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The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
This Blog will be offering a colorful kaleidoscope of movie magic for cinema aficionados.
Peanuts, baloons and thrilling sensations on celluloid.
See offbeat goodies and magic crumbs ...weekly!

We jump back in the year 1982. - The Dark Crystal. A phenomenal puppet adventure by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.
My favorite creatures in 'Dark Crystal' are the Garthim, the elite force of the cruel Skeksis. 
A bizarre mixture of woodlouse and crab.
Producer Gary Kurtz (Star Wars, Return to Oz) on Set with a Garthim.
Director Frank Oz with the sweet young girl Kira. 
Kira is an ancient woodland creature, a Gelfling, who lives in the alien world of Thra.
A Sketch of Aughra's Observatory by Roy Carnon.
The famous visual concept Artist Roy Carnon was part of the formidable 'Dark Crystal' Art Department.
Roy Carnon was a design specialist and visual concept artist to Stanley Kubrick during the 
production of the landmark science fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Learn more about him here: Roy Carnon
Dark Crystal conceptual design painting by Brian Froud. 
Learn more about the puppet epic here: The Dark Crystal

Police model helicopter. 
The chopper was used for some atmospheric scenic flights over the miniature city in 'The Crow'.
A pimped standard model kit.
The miniature City. You might remember the scene with Eric beeing chased by the Police chopper.
A composition of live footage and miniature models (town, chopper).
Learn more about the Crow here: Mechanized Crows

Spaghetti Western Babes: Béatrice Altariba.
ARROW Video was so kind to burn the splendid Spaghetti Western 'Cemetery without Crosses' on a nice Blu-ray recently.
During the filming of the 'Cemetery without Crosses' Hotel/Saloon scenes in the Texas Hollywood Western Town 
Set in Spain (Tabernas, Almeria), a clever and farsighted photographer took the lovely Béatrice Altariba by 
the hand for some rarely seen photos. Thank you for that. 
Texas Hollywood (Tabernas, Almeria) 1968.
Béatrice Altariba, born June 18, 1939 in Paris, France, is playing a Saloon Slut in 'Cemetery without Crosses'.
A small role with just a few words ...but you will remember her! The life of an Extra.
She plainly enjoyed the little photo shooting in the desert.
Béatrice Altariba was in many European Genre productions. For example in the Eurospy flick 'Agent 3S3: Passport to Hell'.
'Cemetery without Crosses' was the last film for Béatrice. What happened to her?

Picnic in the middle of nowhere.
Director Anthony Mann (sitting at the table), Assistant Director José López Rodero (sitting on the right) and 
Associate Producer Michal Waszynski (standing on the right) enjoy a Siesta during the filming of the 
Samuel Bronston epic 'El Cid' around Madrid, Spain, 1961.

The legendary special makeup effects artist and designer Rick Baker (left) on the 'Men in Black' Set, 1997.
Rick did some exceptional Alien makeup effects for the show, but due to the extremely extensive work he could not handle everything alone.
Rick sub contracted these two alien characters to Bart Mixons's effects shop, Mixon & Ellis FX.
The groovy father and son (Verne Troyer!) Alien by Bart Mixon (striped shirt).
Beauty consultant Rick and his client Edgar (Vincent D'Onofrio). 'Men in Black', 1997.
Please, push the little red button: Queens Midtown Tunnel

'Zeppelin' is a World War I flight adventure drama by Etienne Périer with some very successful 
Zepp flight scenes of epic splendor accompanied by a matching Roy Budd score and roaring sound effects (diesel engines).
On board for the Physical Effects, the British expert Cliff Richardson. 
At the brushes, Cliff Culley for some background mattes.
Wally Veevers was the magician of the Model fx.
Let's pierce the clouds ...
Available in appropriate quality on DVD as part of the Warner Archive Collection.
A remarkable Collection that you should always observe. 
Wally Veevers built 2 Zepp's, a 37-foot model and a smaller 18-foot one.
The brilliant scenes with the supply ship (also a miniature) were filmed at the renowned Malta Film Facilities water tank.
Wally Veevers in Action.
The big model miniature Zepp LZ36 is hanging on wires above the pool navigated via a metal sled (5x5 Kodak transparency). 
The special effects camerman Wally Veevers learnt a lot from the miniature specialist Ross Jacklin.
Wally on Ross Jacklin: '...he taught me many things that to this very day I haven't used in the industry 
but which I've always kept at the back of my mind. We did all the hanging miniatures for 'Things to Come' ... 
it was a wonderful experience. We worked day and night on that picture. On one occasion I worked 
a whole week without stopping even to sleep. But those were woderful times.
I used to work days for one group of people and nights for a different lot because I was so interested 
in special effects ... I was in the miniature department for about three years then I left to go 
free-lancing' (small excerpt from the John Brosnan book 'Movie Magic').
The LZ36 meets the supply ship. A spectacular scene very convincingly staged. 
All done in miniature at the giant Malta water tank.
(35mm Slide).
Movie Scene - This close-ups were shot separately, not in the pool. 
German lobby card - Malta water tank.
Zeppelin Stars - Elke Sommer and Michael York.
Crash landing of the LZ36 Zepp miniature in the Malta pool.
Splendid model miniature explosion. You can see the control wires above the pool (5x5 Kodak transparency).
Still of the burnt-out Zepp wreck. Look at the fine details of the wreck.
Former Zeppelin Chief Engineer Dr. Friedrich Sturm was the film's technical coordinator, 
supervising the construction of the models and mock-ups.
German lobby card.
Rare promotion 'Zeppelin' photos (5x5 transparencies) of Michael York and Elke Sommer.
A forgotten airshow -with great Wally Veevers model fx- awaiting your discovery.

Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd on set for 'Spies like Us', 1985.
Hey my friends at Warner, please surprise us with a perfectly produced Blu-ray with a bunch of Extras.
I know you can make that happen! What we truly want to see is...
Yeah, we are getting closer...
That's it! A featurette on Vanessa Angel, the sexy Russian Rocket Crew bunny....on a perfect blu-ray! Come on!

From a movie archive I got a box with hundreds of unmarked pictures of unknown films.
Ready for a little riddle game?
8 photos show a large Chinese/Japanese (?) town Set that is being built.
A big three-dimensional Set surrounded by painted cut-outs (house facades).
A great set built for ...?
I suspect it is the Set for 'The Inn of the Sixth Happiness', 1958?

We dive into every hole - The children of bad taste