After seeing some of the comments on my last post, i need to address a few misconceptions about the wampa and what it was being used for:
1- There is no test footage of the wampa. It didn’t get to a stage where everything was complete in order to start any test shooting. It only got as far as the costume fitting stage.
2- It wasn’t being built to add any extra scenes into the film. The editing of the cave scene is being reverted back to how it was in 1980. The extra inserts of the Wampa eating etc have all been taken out (apart from the added arm in the one shot where it is approaching luke as he cuts himself free). It worked better the way it was in 1980 when we only got glimpses of the Wampa. So the suit was created to replace the two shots in the original cave scene( the “sliding” wampa shot and the final lunge where it is a completely different design from the one we saw attacking luke originally) . It was also going to replace the first two puppet shots so that there was a consistent looking wampa throughout.
3- release a version now without the Wampa and then another one later with it added once i can get it working. This is something that won’t be happening. From ESB onward there will be only one version released of any of the films in HD and SD formats.
4- Get someone else to wear the suit. It was built specifically to fit my wife. I can’t even get my head into it without all the padding. Unless someone was the exact same dimensions then it wouldn’t fit. It would require months of work to modify it to fit anyone else, which would include rebuilding the whole skull and bodysuit.
But, there may be a glimmer of hope. After making my last post about the Wampa cancellation, a few ideas came to mind that might enable me to use the wampa for just the two cave shots needed, so i haven’t given up on it fully anymore. well, not just yet. If these ideas work, then i can just replace those two shots and keep the original puppet ones at the beginning. I’ve been modifying the face slightly ( repainting the horns to be the lighter grey on the puppet along with the end of the one horn being chipped off) and i will be doing some tests over the weekend, If it works, then i can finish the dirtying up and adding the wax ice on the fur and shoot the thing towards the end of next week. If it doesn’t then i can just get everything rendered out and release it. It’s still a very long shot that this might work, so don’t get your hopes up.
The Wampa is now complete and ready for the test shoot tomorrow. Fingers crossed that the new plan works…….
Bad news…. The wampa is being scrapped
Did a full costume test fitting of the wampa today and it’s just not working. One disaster after another. Claustrophobia and heat are a huge factor in the problems. But also the head slipping, causing the mouth not to open. It would take stripping out the inner head and remaking it. Months worth of work. But i’ve spent too much time and money on it now and i really don’t think that spending the extra is worth it. It was a long shot that failed and I’m sorry. I really wanted to be able to do this. But there comes a time when you just have to stop. Maybe its the curse of the Wampa. 😉
Good news…… ESB:R will be out very soon. Check back in a couple of days for an update……
Things are progressing very nicely now. Wampa body is completed and all that is left to do for the costume is the adding the detailing, like dirtying and adding the ice etc. The costume is pretty big and bulky, as you can see from scale of the mannequin head compared to the body in the one photo.
Work has started on the wampa cave set so filming the very final shots for ESB:R shouldn’t be very far away……
The end is so close now……
Progress is a little slower than i had anticipated. Finishing this damn wampa is proving more of a pain that i’d hoped, but it’s getting there. It didn’t help that, while watching the final workprint, i noticed that two shots i had thought were complete were missing a couple of elements, so i needed to get those filmed and added into the compositions.
I assure you i am working as fast as i possibly can, but there is no possible way this can be completed before the end of this month, and that is if everything continues without any holdups. But the end is in sight and will be just a few weeks away.
This means there will be no break for me after ESB:R is completed. I will be starting work on ROTJ the day after ESB is released.
On this day in 1980, The Empire Strikes back received it’s World premiere……
On this day in 1968, i was born…….
And, on this day, the very final model created for ESB:R is being filmed. Just a few finishing touches to the miniature set, like straightening out the ceiling lights and getting the Falcon into the correct position, and it’s ready to go. The miniature will be mixed in with the original set in post, which is why you can see certain uncompleted sections of the model.
We are so close to the end now. After this, all that is left are the Wampa shots. The mouth mechanism has been sorted, so filming the Wampa is back on. 🙂 Fingers crossed that the completed version will hold up on camera and work in the final version.
Just adding the finishing touches to the Rebel transport hangar ready for filming tonight. A bit more snow to add to the floor in places and then finalise the lighting of the set. It’s lit by the daylight coming through the window in these pictures and will look a lot different one the proper lighting is sorted and the smoke pumped into the room.