GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
One of the spacecraft production designer Charles Wood and his team designed
for the film was the Milano,
Peter Quill's ship, which is a Ravager ship and part of Yondu's fleet. Less
high-tech technology was used in the
design to give the idea that Quill wants to have more hands-on control and
experience the ride-much like a
driver who prefers stick over automatic.
Constructed as a double-level
composite set, with an upper flight
deck and lower living quarters, it was
a 14-week build involving several
trades. "Our biggest inspiration for
the Milano was Chuck Yeager and
the early test flights and missions
that took place in the late '50s, early
'60s," says Wood. "So we looked at
a lot of that footage. James wanted
to come up with an environment for
Quill that was reminiscent of Earth
and had a tangible quality-mechanical with chrome and leather and a muscle-car
look. A little boy's dream."
In order to have the sense that Quill thought of his ship as home, Wood and
set decorator Richard Roberts
worked to collect and build items that would evoke 1980s nostalgia. "Rich and
his team got together all of the
ephemera and other bits and pieces to remind him of home," says Wood. "The
Milano itself was probably the
biggest construction thing that we did and unusually for a prop master, I'm also
involved in the manufacturing
of the set decoration parts. So we did an immense amount of work going from the
beds to all of the flight
seats. Everything in the Milano was
created from scratch."
Richard Roberts echoes, "We made
everything. We bought ejector seats
from jet fighters and completely
remodeled them and we worked
from a lot of concept work that
Charles Wood created. So we were
creating a ship that looks like it's got
some '80s notes, but we built it so
it was really just the personal items
that we bought that are from the '80s."
Among the items the filmmakers
built was a cassette player built into
the spaceship that looks like a car
stereo. They also installed shag-type
carpet of various colors and a black
light in the living quarters. With the
idea that Quill had a backpack with
him when he was abducted from
Earth, Roberts peppered the interior
of the Milano with iconic items that
would have been in a 9-year-old's
possession in the 1980s: Alf stickers,
baseball cards and Troll dolls, among other items.
Wood's efforts were not lost on Chris Pratt, whose character Peter Quill
commands the Milano. "I couldn't
believe it when I first saw it and I have been in awe ever since," enthuses
Pratt. "Inside it, I felt like I was on a
ride at a theme park, something people would wait in line all day just to get a
glimpse of and I got to pretend
it was mine. It was pretty amazing and helped inform my performance."
Wood and his team also crafted
the Dark Aster, Ronan's spaceship,
which is a Kree warship. Suggestive
of a flying mausoleum, the design
is minimal and brutal-a stark,
gray, colorless world devoid of any
set dressing whatsoever, relying
purely on its heavy concretelike
architecture to convey its tone and
function. Lee Pace, who plays the
villain Ronan, was impressed with
his "ride." "You've never seen a
spaceship like this. It's massive: the size of the Empire State Building turned
over on its side three and a half
times," says Pace. "A colossal, steel flying device.
On the flight deck of the Dark Aster, four Sakkaran
pilots guide the ship using glowing balls that they
manipulate with synchronized hand movements.
The filmmakers hired synchronized dancers so that
the hand movements would be perfectly in sync.
Part of Wood's build was a large wall where
Ronan communicates with others. It acts like a big
screen, but it has an uneven finish with texture
and carvings. When Ronan is communicating
with people, their faces appear in the wall.
The Dark Aster also houses Ronan's fleet of
Necocraft in its massive wings.
Yondu's mother ship is called the Eclector and it
is the second largest spacecraft in the movie. It
houses the entire Ravager fleet. It boasts a room
called the Strategarium, which is like a conference
room with manually operated screens.
Co-producer Jonathan Schwartz sums up Charles
Wood and his team's work best when he says, "The
sets are genius. Charles has done an absolutely
incredible job of making the script come to life.
If you read the script and tried to envision it, it
would be impossible. It's so different, so crazy,
and like nothing else we've ever done before. You
don't fully understand the movie until you see it
spring up around you in a full 360-degree set."
Next Production Note Section
Home | Theaters | Video | TV
Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
© 2019 2®, All Rights Reserved.