Monday, 19 August 2019

Ten Favourite Covers: Alfred Hitchcock

In the second entry of my occasional series highlighting ten of my favourite covers (you can read the Childhood Terrors one here), I thought I'd mark the 120th birthday of Sir Alfred Hitchcock by looking at some of his fantastic anthologies.

As before (and perhaps to explain the eclectic choice), the only rule is that the bulk of the covers must come from my own library.
Edited, as a lot of his anthologies were, by Robert Arthur who went on to create my beloved the Three Investigators series (also using the Hitchcock name).  His credit appears in the acknowledgements - "the editor gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of Robert Arthur".
This is the 1977 Mayflower edition and I wish I could remember now where I bought it from.
Part One (which I don't own) includes Daphne Du Maurier's novelette The Birds.
Edited by Peter Haining, who also compiled one of my favourite childhood books The Restless Bones.

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, England on August 13, 1899, to William and Emma, the youngest of their three children.  After attending technical school at 15, Hitchcock worked as a draftsman, advertising designer and writer until his interest in photography led to him to London’s nascent film industry.  He started as title card designer and began directing with Number 13 (1922) which was unfinished and is now a lost film.  After making some films in Germany, he came back to London for his first thriller, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927).

He quickly gained a reputation as a craftsman skilled in delivering suspense (often laced with dark humour) and though he made films in a variety of genres, he specialised in the thriller.  After moving to Hollywood in 1939, he produced his most recognised works and also became a household name with his penchant for self-promotion and a nice line in gallows humour.  He introduced two television anthology series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955 to 1965) and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962 to 1965), directing seventeen episodes of the former and one of the latter and also ‘edited’ a series of popular horror and suspense anthologies.

During his sixty year career, he directed 54 features and pioneered a lot of cinematic techniques that are still applied to film today.  Among these ‘Hitchcockian’ (as they came to be known) touches was the use of the camera to mimic a person’s gaze (making viewers into voyeurs) while critic Murray Pomerance wrote his shots displayed “the full expression of a character's attitude, feeling, knowledge, position, history, and understanding ... in a single brilliant coup”.  By 1960 he’d directed four films often ranked among the greatest of all time: Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959) (which I wrote about here), and Psycho (1960), while in  2012 Vertigo replaced Citizen Kane (1941) as the British Film Institute's best film.

In recognition of his body of work, he won the BAFTA Fellowship Award, the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, the Directors Guild of America's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award.  He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, in December 1979, received his knighthood.

Sir Alfred Hitchcock, who married his assistant director and close collaborator Alma Reville in 1926 (they had one daughter, Patricia), died of renal failure on 29th April 1980.

me, with the Madame Tussauds model of Hitchcock, London 2003

The Hitchcock Zone
The Dark Side of Genius, by Donald Spoto

Monday, 29 July 2019

Choose Life

It was almost five years ago, on the 4th August 2014, when I suffered my heart attack, a life-changing event in a lot of ways.  Although I'd already started to lose weight (as I wrote about here), it focused my attention and I decided my "Fall Guy" summer (which I wrote about here) was a chance to make some changes as I realised what was important to me.
Me & Dude, July 2019
At my heaviest, I weighed 18st 6.75lbs (258.75lbs or just over 117kgs) and at 5ft 11 my BMI was 35.9 putting me well into the “obese” end of things.  Within a year, having cut the crap out of my diet and walked a LOT, my weight was down to 13st 11.5lbs (193.5lbs - a total loss of 65.25lbs) and my BMI was 27, slightly off the midway of overweight.

Five years on and I'm maintaining that weight loss (as of today, I'm 13st 10lbs).  I'm still walking between 20-30 miles a week and I've also recently become a convert to Park Run, introduced by Alison and our friend David, hitting a good pace regularly (my pb's 27m 46s).  I feel better, I'm as fit as I've ever been and I'm definitely embracing life which, although it was a tough way to figure it out, is the lesson I took from the incident.

