Friday, 27 April 2012
STAR WARS AT 35: THE WORLD OF ROGER CHRISTIAN
The inert Artoo Detoo shell awaits use inside the wonderful interior of the Millennium Falcon hold for the original STAR WARS. British talent Roger Christian did a magnificent job with his iconic trend setting set decoration for the original film. Check out his recent audio interview for the SHADOWLOCKED website where he talks about his work and career in film, fantasy and sci-fi, as well as his upcoming book CINEMA ALCHEMIST, edited by J.W. Rinzler: Roger Christian talks zombies, Prometheus & Battlefield Earth - Shadowlocked
Thursday, 26 April 2012
CLASSIC ART: DEADLY ENTERPRISE
Promises of a future partnership to come are hinted at by writer Archie Goodwin and artist Al Williamson in one of the Classic STAR WARS newspaper strips for the Los Angeles Time Syndicate, from the early eighties story Showdown, which also features guest appearances from several other ESB bounty hunters, too, and is set on Ord Mantell.
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
CLASSIC IMAGE: GETTING A FOOT IN!
Darth Maul puts the boot in against Obi-Wan Kenobi in one of the many exciting and exhilirating moments from the superb climactic lightsaber duel of EPISODE I.
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
CLASSIC ART: HUNGARIAN VISIONS!
This is a poster I don't recall seeing before: a lovely Hungarian art composition for EPISODE IV which, with the exception of an absent Luke Skywalker, is a very evocative piece of work.
With thanks to the RETRO STAR WARS / STAR WARS ARCHIVES FACEBOOK pages for the image.
Monday, 23 April 2012
RED TAILS: COMING SOON TO THE UK...
|Cuba Gooding Jr. as Major Emanuelle Stance.|
Here's a few new images via MOMENTUM PICTURES from the upcoming UK release of RED TAILS, starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. Looking forward to seeing its eventual release in Blighty...
|Just one of the films many impressive ILM effects shots.|
|The Tuskegee airmen make the most of some down time between battles.|
And here's a recent feature on the film from HOME MEDIA MAGAZINE: 'Red Tails' Tells of Triumph | Home Media Magazine
CLASSIC IMAGE: JAPANESE 'JEDI'
The luvly jubbly Japanese poster for 1983's RETURN OF THE JEDI. It's got everything you want in it in depicting the final chapter of the STAR WARS saga. All, that is, except the kitchen sink.
Sunday, 22 April 2012
AFICIONADO CLASSIC BLOG 2008: 'STAR WARS" 3D - THE LONG WAIT?..
There’s been a lot of talk in the last week or so about a comment made by ex-DREAMWORKS animation/film-making guru Jeffrey Katzenberg- he’s stated that George Lucas is planning to re-do all six STAR WARS films in the 3-D markets. Yep, it’ great news, and news that we’ve been hearing rumours about for years now, but it may be wise to have some cautious optimism here as to how long it will be before we actually get a chance to see them. Prior to his own 3D film release, the fun family adventure JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, actor/goofball Brendan Fraser saw footage of the beginning of the first STAR WARS and said it was exciting to watch in the new format. Additionally, however, we’ve heard that that is the only footage that has been re-done in the process–that nothing else for the movies, apart from a few extra first movie DEATH STAR battle shots, have been done (and what was done was literally as a teaser to get more people in the film industry interested in the format and the possible ways it could rejuvenate both the film industry and bring in it’s money making potential). If Lucas has been moving on this project for a while now-and he is very good at keeping secrets as we all know- just how far along on the production schedule has he moved since 2005, when producer Rick McCallum hinted at CELEBRATION III that the 3-D re-inventions would become a reality? Despite having been in operation since the fifties, 3-D, believe it or not, is still a pretty niche market and even with all the refinements made to this exciting visual process, it’s gonna be a long time yet before we see STAR WARS back on the big screen where it belongs, and I think it all depends on how well James Cameron’s BATTLE AVATAR (sic), and, we hear, Tim Burton’s new production, with Johnny Depp, of ALICE IN WONDERLAND (also being shot in that format) performs at the Box Office (particularly the American box office) -I understand that AVATAR-a sort of outer space version of the American War of Independence meets MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, but against a backdrop probably not unlike STAR WARS, is going to be not only completely in the 3D process but also goes beyond it in technological innovation-what does that mean, I wonder?? If either, or hopefully both, movies are hits and the money does indeed pour in, then you can bet your britches that STAR WARS will be fast tracked into release- back to the theatres in possibly an even bigger and bolder way than the SPECIAL EDITIONS were in 1997, and may even inspire LUCASFILM to work on other old and new projects in that medium (could the building success, year after year, of films like BATMAN BEGINS and HARRY POTTER in partial IMAX format/release also be a good sign of things to come for new technology?). But, as far as fast tracked is concerned, just how long will it take before we see them-if we’re lucky, and AVATAR is a hit, perhaps we’ll see the first, newly restored (again!!) STAR WARS back at the cinemas by 2010/2011, with a new film every year from there? This isn’t going to happen overnight, people.
