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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: THE LEAPING WALKER!


An Imperial AT-AT Walker prepares to make a leap (presumably over one of the enemy trenches) in an intriguing frame from the 124 early animatics created quickly by Peter Kuran and his animation team for the Battle of Hoth, during pre-production and production for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Many of these images/scenes were used in the editing stages by George Lucas as placers alongside the live action footage of location filming and speeder pilot cockpit scenes, whilst the model, motion control and stop motion work by ILM was being carefully achieved. Later on, Kuran's department would create/animate the cell rope that wraps around the Walker's legs to make it fall, plus, according to a FANTASTIC FILMS magazine interview from July 1980, a little cel-animated Rebel crawling up to one of the lumbering Imperial beasts in an effort to sabotage it- a shot that I don't recall seeing in the finished movie, unless Kuran is referring to Luke's ascending on his rappelling cord under the belly of the metal beast.

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