Life's too short, people, embrace it!
Me & Dude, on the patio, June 2014 - part of the batch of photographs that made me realise I needed to do something about my weight...
David & I at the Kettering Park Run, May 2019, picture by John Woods

Monday, 22 July 2019

Burn For You, by INXS, at 35

Thirty-five years ago, to promote their new album, INXS released one of my favourites of their songs, the excellent Burn For You.
Burn For You was written by Andrew Farriss & Michael Hutchence and released in Australia and New Zealand on 26th July 1984 (it never saw release in the UK), with Jenny Morris providing backing vocals.  The single had Johnson’s Aeroplane, written by Andrew Farriss, as the b side.

The third of four singles from the album (following Original Sin, in December 1983, I Send A Message in March 1984 and before Dancing On The Jetty in October 1984), it peaked at number 3 on the Australian chart and 29 on the NZ chart.

Tilt my hat at the sun
And the shadows they burn dark
Light me and I'll burn for you
And the love song never stops

The song was also notable in that it saw the start of the band's ongoing - and very productive - relationship with film director Richard Lowenstein.  Michael Hutchence had been the first to notice his work, after being impressed by the Talking To A Stranger video Lowenstein had made for Hunters and Collectors and was keen for the director to work with INXS.
Chris Murphy set up a meeting with the band, who were then on tour in north Queensland and Lowenstein, who was getting ready to go to the Cannes Film Festival, flew up specially from Melbourne with his small crew.  They met poolside "at a hotel in a surf town" and Lowenstein was convinced he’d made a mistake.  “I came face to face under the Queensland sun with six bronzed males and their girlfriends, wearing Hawaiian shirts and board shorts,” he told The Independent.  “The most effusive of these males stood up and loped over, shaking our hands with an eager puppy-dog gleam and a smile to die for. He said his name was Michael.”  He told Anthony Bozza, in INXS: Story to Story, that Michael “was so gracious and nothing at all that I expected”.  Very different in looks, the two men quickly realised they were on the same wavelength and the meeting marked the start of a lifelong friendship.  “We immediately started talking about what we could do for [Burn For You],” Lowenstein told Bozza, “[and] I found out right away that he and I did see things alike.”

The video, shot over the course of a week, is a clever mixture of live concert footage, some arty running about in trees and wonderful behind-the-scenes footage, capturing the band and their friends clearly enjoying themselves and each others company.  Filmed in four steadily larger towns (all marked on screen), from Mackay in Queensland to London, it also benefits from what would become an INXS/Lowenstein signature, namely key animation from Lynn-Maree Milburn.  

I really like the video, it feels warmly nostalgic, it’s nice to see the band on the cusp of becoming big and it’s great to see London in the early 80s - there’s footage from a concert at the Astoria Theatre on Charing Cross Road, which was demolished in early 2009.

Andrew Farriss wrote, on the INXS Anthology Liner Notes: "This was one of the earlier songs Michael and I had written for The Swing. The chorus was pure pop, and Kirk's acoustic guitar part gave the track a different sound from the rest of the album. Up to this point we had used very little acoustic guitar in our recording. Backing vocal harmonies on the chorus were helped by our friend Jenny Morris, who was later to tour with us on the following album, Listen Like Thieves."

Burn For You went on to win Countdown Awards for "Best Group Performance In A Video" and "Best Promotional Video".
The Swing was released in April 1984 and became the band’s first number one album on the Australian charts.  It was produced by Nick Launay (except Original Sin, which Nile Rodgers produced) and recorded at The Manor Studio in Oxfordshire during December 1983 with later sessions at Rhinoceros Studios in Sydney (Original Sin was recorded at The Power Station in New York during September 1983).  It reached number one on the Australian chart, number 27 in Canada, 37 in the Netherlands, 6 in New Zealand and 52 in the US.  I wrote about Original Sin, the breakout success of The Swing, here on its 30th anniversary.

The album yielded seven videos, which were later released on VHS as The Swing And Other Stories.

Original Sin and I Send A Message were both directed by Yasuhiko Yamamoto and filmed in Tokyo, the latter at the Buddhist temple in Main Old City Park.

Burn for You, Dancing on the Jetty and All The Voices were directed by Richard Lowenstein (the latter included footage from his film Strikebound).

Melting In The Sun and Love Is (What I Say) were directed by John Hillcoat.

