Sunday, 5 December 2010

STAR WARS: BEHIND THE SCENES FILMING NOTES FROM "THE ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA SHOW" 27th/28th NOVEMBER 2010

Compiled by Ian Trussler and Scott Weller
It’s that time of the year again, and here’s some more rare STAR WARS behind the scenes info gathered from the event (previously known as COLLECTORMANIA) for you to enjoy:
Vivienne Chandler (X-wing fighter pilot (pictured above): EPISODE VI): Spent 3 days working on ROTJ. She only filmed scenes in the cockpit set, which she thought looked a bit cardboard, against bluescreen, and had at least a page and a bit of scripted dialogue. All the days she filmed she was with just one other actor, a male pilot, whom sadly she cannot remember the name of. She doesn't recall any other women filming as Rebel pilots. She enjoyed her time on the film and also stated that she attended a screening of the movie that did contain her scenes and was philosophical about their subsequent deletion. This was her first ever convention/signing and she found it fascinating and awesome.
Trevor Butterfield (Bossk, other roles – EPISODE VI): He spent 38 days working on ROTJ, much of which was spent as Bossk within Jabba’s Palace and within the Sail Barge interior sets. He was wearing the same Bossk costume as Alan Harris had previously worn on EMPIRE, he was lucky that it fit him. The well known photo of Boba Fett and Bossk from Jabba’s palace was not a posed publicity shot but was an actual scene he recalls filming. He also believes that in that photo/scene it may well be Alan Harris wearing the Boba Fett costume as he remembers Harris did some stuff as Fett on JEDI. Sadly, most of his Bossk footage was cut from the movie. Also on JEDI he played an Endor Rebel soldier in the Falcon cockpit scenes with Lando and Nien Numb, another Rebel during the Ewok Celebration and was also a Klaatu guard who escorts Luke from the Rancor pit. He previously had worked on EMPIRE for 3 weeks playing Stormtroopers and Imperials.
Matt Doran (Elan Sleazebaggano- EPISODE II): The very pleasant Matt recalled that he worked on AOTC for only one day. He got the job as he was originally in the casting process for various voice-over work on the film (though he was not involved in any of the auditions for Anakin Skywalker (later played by Hayden Christensen)), but then ended up being involved in the live action where he and several other selectees were slotted into certain parts of the film. Matt was lucky enough to have one of the classic scenes early on in the movie, and recalled enjoying working with Ewan McGregor.
Paul Weston (various stunt aliens – ROTJ): A long experienced stuntman and co-ordinator with credits as far ranging as TV's SPACE: 1999 and the JAMES BOND films, Weston worked on JEDI for about 4 weeks, filming only in Yuma location. He was contracted via Peter Diamond to shoot the whole movie in ELSTREE and Crescent City locations but broke his leg in Yuma doing the stunt where Lando and the Nikto guard fight and fall off the skiff. Prior to the accident, he played a variety of Jabba's alien henchmen for the Sail Barge scenes. The actual stunt he broke his leg on was performed with Billy Dee Williams stunt double. After the accident LUCASFILM honoured his contract despite his inability to work and he enjoyed a holiday in the Beverley Hills hotel after leaving Yuma.
John Coppinger (various aliens in EPISODE I, part of the Jabba the Hutt operating team for EPISODE VI): For EPISODE I he was working as part of Nick Dudman’s creature workshop re-creating aliens for the Mos Espa scenes. He was approached to play the part of the Wookiee Senator in the Senate scenes because he was the tallest of the crew. For the scene he wore a vintage archive Chewbacca suit that was modified with white hair and had a rebuilt face mask as it was in a fairly poor state of repair. He spent a day on the blue screen senate pod set being filmed by second unit, so George Lucas was not present. He was filmed in three separate segments so the composite shot could be created, so he actually appears as all 3 Wookiees in that scene. For JEDI he was hired by Stuart Freeborn who he knew from working on the SUPERMAN movies. Freeborn particularly liked the fact that John had previously worked at the Natural History Museum, recreating dinosaur skeletons. He was principally the clay sculptor for the Jabba puppet and went on to operate the remote control eyes as part of the team who bought Jabba to life.
Ahmed Best signs for the fans. Image: Ian Trussler.
Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks – EPISODEs I – III, THE CLONE WARS): The actor revealed that he will be in more Season Three CLONE WARS episodes upcoming, and has recently finished recording duties for Season Four, too. It was fans negative reaction towards the previous voice over work from another actor portraying Jar Jar (who didn’t want to do any more episodes for the character after his original commission expired anyway) that saw LUCASFILM cave in to pressure and bring Ahmed back – they realized that the character didn’t work without his unique voice skills. When making EPISODE I back in 1997, Ahmed had no idea how much a distinguished and popular actor Brian Blessed, playing Boss Nass, was, continually referring to him as “the Bird Guy” from the FLASH GORDON film that he had always enjoyed as a kid! He confirmed that there were other Jar Jar related scenes from EPISODE II that had been filmed but cut, but only one extra scene with him was filmed but deleted from EPISODE III, where he says “hello” to Anakin and Palpatine at the Senate Building as they are conferring about lies concerning Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padme.

Gary Kurtz (Producer - STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK): Gary revealed that he has not been involved at all on anything to do with the upcoming STAR WARS films on Blu-ray, though on the extras front, as far as he is aware, apart from the deleted scenes, the additional material will pretty much be all the documentaries and supplemental features found on previous releases in other formats.

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