Having been one of the core group of film-makers determined to save the theatre from extinction against the current climate of increased DVD sales and more TV and the Internet being watched by more people, it’s just a shame that Lucas can’t pioneer the 3D way first-this time we’re in a situation, one of those rare occasions, where the people that have been inspired by his ground breaking work are starting to take the jump ahead of him instead...
Let’s wish James, Tim and George all the success possible. We want STAR WARS back. Not just BIG, but BIGGER!!!
AFICIONADO CLASSIC BLOG 2008: THE RETURN OF THE McQUARRIE!
Am thrilled to read on the DREAMS AND VISIONS PRESS site the news that there is going to be a new book totally dedicated to Ralph McQuarrie’s stunning pre-production and conceptual art for the STAR WARS films. His previous book, THE ART OF RALPH MCQUARRIE, now sold out I understand, was a personal essential purchase at CELEBRATION IV, and is absolutely superb for it’s overview of all of his amazing work, not just on our favourite movies but some of his beautiful book jacket and advertising work as well. Despite the huge amount of material on the WARS films in that marvellous volume, however, the greedy little devil with the pitchfork sitting on my left shoulder wanted there to be more STAR WARS material within it’s pages, especially on JEDI, which, I thought, was sadly lacking (though I now realise in my research for the MAKING OF JEDI AFICIONADO issue that he wasn’t there for the full run of pre-production anyway). As I’ve said, that this new/revised book is coming out is great-fantastic!! Not only because it comes with thirty new pages of material, and not only because it will be just as beautifully designed and printed as the last one, but, even more importantly, I think it shows just how appreciated McQuarrie is by LUCASFILM as the founding visual designer of the saga. Normally a lot of people who have written or had books talking abut their involvement in STAR WARS, I believe, are only allowed to publish their memories/talk about their work on the saga if they are part of a more career encompassing body of work (for instance, Jeremy Bulloch’s autobiography which has a section on his Boba Fett career amidst a forty year, and continuing, acting lifespan, and Dave Prowse’s STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH epic two book tome-in fact, Dave probably still remembers what he had for Sunday breakfast back in 1968!!!), but with this, in equal celebration of Japan’s thirtieth anniversary, the powers that be guarding the bearded one’s best interests, have, to a grateful fandom, given permission for the most complete book attempted of his groundbreaking work. DREAMS AND VISIONS revelation that more material has been found in the artist’s house is even more exciting-more and more unpublished stuff on EMPIRE too-the film that many fans feel is the greatest of the saga-ole’ LUCASFILM better have some good celebration plans prepared for it’s that movie’s own Thirtieth in 2010!!
And let’s also not forget Lawrence Noble’s stunning art poster interpretation of one of McQuarrie’s unused 1976/77 poster concepts for the original movie-also primed for release and sale exclusively at CELEBRATION JAPAN. It’s a fantastic piece and a worthy tribute of Ralph’s name.
For more info on Ralph’s new book, check out www.dreamsandvisionspress.blogspot.com
AFICIONADO CLASSIC BLOG 2008: THE SYMBIOSIS OF DOUBLE STANDARDS!
Sometimes, in the often-weird world of publishing that I work in, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the state of the industry. Take those cheeky buggers at SFX MAGAZINE-I read it from time to time (pretty much only when it has STAR WARS covers gracing it) and I often don't know how they get away with it-they have such pure faced gusto of the cheeky kind in the way they put their magazine out to the masses. For anyone who doesn't know the title, SFX is the kind of sci-fi magazine that likes to think its for trendy "blokes/geezers" who like to go down the pub, get drunk, and think they can get off with the local women (they'd call them "birds!!") and love sci-fi at the same time. They like the fact that they have an attitude (i.e. that programme's rubbish, we'll tell you why and that's the end of it!!), and that they cover all areas of sci-fi, fantasy and comics with a lot of quirky quotes/anecdotes and all kinds of "malarkey".
Me, magazine wise, I personally prefer something like STARLOG-it's straightforward, doesn't suck up to anybody, tells the truth, doesn't bitch, doesn't review (leaves it up to its readers/the audience to make up their minds about things), reports the facts (though it does talk about controversy and rumours on films but nothing that's blown out of proportion and always when it's actually important to refer to), and doesn't string a feature out of two quick quotes from someone they bumped into in a corridor at the Cannes film festival (like one film magazine I could mention). I could go on. The thing I like about it, above all else, is that it's professional.
So...what’s my gripe with SFX that's STAR WARS related. Well, they love the Original Saga, but loath the Prequels. Okay, everybody's entitled to their opinions and I respect that, but if they don't like the modern STAR WARS stuff I'd rather they didn't cover it at all rather than present us with loads of covers and mammoth inside features on things they don't like and yet are really having them because they need to have them, so as to be a tool to market themselves and boost their ailing circulation figures. Yes, I bought the new CLONE WARS issue of SFX, yes it's got great design and pictures (much better than anything else in STAR WARS INSIDER (and why is that? INSIDER is the official magazine for LUCASFILM?!)) and the feature's good (and they gave THE CLONE WARS film a good review-presumably because they got nice exclusives and got to see it in the US first), but I know that in a few months time, once the dust has settled and the magazine has done well for the publishing period it needed to do well in, this new piece of STAR WARS will most likely just become new cannon fodder in the SFX "this is new STAR WARS so it's not very good" arena...
