David & Ray Harryhausen caught in a typical, relaxed moment during one of Ray's visits to New York City.
RAY HARRYHAUSEN CELEBRATES HIS 90TH BIRTHDAY. David pays tribute to the late legend and friend Ray Harryhausen, the genius behind such classics as Jason and the Argonauts, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Clash of the Titans and 15 others., includes exclusive images of Ray's work inside his home in London, taken by David.
Clash of the Special Effects Titans, an overview by David of the current state of special effects, using the remake of Clash of the Titans as an example.
"Reptilicus 2020", Cont.
With only one assistant to do the rigging and some modelling, David created a 4-minute reel with the computer-generated version of the "snake with legs" as was seen in the original film. Sid Pink was elated (see "what they are saying"). The test was deemed good enough by MGM that they gave the go-ahead. Alas, quite elderly and extremely ill, Sid Pink passed away before the production could get going into pre-production and MGM dropped the project, which David was to associate-produce and for which he was to supply the visual effects.
In a frame capture from a home video taken by a friend, David directs George Wendt ("Norm" from Cheers) and Joey Piscapo in "Saturday Morning" in the park in Westfield, New Jersey, a location suggested by someone close to David, and a location which was simply perfect in every respect. The video was shot by the character actor who played the owner of the coffee shop who magically turns from Hyde to Jekyll during Saturday Morning.
Once upon a time, long ago, there was a positively terrible science fiction movie called " Reptilicus". As poor as it was and is, it does have enthusiastic fans, and consequently did very well in VHS sales for MGM in the early 2000's, which contacted producer Sid Pink about a direct-to-video sequel. David was recommended to Pink and brought into the discussions to create a test reel to see if the project was feasible on a $2 million budget. Also a skilled graphic artist, David did the drawing at left, but MGM and Pink wanted a computer-generated version of the same floppy puppet used in the original early 1960's production, which, as sequels go, is a reasonable, if uninspired, decision.
David wants a do-over! Back in 2003, David was contacted by a terrific but very low budget filmmaker. Could David please do a spaceship crash? They had a movie about a stranded spaceship but in order to sell the film to the Phillipines they needed a spaceship crash and they needed it in 1 week. Budget? $1,000.00! Maximum! David saw the film and liked the spooky feeling and saw it as a worthy little indie film, and agreed. David banged out the footage and forgot about it. Sometime later he gets a call: "David, great news!" "What?" " We sold Terrarium!" (the original title) "That's nice." "It was picked up by Lion's Gate and is going to be on every store shelf in the country!"
Thankfully, David is not suicidal by nature. but this $1,000.00 job done as a favor, really, for a tiny little film for the Phillipines was now potentially going to define David in the United States. It seems the effects were good enough for Lion's Gate, which is nice because they are one of the biggest in the world, but because of the 1-week deadline and zero budget, with the exception of 3 or 4 shots, "dodgy" would be the best description of the work 15 years ago. Hard to know where this story falls - "Do right by your fellow man", or "No good deed goes unpunished." Anyway, fans of old science fiction movies will know what David means when he says that this was his "Paul Blaisdell moment".
David, in white shirt on right, produces and directs "Saturday Morning", outrageously credited to screenwriter Rob Greenberg who raised the financing for the film and turned to David to make it a reality, as the contracts and home videos taken by actor friends of David attest. David just found out that the film had been completed in post and sold to Universal. Where is David's contracted 15%?! He's going to find out. Nice. But the business can be like that sometimes. Kids.... Watch your back!
It's not bronze, but David wonders if a sand sculpture qualifies?
David and George share a joke on location during filming Saturday Morning.
David looks rather small compared to his surroundings as he checks out the beginnings of the set constructions for his production of The First Men In the Moon.
Released via 21st century/HBO/Disney Home Video
Only included here because Jay-Z, married to Beyonce, is one of the biggest names in the music business.
Released through Vivendi/Universal
Thanks for visiting! See you at the movies!
The same process applied to the "Mooncalf" from The First Men In The Moon
The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, on which David was a storyboard and character designer, has now attained cult status and is now hailed by critics as something of a masterpiece in anime TV . It had and has a hard core following of adult science fiction fans drawn to the sometimes-sophisticated stories and often impressive 'anime" style of the show. During pre-production, all of the design and storyboard artists - and only they - got a small, cosmetic jewelry pin in the form of the Galaxy Ranger badge. A few of the artists shrugged it off, apparently unaware that they were working on something really special. David, like some others, wore his every day on the job. When the series creator and producer personally hands one to you, on a show which was sometimes a genuine mind-blower, you show him you appreciate it - you wear it. David still has the pin (left). Happy memories and very proud to have been on that show. New fans are discovering the show on DVD today and, frankly, still going crazy for it.
A small section of one of the sets, showing off the the detail of the set textures, in The First men In The Moon
David After directing Victor Raider-Wexler (Minority Report, Everybody Loves Raymond) as "Abe' in Saturday Morning. Victor looks like he's raring to start another scene, but David, who also shot most of the film, looks exhausted!