The song was included as part of INXS' set for the Australian Made tour, the same-name concert film of which was directed by Richard Lowenstein.  This footage was taken from the performance at Endeavour Park, Syndey, on 24th January 1987.

INXS: Story to Story: The Official Autobiography, by INXS & Anthony Bozza
The Independent interview with Richard Lowenstein
Discogs release information

Monday, 15 July 2019

Edge-Lit 8, Derby, 13th July 2019

Arriving a bit later than originally planned (entirely my fault), Sue Moorcroft & I made our way across the square and bumped into Pixie Puddin, getting our Pixie-hug’s in much earlier than usual.  After speaking to her, we bumped into Laura & Mr Mauro, who were heading off to sign into their hotel so we hugged and caught up before going into the Quad to sign in.  Alison Littlewood & Fergus came over to say hello, then went up to the midday panel that - had we arrived earlier - I’d intended to go to.  Instead, we got drinks and headed out to the terrace to find our gang.
from left - me, Sue Moorcroft, Ross Warren, Peter Mark May, James Everington
I dumped my bag in the chair next to Ross Warren and worked my way around the table, hugging and saying hello to Lisa Childs, Tracy Fahey, Andrew Freudenberg, Steve Shaw, Charlotte Bond, Peter Mark May and James Everington.  Plenty of catching up and chatting, then we ordered lunch and I nipped off for a toilet break.  I’d barely made it into the bar when I bumped into Angeline Trevina and her friend Holly (who was enjoying her first Edge-Lit, even though I kept calling her Molly), Dion Winton-Polak came by, said a fleeting hello to Selina Lock (who wasn’t really there) and Adele Wearing then CC Adams came in for a hug and a quick catch-up.  I didn’t get much further before I spotted Steve Harris, Linda Nagle, John Travis and Simon Clark at a table so I dropped by to say hello, went to the loo and returned to them, for a natter and a catch-up.  It was good to see my Crusty mates and I’m glad I went back - I didn’t see John & Simon for the remainder of the day.
from left - Simon Clark, John Travis, Steve Harris, Linda Nagle and me
Back to the table and lunch.  Andrew David Barker joined us and told me about his new book project, with Unbound and we discussed agenting adventures.  After Lisa finished my chips for me, I spoke to Simon Bestwick, caught up with Georgina Bruce and her brother and Ray Cluley joined us (we managed a wave).  Richard Farren Barber arrived so I chatted to him with Pete and said hello to Duncan Bradshaw, Dan Howarth and Paul Feeney then Richard & I talked with Tim Lebbon for a while.  Spotted David Watkins and had a chat, then CC joined us.  After a quick hello to Stephen Volk, we were off to the Black Shuck launch.
Me, Lisa Childs and Tracy Fahey
As we waited in the foyer to go into Cinema Two, Sophie Essex came across from The Box (where the dealers room had been set up) to say hello, so I went over to their stall, picked up her chapbook and chatted with her and Andrew Hook.  As Sophie said, you have to say hello when you see someone or you don’t see them again and - true to form - I’m glad we did because I didn’t.
Me, Richard Farren Barber, Peter
picture courtesy of Richard
Late into the launch, I sat in a row on my own (very warm in there and without anyone to nudge me, was a bit worried I’d nod off).  James and Dan launched their antho Pareidolia then Kit Power launched The Finite and did a reading.  Said hello to Jay Eales then Simon B came by and I realised Cate Gardner was in the row behind so I went back to chat with her and we talked nerves (our book launch next), writing and keeping fit.

Into Cinema One (the bigger theatre) for the Multi Publisher launch - Ross and Simon B with the latter’s novella A Love Like Blood, Justin Park and the Sinister Horror Company with Duncan’s Cannibal Nuns From Outer Space and Pete’s HHB with The Woods, featuring Cate, James, Penny Jones and me (Phil missed the event as it’s his wedding anniversary).  I convinced Cate to do a little reading and I hope she enjoyed it, we all read the first page of our stories and I had a great time (hope the audience did), though it was weird hearing your voice then an amplified version of it through the speakers a half-second later.
Following Cate's reading, as Simon looks on and Duncan finds something more interesting to do.
from left - James, Penny Jones, me, Cate Gardner, Simon B and Duncan Bradshaw

