LOST IN SPACE
About The Special Effects
"There were a couple of very strong images that we knew would set the tone for the film
"There were a couple of very strong images that we knew would
set the tone for the film. The Jupiter 1 was instrumental as the
big mother ship that takes off into space and reveals Jupiter
2, a much sleeker craft. I think this transformation will satisfy
the original "Lost In Space" fans as well as new audiences,"
To create the world of Lost In Space, Garwood and his art
department and construction team took over 11 sound stages at
Shepperton Studios, England, to build more than 15 cathedral-sized
sets. The set pieces included Mission Control, Jupiter 2, the
alien Proteus ship and the exterior of the planet complete with
"It was an amazing process for construction manager, Malcolm
Roberts. I don't think there was a straight line in any of the
sets. It got to be a joke since everything had this oval, egg-shaped
look. It began when we were putting the concept of the space craft
together and Stephen kept saying, I never want to see a straight
line.' It kind of stuck and we tried to give everything a roundness.
This non-linear look has a lovely quality to it, it is very organic
and gives everything an immense sense of depth," said Garwood
Garwood also stressed the importance of his collaboration with
director of photography, Peter Levy. "You can design the
most amazing set, but if it is lit wrong, it can look like a shopping
mall. I had a wonderful relationship with Peter on Lost In
Space. Because of the nature of the film there is a huge amount
of built-in lighting to each set; the sets more or less illuminate
themselves. So Peter, gaffer Chuck Finch and I worked closely
to give the movie a very special look. We wanted to avoid the
sinister and show an amazing world that is non-threatening --
a future that is friendly."
Visual effects supervisor, Angus Bickerton, headed the team responsible
for the more than 750 special effects in Lost In Space.
"It was a very ambitious script in terms of effects -- so
ambitious that when I first came on board, I didn't realize the
sheer complexity and diversity of it," said Bickerton. "I
estimated 600 effects, but it turned out to be more than 750."
Bickerton joined Stephen Hopkins and the creative team in September
1996 to prepare for the two years which would take them from script
to screen. Following pre-production, he faced the massive challenge
of overseeing three main live units, motion control, models units,
and more than a dozen effects houses.
"Audiences are always craving something new," said Bickerton.
"We've reached a peak where effects have to be better and
better. Now we have CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) which is
capable of giving us complete visions of what we were never able
to see before, so we are constantly pushing to get something even
Bickerton pinpointed three of the most technically challenging
sequences in the movie: "The big ones were definitely the
space spiders, Spider Smith and the Bubble Fighter. Those were
the ones where we pushed just a little bit further than we thought
we could go. In terms of the Bubble Fighter, the only real' elements
in the sequence are the actors Matt LeBlanc and Lennie James,
and the fighter rig. The rest is totally CG. There is a lot of
buzz about virtual sets, and with the Bubble Fighter, we were
doing a 90% virtual scene. With the space spiders and Spider Smith,
there were different challenges and new techniques. There is a
lot of tracking with CG, and it's the sheer bravado<
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