Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Getting The Details Right!

Part of working with studios on these big projects is getting the details right… I learned that there were three different models for all three films… each subtly different…  and that there were people who had already done a lot of the leg work to rectify some of these inconsistencies…  In comes Lora Johnson during the drawing process for the Millennium Falcon… Lora had worked on some of the earliest books and magazines called the Star Wars Technical Journals.

In speaking to her on the Falcon project one of the biggest misconceptions was the upper hatch Lando uses to save Luke who is hanging by a thread from the bottom of Bespin.   Many Cutaways have been drawn but only one has ever gotten this detail right… The first cutaway… My cut away.   All subsequent versions show the hatch to port but in fact the hatch in the film is on the Starboard side side.

The incorrect side

When referencing the original model you can see that the Port side shows no hatch whereas the Starboard side does show a hatch… as well the details of the set Lando emerges from coincide with the Starboard hatch and not the Port side.

Port side no hatch!

Details are everything

"After that I need to show that the lift-tube is not on the side that Lucasfilm put it in plans. These images show, categorically without any room for doubt, that the lift is on the starboard side of the ship. The images are reinforced with the logic seen on film: the movement of the ship under Luke to Starboard, and Lando taking him to Leia in the cockpit which is now closer and on the same side of the ship as the lift - instead of taking him from Port, past the medical bunk, to Starboard and then back to Port.

The surface details are from the 5 foot Falcon, Starboard side - not Port. The far-right image is the Port side - the details are completely different. " - CrazyCraig - RPF Board

The final proof comes with the use of light and perspective.... in the frame grab of the Falcon approaching Luke we see the relationship of light on the scene... the sunset like light is coming from the rear and starboard of the falcon and you can see the same light in the close up of the hatch...

What you can also see is the direction the Falcon is moving as Lando emerges establishing forward
momentum in the scene... The reward requires lightening the frame to see the curve of the top of the Falcon fall away towards starboard.  This is incontrovertible.

And that's why the first ever cutaway of the Falcon is the most accurate!  Now I’m sure there are tons of people who will vehemently disagree… Hell Lora will tell you even I was a hard sell initially but the proof is in the those small details and while Lucas film may have mental moved it post filming the facts remain that starboard is the answer!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Greed: Putting the Pieces Together…

Many of you have read the STORY first told on my blog about the lawsuit in and around of the Star Trek Enterprise D poster. After providing JDT and Associates with all of my hard work and trusting them to market and pay me for the Enterprise D cutaway poster… one of the largest and most printed cutaways ever they abdicated their responsibility to me by stopping to pay me and forcing a two day trial which they lost to the tune of $62,000.  While I won the battle I too lost the war as they filed for bankruptcy the next day.   Many years of grief and lessons learned under that bridge and while it hurt me significantly I got past it and the love of the fan became my only payment for the work in the end and let me tell you that became more than enough… It also spurred both me and my brother Matt to find a new representative in ScPubTech and we successfully published a ton of other posters for both Star trek and Star Wars.

Tonight while searching my Star Wars Pinterest I found a website by artist Brian Sauriol detailing his work on the Millennium Falcon Poster which never made it to press.  I had seen the work and sussed out the connection that JDT had dumped my Falcon concept in lieu for working with him.  The cost of the project paid for by Enterprise D moneys but now under the corporate name Nonpariel Communications…. same Address at 2242 Star Court in Rochester Hills, same owner Julie D. Targos.

Scroll back to 1991 we had just finished the Enterprise printing in Chicago and I showed Targos the idea of the Falcon cutaway I had started….  I based the illustration off of an original MPC Falcon Model kit I built… the details were not the best but the proportions were perfect.  She put the idea on hold so we could start selling Enterprise posters…

This was that concept illustration and the final line drawing and finished poster.


By 94 we were in court and one evening before the trial I got a phone call from Brian Sauriol who was not unknown to me as he was a teacher at Macomb Community College and one of the people who supplied the area illustration shops with new graduates… Yet I really didn’t know him so it was a strange call… He felt compelled to ask me to stop with my law suit with JDT and Targos….  I had not known the connection or why he of all people would contact me… The phone call ended badly and it creeped me out.

In 1995 I was at Miller Art Supply picking up some framed posters and thats when I saw the Sauriol Falcon also recently framed and the connection had been made.   By 1995 we were already contracted to do the Falcon, X-Wing and ATAT posters for the debut of the revised Star Wars episodes 4-6…  It became clear to me that the lawsuit and bankruptcy had foiled this duo's plans and in the end it was my Falcon that made the debut to the world!

This seemed like perfect karma yet there was always some level of supposition of the Sauriol, Targos connection based on the scary phone call and details I did not have.   Tonight it all became clear with THIS SITE found.  

The site was published in 2013 and bills the Falcon as a project hidden for two decades! The details of the sources he used explain why the illustration is so inaccurate…. the photos shown of the hasbro kids toy… bloated and out of proportion and the list of details are limited…. By the time I worked on finishing the Falcon Lucas Film had supplied me with full blue prints and photos but was also interested in a Falcon that squared three films worth of changing details into one final illustration… I consulted with designers and received notes from Lucas himself.

Who would admit to using a hasbro kids toy as reference for a serious cut away?

Tonight the details finally and completely come together… Now I know…  What I feel is more completely vindicated but I also feel a sense of forgiveness for two truly pathetic people who took my ideas and art and tried to take the benefits of that work and make it their own.  I have to forgive them because the alternative is to be consumed by the anger over the greatest loss in my professional life.

But there is more to it than that... there was the lesson to never give up on my dreams to keep pushing for what was right and so I want to impress upon anyone who takes on a project such as this... They are labors of love and they are for the fans and they come before money and profit... and with all honesty they come from the heart!