pic courtesy of Laura Mauro
Reading from "Compass Wood"
Bought Simon and Duncan’s book, chatted with Justin Park (who was still flying high over a glowing review by Chris Hall of The Black Room Manuscripts 4, launched at FCon last year (see here) - I got a very nice write-up too for Brooks Pond which pleased me no end) then signed a lot of copies of The Woods.  Hayley Orgill stopped for a chat after I signed her book, then Kevin Redfern came by and it was good to see them and I got to speak with Sue Sinclair, from my writing group - at Cons, we're usually ships that pass in the night!  I finally got to speak with Penny Jones (I’d spoken with Simon, her hubby, earlier) and all too soon, we were being asked to leave for the next event.
Signing a copy as Jay Eales waits - pic courtesy of Sue
Peter went to drop his books at his hotel, so I waited outside and enjoyed some of the dancing in the carnival with Sue, Ross, Lisa and Richard with Pixie joining us for a while too.  Once we’d got everyone together, we adjourned to the Cosy Club located in a glorious old building with very high ceilings, a little balcony (inside) and all manner of great features.  After we’d ordered, conversation ranged all over the place and we covered a lot of ground, including Pete’s admiration (yes, I’ll use that word) for F. Paul Wilson – or fuporl, as we started to call him.

We talked, the food arrived, we ate (it was very nice) and we talked a lot more.  All too soon, it was after seven so we headed back to the Quad and into Cinema One, where our group took up most of a row.  Dion sat with me and we compared our days.  Sarah Pinborough and Tim did the raffle which was as chaotic as ever, though good fun and once again I didn’t win anything - Steve later suggested we call it the ‘curse of the Andromeda’ and I wouldn’t disagree with that.  The raffle - and day - ended with Alex Davis doing a little speech.  “I’ve got some bad news and some good news” he said before announcing there would be no Sledge-Lit (boo!), though he was running a Ghost event (didn’t quite catch all the details) in its place.  However, he finished with the news that Edge-Lit next year would be over two days, which could be very interesting indeed.
Before the food, with Sue, Peter, Lisa, Richard, Ross and me
After that, we made our way out, saying goodbyes as we passed people, then had a long time hugging and saying cheerio in the foyer to the gang before heading across to the car park (where, naturally, we found ourselves standing with the people we’d just said goodbye to).

Another excellent Edge-Lit and I thoroughly enjoyed myself - there were a lot of people I only managed to say hello to, who I wish I could have chatted with and there were more I saw briefly across the room and never got to speak to at all.  But such is the way with Cons, it all balances out in the end.

A great Con is made up of different things and this one had it all, from the superb organisation by Alex, Pixie and the entire redshirt team to the wonderful company of fine friends and writers, not to mention the incredible burst of creative energy as you soak up the buzz.

Edge-Lit, you and your participants were excellent.  Roll on the next one!

Monday, 8 July 2019

Compass Wood

I'm pleased to announce that The Woods, the latest PentAnth anthology from Hersham Horror Books, edited by Phil Sloman, is being launched at Edge-Lit this coming weekend.  Among a cracking selection of writers, it contains my short story Compass Wood, a dark tale of a man who takes a shortcut, has someone flag him down on a lonely country road and then gets chased into the titular wood.
The sixth anthology in our PentAnth range brings you five more chilling tales that have their roots in the dark terrors that lurk in the woods

The Iron Curve Of Thorns - Cate Gardner

A Short Walk Round The Woods - James Everington

Compass Wood - Mark West

Dendrochronology - Penny Jones

The Teddy Bears' Picnic - Phil Sloman

Just as I came to the end of a draft for the thriller novel I'm working on, Phil asked me to be involved in the latest PentAnth anthology and I immediately said yes.  I like Phil, I've worked a lot with Peter Mark May and HHB in the past and I relished the chance to create something new and, more importantly, short.

