gerry Anderson's UFO. But towering over all of these was The Prisoner.

There's 1984, Clockwork Orange, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Fahrenheit 451. Do they tend to be a bit cerebral? 28 Days Later, Superman, Batman, Aliens...

Recently, I'll admnit, it's been a bit crap. :(
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:29 AM

"Space: 1999" was well-shot and production-designed.



Really?

Posted Image

It looks like it was shot inside a particularly fanciful tupperware box. I appreciate to some extent my disdain for this look is based upon the fact that they are all, by current standards, wearing women's clothes, and sci fi does date terribly. But really, it's terribly run of the mill as far as looks go, even taking that into account. To think that Outland and Alien were shot a scant few years later. Sob, wail. And it's the kind of terribly consistent blandness that makes you realise that everything on screen has been built from scratch, and therefore it's expensive bland. And the writing was awful. And the acting was terrible. It's embarrassingly bad.

I think the point of this really is that everything else we could possibly cite was funded by people who understand how much it costs to make this stuff look good, quod vide Americans, which brings me on to my last point:

We had some decent television



Yes. Had. The Steve Beggs of the UK are now grey-haired and nearing retirement, much as many of our good cinematographers have now fallen off the perch entirely. A new generation is not being trained in this desert of non-production. This is of course yet another field in which the BBC should be active, because they should be producing vastly more quality drama than they are, but while it pleases them to let recently-graduated "DV directors" shoot 70% of their output and find a creative way to justify the resulting garbage, this will not change.

P
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#11 Karel Bata

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:06 PM

Sadly, much of what you say is true. I've very disappointed by the output of the BBC lately. For instance, that remake of Day of The Triffids could have been so much better. No, should have been.

But, just be sure we're on the same page, you're saying that American TV sci-fi is consistently better..?
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:32 PM

Well... yes.

Am I missing something? The Star Trek stuff, by and large, looked absolutely fantastic; Voyager in particular always looked a million dollars. Or actually about three million dollars an episode, from what I read. Of course the writing was awful, but it at least looked good. I don't think we've ever produced something that good here, even making allowances for the passage of time.

P


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#13 Karel Bata

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:54 PM

Of course the writing was awful, but it at least looked good :lol: And all the aliens were human actors with rubber heads, and they all conveniently breathed oxygen! I did love Star Trek, in all its incarnations. The spin-offs were silly.

Found this nice trailer The Day The Earth Caught Fire
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#14 Tim Partridge

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 02:10 PM

Really?

It looks like it was shot inside a particularly fanciful tupperware box. I appreciate to some extent my disdain for this look is based upon the fact that they are all, by current standards, wearing women's clothes, and sci fi does date terribly. But really, it's terribly run of the mill as far as looks go, even taking that into account. To think that Outland and Alien were shot a scant few years later. Sob, wail. And it's the kind of terribly consistent blandness that makes you realise that everything on screen has been built from scratch, and therefore it's expensive bland. And the writing was awful. And the acting was terrible. It's embarrassingly bad.



Saying all of that, apparently preILM George Lucas visited the S1999 set and on the quality of that show asked Brian Johnson if he could do the visual effects for Star Wars (according to an interview with Johnson himself). Johnson had to turn it down but then went on to work on Empire Strikes Back, for which he won an Oscar. So it clearly had a significant influence on modern sci fi in terms of it's visuals, and let's not forget that Johnson and Allder utilised many of their S1999 techniques when making Alien, for which another visual effects Oscar was won.

Johnson also had worked on 2001 A Space Oddysey before S1999, for which he had contributed his experiences of working on Thunderbirds to Kubrick's collaborative collective (Apparently, Kubrick was a fan of Gerry Anderson's effects work). Many who have worked on Aliens have said that James Cameron held screenings of the Gerry Anderson film Doppelganger to his visual effects crew, many of whom had worked on the 60s Anderson shows.

So from even just a level of technical accomplishment, Brit made sci fi TV was seriously influential and held in extremely high regard. AP Films and Lew Grade's ITC.

I also don't think it's fair to compare the TV budgets of S1999 to features such as Outland or Alien, but more to American genre TV of the time, such as Star Trek or later Battlestar Gallactica and Buck Rodgers.

I think the point of this really is that everything else we could possibly cite was funded by people who understand how much it costs to make this stuff look good, quod vide Americans, which brings me on to my last point


I really wish they'd rerelease the original Channel 4 Max Headroom pilot on DVD. That's stunningly ahead of it's time, and some of the finest British scifi I have ever seen. "Blipverts" seem pretty plausible now to me. That film also looks gorgeous too (Phil Meheux shot it and it was directed by Jankel/Morton).

Have you guys seen Threads directed by Mick Jackson and shot by Andrew Dunn? It's basically a nuclear apocalypse movie set in Sheffield from the early 80s. It's lumbered with low budget production values but it's all used so effectively and creatively that it really doesn't matter. It's incredible work and very thought provoking. And from the BBC!