While not really "behind-the-scenes", these two deserve an honorable mention if, for nothing else, how many times they played on TV. If you were living in the New York/metro area during the late 1990's-mid-2000's, you probably saw this dozens if not hundreds of times, the WLNY-TV station identification animation. David also created the rather elaborate movie opening which played three times a day on that same station. This was the Long Island NY flagship station which had been around for several decades, now bought and re-named by another outfit.
Below that is one of several station ID's David did in the late 1990's for Trinidad and Tobago Television - "TTT" - also a flagship station, the one for the entire Caribbean. That station has also since been bought out and re-named. This also played for several years and must have been seen by millions of people, several times a day, for years. These were certainly not big jobs, but it's gratifying to know the work was as appreciated as the stations indicated, and for as long as they played.
David made quite a name for himself for awhile in the Planetarium industry with Special Effects Alive volumes 1 & 2, which led to working directly with Spitz projection systems, perhaps the largest such outfit in the world. It also attracted show producers. One of the biggest names, Dr Bill Gutsch, also known for many years to TV audiences in New York as a top network weatherman, contacted David to create a demo reel to help raise financing for a Planetarium show based on a wildly popular character called Carmen Sandiego. This assignment is only worth mention in behind the scenes because the demo reel did the trick and the software giant Broderbundt, according to Gutsch, called the work "fantastic". David was unable to work on the actual planetarium show, however, due to other commitments, but apparently it was all a big, big success, as such things go in the Planetarium industry.
3D movies and videos start out as two separate full frame images, one left and one right. The two samples below, very recently produced and created by David, are from a promotional sample for the Ultra-D 3D electronics/television manufacturing company, creating 3D TVs without the need for 3D glasses.
Released through 20th Century Fox
A magnificent bronze of King Kong created by the late Ray Harryhausen in Harryhausen's home in London. Photo by David.
Even highly experienced professionals like David need to do the occasional audition, particularly if a very large media giant is gearing up for its first animated feature film as IDT was for "Everyone's Hero" originally called "Yankee Irving", about a depression-era city boy and his talking baseball. Below are 4 of 6 pages of the storyboard audition which the producers loved, securing David one of 4 initial storyboard artist slots. This can be a fairly critical job, because when storyboard artists are in charge of the shot composition and continuity, they are really directing the film by proxy. They aren't listed as directors, but as Alfred Hitchcock would tell you if he was still alive, directing is exactly what storyboard artists with that kind of control are doing. This was meant to elicit laughs, but somewhere along the way the producers decided to go for 'sentimental" in the final motion picture.
David and his driver seem to be enjoying this clever and effective way to get the camera rolling alongside running actors in a way quiet enough that the dialogue can be recorded on the spot regardless of the speed of the camera action. KIDS! DO NOT HANDLE A $60,000.00 MOTION PICTURE CAMERA (PLUS LENS!) LIKE THIS UNLESS YOU REALLY REALLY REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING, LIKE DAVID DOES!
A somewhat younger David directs a scene from a WW II re-creation aboard the Intrepid aircraft carrier for an educational film, the title of which currently escapes David.
Distributed by, Gaylord TV syndication 3 years/Columbia Tristar Home Video/Koch
Laser discs sold via internet. Very successful initial run at $799.00 per each laser disc sold to many planetariums worldside.
3D side-by-side HD trailer for David's half-hour TV Pilot, Alien's, Dinosaurs, Mythology and Us. If you have a 3D TV, or want to watch this one at a place like Best Buy to see the HD effect properly on a 3D TV, You can go to Youtube and download it, put it on a thumb drive and plug the thumb drive into the side of the TV and watch it properly with the image enhancement built into the TV that makes your favorite shows look so good.
Getting effusive professional compliments from a friend like the late Ray Harryhausen, perhaps the most revered name among the current Hollywood elite producers, is pretty close to greatest personal honor anyone can get in this business. His friendship will be missed.
The trailer for David's Aliens, Dinosaurs, Mythology and Us in red/ cyan 3D so you can watch it on your computer right now in 3D.
The red/cyan version of the trailer for David's production of H.G. Welles' The First Men In The Moon. An easier and more common way to watch 3D on your computer screen is to watch it in the "old fashioned' way with red and cyan tinted 3D glasses. You can watch this kind in 3D right now if you have the red/cyan glasses!
How to make a moon man for David's production of H.G. Welles' The First Men in the Moon. The design/drawing at the left was done by David. The modelling and "rigging" was done by a spectacularly talented model maker named Debra Ross. David then created the "skins", seen in the image at the far right, and personally animated every shot in which the creatures appeared.
David chats with Galaxy Ranger fans at Mountain.org HERE.
SEE DAVID'S LATEST, EXCITING PROJECT "ORBITER"! CLICK HERE!___________________________