I decided to use the concept of the anthology as a key location, since I’ve written a few stories set in and around woods - a big set piece in the thriller takes place there too - and know they can be creepy and unnerving places after dark.  I instantly had two real-life locations to base my fake wood on - an old quarry area in Rothwell called The Folly and a small wood between Kettering and Corby - and once I had them fixed, most of the story came together quickly.  I talked through some ideas with my friend David, went for a walk in the real places to soak up atmosphere (which is where the bramble did, indeed, snag on my laces) and started writing.  The ending was always fixed in place but some of the bits that happen along the way were, quite literally, happy (for me, if not the characters) accidents.

As with the other HHB PentAnth editions (such as the one I edited, Anatomy Of Death), I designed the cover.

The man came out of nowhere.
   One moment, the narrow road curving its way through Compass Wood appeared empty, the next the man was lurching towards the car.
   Reacting quickly, Jason braked and steered onto the grassy verge. Stones and debris battered the underside of the car as the man, tall and wide-eyed, hair askew, turned to follow its progress. Jason drove back onto the tarmac and the brakes caught, the car coming to a juddering halt.
   Jason blew out a breath, heart jack-hammering against his sternum. Nerves tingled up his arms and a horrible cold sweat pasted across his forehead.
   “Fucking idiot,” he said and looked in the rear view mirror.
   The man came towards the car, arms waving above his head like some lunatic capering under the full moon. Although he wore a long overcoat and what appeared to be a shirt and tie, there was something in his expresson - no, in his eyes - Jason didn’t like.
   He put the car in gear and drove off. The man capered on, until the road curved and took him out of sight.

Monday, 1 July 2019

800th blog post!

Welcome to my 800th blog post, a target I didn't anticipate achieving when I set this up back in 2009.  Carrying on the regular posting schedule (every Monday other than Bank Holidays), I've once again thoroughly enjoyed working on the posts and, as always, I'm surprised at how much I've managed to fit in since the last catch-up!

Since the 700th post (back in August 2017), I've had three short stories published, two novellas (Polly, was published by Stormblade Productions while Drive was republished by Near To The Knuckle following the sad demise of Pendragon Press), an e-chapbook (The Goblin Glass) and written two thriller novels.  I went to Sledge-Lit 3, Edge-Lit 7, FantasyCon in Chester and Sledge-Lit 4, had fun with The Crusty Exterior in Leicester in 2018 and in Nottingham in 2019, celebrated my creative year (for 2017 and 2018), been on the radio with Sue Moorcroft and took part in a sell-out Meet The Authors Q&A with Sue, Louise Jensen and Darren O'Sullivan in Corby,

On the blog, I've written some book reviews, some behind-the-scenes essays (on movie miniatures and matte paintings) and had great fun researching some retrospectives (on Return Of The Jedi, Octopussy, Live & Let DieThe A-TeamPet Sematary, the Indiana Jones sequels and Moonraker at 40).  I covered INXS' 30th anniversary of the Need You Tonight single and the KICK album and wrote an appreciation of Michael Hutchence on the 20th anniversary of his passing.  Similarly, I covered the 40th anniversary of Blondie singles Denis and Heart Of Glass, their Parallel Lines album and wrote an appreciation of Debbie Harry.  I also presented two sets of the Westies (for 2017 and 2018), curated two mixtapes (Stephen King and 70s/80s horror) and celebrated James Bond at 55the joy of reading and the glory of Pocketeers.  I wrote an appreciation of Caroline Munro, took part in the Seven Books meme (with David Roberts), started the Ten Favourite Covers thread with Childhood Terrors and carried out some interviews.

I've written some Nostalgic pieces (the joy of Christmas Annuals in 2017 and 2018Starlord comic, Summer Specials, The A-Team, The Black Hand GangStarburst magazine, Bullet comic, The Crunch comicTornado comic and ads from my childhood), highlighted some Halloween VHS treasures, looked at another Old School Horror paperback and celebrated The Art Of... (Robert McGinnis and Tom Chantrell).   I caught up with some Three Investigators book reviews, shared a love of novelisations (with The Professionals and Vegas$), enjoyed some Look-In cover art (in 2017 and 2018) as well as some 70s British comics cover art (in 2017 and 2018).

The Star Wars At 40 thread continued apace and I wrote about ILM (a brief history)the novelisationBehind The Scenes picsthe UK TV premierePoster Art, Music & Sounda Look-In featurethe 1978 annualRalph McQuarrie and attended a Star Wars toy exhibition in Leicester.