The Steve Beggs of the UK are now grey-haired and nearing retirement,



I think Steve would beg to differ.

BTW- I think Space Precinct had it's moments, and it did provide a great test site for some of the UK's current top visual and digital effects specialists. To that end, you can hardly call it a failure, can you (with credits ranging from Batman Begins to Harry Potter and DaVinci Code)? I don't think it was the finest moment for UK sci-fi, but I like that it was made. I saw the pilot for Space Police from 1986 (the pilot for what Space Precinct became) and THAT I really felt was impressive, being humorous but with a real sense of awe.


Have you seen Moon, Phil?



PS Karel,

Don't you mean John Glen?
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#15 Bruce Greene

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 02:56 PM

Not sure where to post this, since it is off-topic, but anyone into old shows like "Space: 1999" should look at what this guy did in Photoshop:

http://www.scifiairshow.com/


Thanks so much for sharing this site David!

My last space flight was on a troop transport on "Space: Above and Beyond" (or was it "Space: Up, Up, and Away"?) I did also end up on some distant planet on "Starship Troopers", but I don't know how I got there. Gravity there was pretty light, and when I tripped and fell with the camera, nobody at video village had any idea, though they kept shouting that the image wasn't quite level. And of course my best memories are my ride on the Starship Enterprise on it's final voyage with it's original crew. I did sneak a few moments in Captain Kirk's chair, but I was careful not to accidently activate any phasers or to adjust the warp drive.

It's good to know some of these ships are still in flying shape and well loved by their new owners. As a kid I would have given anything to have driven the flying sub from "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"!

Edited by Bruce Greene, 28 June 2010 - 02:59 PM.

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#16 Karel Bata

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 03:30 PM

Don't you mean John Glen? Ah yes indeed! Where did I get Scott from? Thunderbirds? :lol: I was googling at the time.

You know I've still got that Max Headroom pilot on VHS! And I watched Threads again recently with my daughter. Really disturbing. I tried to explain to her how I grew up half expecting the bomb to drop at any moment. She just didn't get it.

Moon is great isn't it? A return to older techniques using models rather than CG, with some of the technicians and model makers that worked on Alien and the like.

Flying sub? Check out Supercar!

And any one remember Richard Stanley's Hardware?
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#17 Joe Carney

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:20 PM

And one of my favorites from the 70's
http://en.wikipedia....Boy_and_His_Dog
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#18 Joe Carney

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:28 PM

The Original Roller Ball was prophetic.

http://en.wikipedia....ball_(1975_film)
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 03:36 AM

I've been informed that Mr Begg is in fact a mere stripling whose voice had barely broken when he worked on Aliens, so if I may just say... he should feel free to keep producing extremely good effects work for another thirty years. I think in general my point remains, though. Even though I suppose we should be willing to grudgingly admit that the model work on Space: 1999 was above-par I really don't go for the interiors, costume choices, makeup choices (what's that on that woman's forehead? It's like proto-Trek) or anything else about it. Thunderbirds looked better. In fact I think Thunderbirds had an absolutely cracking aesthetic. All hail Meddings! And of course Meddings is no longer with us.


Moon is fantabulous, and I'm forced to admit that when I first saw the trailer, I was in Los Angeles, and spent a now-embarrassing ten minutes ranting on a general theme of "we could never have done that". Now of course it would have been vastly preferable if it was all at least twice that scale, because it is fairly obvious models and there's some out-of-focus foregrounds in some of it that I'd rather have not seen. But for what it is, crikey. It's fairly clear that a large proportion of their 5M budget went on the CG enhancements to the model work, and the result is, especially for the budget, extremely pleasing. I'm predisposed to be nice about Moon anyway because I strongly support more of these "small" movies being made; they're generally less risk-averse than the big stuff and therefore much more interesting, but I don't think it needs that excuse. Neither does Max Headroom, which I absolutely don't have as an AVI file that I didn't download from the internets because there isn't a *&#!ing DVD available.

But how many of those have we done in the last, ooh, ten years? Including Moon, one?

Fifteen years? Oh yes. One again.

Twenty years? This is getting repetitive.

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#20 Karel Bata

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 04:21 AM

it would have been vastly preferable if it was all at least twice that scale

these "small" movies being made; they're generally less risk-averse than the big stuff

You've provided your own answer there. ;)

Moon is a great achievement, and compares well to Dark Star as thoughtful low budget sci-fi. I had two aesthetic gripes though. Duncan Jones, the director, says the film had it's roots in Hard Sci-fi literature and in movies like 2001 and Alien, so why is it that in the vacuum of space we can hear things..? Also, the exteriors are given a slightly dreamy soft look (to cover up the imperfections?). I would have preferred the traditional hard look of 2001. Minor gripes. Great movie.
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