I also celebrated my entry to the Half-Century Club (and my friend Nick's too!), joined the Vinyl revival, found an 80s cinema listing and remembered Destination Docklands, the 1988 Jean-Michel Jarre concert I was lucky enough to attend (with Nick).

I've had a good time over the past 22 months and thoroughly enjoyed myself, both creatively and in general life.  Fingers crossed there's a lot more to come so roll on post 900!

Monday, 24 June 2019

Moonraker, at 40

Moonraker, the eleventh James Bond film in the official EON series, opened in the UK on June 28th 1979 (following its London premiere on the 26th).  It was directed by Lewis Gilbert (his third and final Bond film), produced by Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli and written by Christopher Wood.  Ken Adam was the production designer, Derek Meddings supervised the special effects, John Barry wrote the score whilst John Glen edited the film and directed the second unit.

I've already written an in-depth retrospective blog about the film (which you can read here) but I didn't want to miss this opportunity to celebrate the fourth Roger Moore-era Bond film so here's something a little different.

Corgi, who held the licence for die-cast Bond models, made Moonraker their cover star for the 1979 catalogue and produced a nifty Shuttle and Drax helicopter in two sizes.

I really wanted one of these...
I only discovered this when I was writing the post, I'm now resisting the urge to try and find it on ebay...
The James Bond Moonraker annual was published by World & Whitman and featured articles (with plenty of pictures) on the making of the film, the cast and crew, Ian Fleming, the novels, the baddies, Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.  I spent ages looking in shops in nearby Kettering and Corby for a copy, finally discovering one in a little general store in Rothwell.
The fact file, from the back pages of the annual

Ken Adam's sets were inspired - and huge!  The production took over three of the major studios in France.
Derek Meddings works on the plane miniature from the start of the film.  All of the space sequences were shot "in camera" with the film wound back after each take, rather than be optically composited (as those for Star Wars were).

Announcing the film in Paris (from left) - Albert R Cubby Broccoli, Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Lewis Gilbert
Roger Moore on-set with his then-wife Luisa
Roger Moore, Blanche Ravalec and Richard Kiel share a laugh between takes

Behind the scenes on the artwork by Dan Goozee

Happy anniversary, Moonraker!

Monday, 17 June 2019

The Indiana Jones Sequels - miniatures, matte paintings & make-up

Following on from the Raiders Of The Lost Ark behind-the-scenes retrospective I wrote in 2016 (which you can read here), I thought I'd take a look at the behind the scenes artistry of Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade.

Temple Of Doom was released in the UK on 15th June 1984, with The Last Crusade following five years later, released on June 30th 1989.  Happy anniversary (35 and 30 respectively) to them both.

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984)
visual effects supervised by Dennis Muren
With Richard Edlund leaving ILM to set up Boss Films, it fell to Dennis Muren to supervise the effects for Temple Of Doom (a role he’d also held for Spielberg’s ET: The Extra Terrestrial).  The effects list was large - Temple Of Doom is more effects oriented than Raiders - but ILM was ready, fresh from the challenge of Return Of The Jedi (which was released in 1983).

Miniature work
Although a vintage Trimotor was filmed for the escape from Macao, shots were supplemented with a highly detailed miniature constructed by Mike Fulmer and Ira Keeler.  For the shot of it flying over the Great Wall Of China, a forced perspective model of the landmark was constructed by Dream Quest Images.  When the plane crashes, a miniature mountaintop (twenty feet square) was built on the roof of the ILM building, the snow a combination of baking soda and micro balloons (tiny glass beads), with the aircraft suspended on a wire.
How it looked in the film
As part of the Thuggee ceremony to the goddess Kali, a sacrificial victim is lowered into a pit of lava.  For this, a thirty-foot-tall pit was built over a ten-foot diameter plexi-glass tank which had almost five tons of glycerine pumped through it.  The victim puppet was thirty inches tall and mechanised so the arms and head would move realistically but initial result was too gruesome and Spielberg asked for more flames and smoke to be added to the shot to mask it.
left - Paul Huston with the "lava" tank; Joe Johnston, Phil Tippett and Ira Keeler with the victim puppet
The mineshaft chase - a hold-over from Raiders Of The Lost Ark - grew from a relatively quick sequence to one of the key set-pieces.  Although a full-sized version was built at Pinewood, it quickly became clear that wider and longer shots would have to be completed by ILM.  Muren said, in interview, “in order to build these longs sets, the size was really dependent on the camera, of all things, because [it] had to go through the tunnels. I came up with this idea of just using a Nikon still camera [which] meant that all the sets could be smaller, they only needed to be 100 feet long instead of 300 feet long.”  The camera motor was slowed down and a special magazine was built to hold fifty-feet of 35mm film.  To scale, the mine cars were ten-inches long and the cave walls were heavy-duty aluminium foil, shaped and painted.  The puppets in the cars were animated by Tom St Amand, who’d also animated the bike riders in ET.
The converted Nikon camera
Tom St Amand stop-motion animates the Indy, Willie and Short Round puppets
Paul Huston works on the miniature mine set
During the mine chase, the giant water tank (which was thirty-feet-tall in the actual set at Pinewood) is overturned, flooding the caves.  Since it would have been difficult and dangerous to film this life-size, it was turned over to the miniatures crew, under the supervision of Lorne Peterson, who built a large-scale (twenty-five-feet wide by thirty-feet long) miniature in the ILM car park.  A 1,300 gallon dump tank was built over the set and the floors and walls of the caves were supported by waterproof roofing materials, urethane and concrete.
The outdoor miniature cliff set (with the painted side piece - see below)
Once out of the tunnel, the shot was a combination of a matte painting with miniature elements - the water, carts and debris - built in the car park again.

Matte paintings
The matte department - supervised by Michael Pangrazio, with Christopher Evans, Frank Ordaz and Caroleen Green - produced twenty paintings for the film, most of which were used to represent the Maharaja’s Pankot Palace (the production wasn’t allowed to film in India).  For the sunset shot (see below), a cut-out silhouette was photographed on a hill with the sun setting behind it.  This was then combined with a matte painting to produce a hazy, backlit effect.
Michael Pangrazio's backlit palace
Indiana, Willie & Short Round at the entrance to the Pankot Palace
Clever combination of a Frank Ordaz matte painting and a foreground miniature for the "Jaws" shot
After the mine chase, our heroes find themselves on a sheer cliff face with the water close behind them.  The live action element was filmed at Pinewood, the river element was filmed at the Grand Canyon and the remainder is a matte painting by Frank Ordaz and Caroleen Green.
Both of the village sequences, at the start and end of the film, were elaborated with paintings.  For the desolate version, the matte covered up the fact that everything was green and alive (the sequence was filmed on a tea plantation in Sri Lanka).  At the end, as our heroes return with the kidnapped children, the painting extended the background plate which was filmed near ILM with stand-ins.

Modelmaker Lorne Peterson talks about the miniature work in this deleted scene from the Sense Of Scale documentary

Behind The Scenes
Harrison Ford and Ke Huy Quan on location in Sri Lanka
Steven Spielberg talks through a scene with Ke Huy Quan in Sri Lanka
Spielberg and George Lucas on the rope bridge built by Balfour Beatty Nuttal in Sri Lanka.  Lucas was apparently unfazed by the bridge, but Spielberg never made it all the way across.
Filming the mine cart sequence on the full-size version built at Elstree Studios
Spielberg, operating the camera, filming on the cliff-face set at Elstree Studios
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)
visual effects supervised by Michael J. McAlister
Since Dennis Muren was supervising Ghostbusters 2 and helping create CGI-history with The Abyss, Michael J. McAlister took over the effects supervision role.

Miniature work
After the Jones’ escape from the Zeppelin (which was achieved as both a matte painting and a miniature eight-foot long model) and subsequent dogfight, they steal a car and are chased into a tunnel by a German fighter plane.  Since it would be impractical and dangerous to film this full-size, ILM took it on as a miniature.  Using quarter-scale models of the car and plane, a 210 foot long tunnel was built in the ILM car park (it took up 14 spaces), broken into eight-foot hinged sections that could be opened to film through.
The tunnel sequence was shot in miniature in the ILM car park, built in sections to allow easy access
As the group make their way to the Grail temple, they come to the Canyon of the Crescent Moon.  The first view of the canyon was an ILM shot, which combined a Mark Sullivan matte painting with a miniature set created by Paul Huston.
Top - still from film
bottom - taken at the 'wrong' angle, this shows the join between the miniature canyon - built by Paul Huston - and the painted backdrop by Mark Sullivan
The Path Of God was an optical illusion - both in terms of the film itself and the behind-the-scenes solution - that is revealed when the camera moves to the right and reveals the ‘trick’.  Since it’s such a brief shot - and Elliot Scott, the production designer, wasn’t sure it could be achieved practically - the sequence was filmed as a miniature (which was 9 foot tall and 13 feet wide).  The rock face was carved from green styrofoam by Paul Huston, who also painted the bridge using the locked-down camera angle to make the blend perfect.  35mm stills were taken every hour, developed nearby and checked to make sure that the trick painting was working.  It’s a simple though extremely good effect and the artistry, both in terms of modelling and painting, is incredible.
Paul Huston paints the "leap of faith" miniature - superb artistry.
Matte Paintings
Mark Sullivan supervised the matte department whilst Yusei Uesugi was the matte artist.

To film the sequence of the tank going over the cliff, the full-size prop was filmed on a flat spot on location in Spain and kept going, without having to brake for the drop.  The edge and cliff face was created as a matte painting, whilst the tank crashing to the bottom was achieved as a miniature, shot in a quarry near to the ILM building.
Matte paintings for the Austrian castle and German airport were based on real buildings.  The castle, painted by Mark Sullivan, was based on one in West Germany and made to look larger.  The airport was based on the Treasure Island Administration Building, between San Francisco and Oakland, which had the appropriate Art Deco architecture.  The matte, painted by Yusei Uesugi, added a control tower, Nazi banners, vintage automobiles and the ‘Berlin Flughafen’ sign.

The Zeppelin - film still - the man on the tractor and the people are live action, everything else is a matte painting
Special Effects Make-up
Supervised by Stephen Dupuis

Reviving an idea from Raiders Of The Lost Ark (this would have happened when the Ark was opened but technology at the time prevented it), Spielberg only agreed to the rapid and fatal deterioration (dubbed “Donovan’s Destruction” by ILM) if it could be done in camera in one continuous shot.  Julian Glover spent three days shooting the live action scenes at Pinewood and then ILM took over for the remainder.  Using a cast of Glover, a latex head was built with motion control mechanics that sucked the cheeks in and pulled the nose back.  At its most ‘decayed’ position, a cast was taken for a second head that aged even further - the nose went completely, the eyelids shrivelled and the mouth curled.  At that stage, a third head was cast and built up over a skull.
Stephen Dupuis works on the different heads
All three heads were filmed on a motion-control-rig to control their movement.  As McAlister explained, “As Donovan disintegrated, we wanted to be able to cut from the first head to the second at the best possible point, and then from the second head to the third. By having all three heads go through the exact same motion in the frame, we could then choose any point to make the transitions between them.”  The blend between each head was achieved using morphing, a computer effect still in its infancy at the time - ILM had created it for Willow (1988).
The scene plays out over Elsa’s shoulder, so the first head was shot on a torso with Alison Doody’s double in front of it whilst the second and third heads were shot without her.  In addition, Donovan’s clothing had to deteriorate and McAlister was directed to the textile research facility at the Smithsonian Institute.  When he explained what he needed - to rapidly age clothing without using dangerous acids - his contact, Mary Baker, suggested he try “ILM, they can do anything.”  Baker was then involved in preserving the Yoda puppet for the Smithsonian travelling Star Wars exhibit and she went to ILM to train the crew in the handling and use of the acids involved.

Behind The Scenes
At ILM, George Lucas shows off some of the filming models to Harrison Ford
Filming on location in Jordan, George Lucas holds onto Sean Connery's horse
George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford are joined on set by Warwick Davis
Filming the tank battle in Spain
Steven Spielberg adjusts the Donovan puppet on the ILM stage
Look out for more miniatures, matte paintings and make-up posts to come!