It's this type of double standards side of the industry in general, not just SFX but other magazines as well, that annoys me so much, and there's not a great deal that can be done about the situation in the current climate. Though George Lucas, meanwhile, doesn't care if people like or dislike the films, though its great if it can be the former-he makes them for himself anyway-and the LUCASFILM company he has created has to generate income so that their creator can make those films, and to do that their produced films need to be a success, and to do that they need publicity-publicity as in covers and spreads, which is what SFX do. So there is a weird type of symbiosis to it however good or bad the situation. In this modern age of commercial film and television entertainment, where you have to make an impression straight off the bat and make money fast, and in era where the whole world is current run by non-risk taking accountants, this type of scenario is probably going to be with us for a long while yet.
But, to quote a line from a certain fedora wearing anti-hero at the beginning of INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE: "That doesn't mean I have to like it!!"
AFICIONADO CLASSIC BLOG 2008: SHELL-SHOCKED! REACTION TO 'THE CLONE WARS' MOVIE
Well, have we all seen the first new THE CLONE WARS TV series CARTOON NETWORK promo? Terrific stuff, eh? It looks even better than the movie! It’s hard for me to personally believe that the first animated STAR WARS film, taking the saga into what I feel is a bold and colourful new era, from LUCASFILM, has received on the whole such critical disdain and so few people seeing it (how much of such unfriendly, LUCASFILM is really in it for the money critical reaction has prevented people from going to see it? Well, we won’t really know about the total fallout from it for a while yet)-is it possible that the general public just doesn’t want an animated STAR WARS film? How does this bode for the new series (and the future live action one as well!!), and what audience figures will it get on the US CARTOON NETWORK (which is not a major league audience channel in the same way that someone like SKY or FOX is) in that Friday night at 9pm slot (if I recall, didn’t the sixties Original STAR TREK TV series third season air in a slot similar to that and nobody saw it!!-the primary young audience either being out for the weekend or asleep!!).
Adding further fuel to the fire, said critics have complained that the animation looks dull and lifeless and not like the current trend in animation (oh critics, duh!!!, CLONE WARS has been made in a deliberate style opposite to the new wave of CGI animation!!), to the statement that it’s just all too much action, action, action. What do I think? Well, check out my review on the site, but I do get the impression the critics are really out to get George Lucas now. Yes, I know he’s a big boy, with a big corporation, and they can ignore the criticism, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!! And there have been some deliberately snipey criticisms which make me think there is more going on with certain magazines/critics with their subtext than meets the eye as this commercial magazine readership age continues to wage its own fierce war bigger than the Republic versus the Separatists!! No one has done this more so, and most surprisingly, than ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY in its current Summer blockbuster issue (the one with the currently delayed HARRY POTTER film on the cover-nice one, WARNERS!! Another major franchise fan area pissed off!!) -they gave the film an F rating- an F for goodness sake!! It’s very rare that they give films such bad ratings and THE CLONE WARS gets it!!! That is normally reserved for the worst films ever made. Sorry EW, but THE CLONE WARS ain’t in that category and it doesn’t deserve that rating WHATSOEVER!! I couldn’t believe it when Ian Trussler told me at the weekend last that this was what the film had gotten from them. Reading the review, I sense a critic who either just doesn’t like STAR WARS and it’s bigger than most things commercialism, or has some kind of connected bitterness about it in general (whether they are hurt as a STAR WARS fan I don’t know?). Reading further between the lines, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if EW were taking a negative stand possibly because they didn’t have the kind of access to the movie and TV series behind the scenes that that they would have liked to have had in order to sell their own magazines. This rationale is a distinct possibility-I’ve always noticed that the magazines and newspapers who don’t get exclusive rights to material to boost their circulations often go on the warpath to try and muscle in on the competitors before they can do their features, or destroy their rivals critically (Weirdly, though, aren’t the EW magazine group actually owned by TIME WARNER!! Aren’t they biting their own hand a little bit?).
For all of you haven’t read the review, here’s the link:
Let’s not storm the EW building in New York just yet, though-they may now have seen the new TV series trailer, or opening episodes, and become excited. We can but hope that THE CLONE WARS TV series is a terrific populist and critical success, not only on CARTOON NETWORK but also in worldwide DVD sales as well. If it gets good reactions in those areas then we may yet be able to restore some of the sagas damaged pride away from such earlier negative critical notices. We can but hope...
With thanks to Ian Trussler for the above image.
UPDATE: 21/9/2008 Well, well, well.. it seems ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY have partially gone back on their negative review of THE CLONE WARS movie. They still stick to their F rating-they can't back down on that editorially for fear of losing face, but they have kinda said, reading between the lines, that as a smaller STAR WARS viewing experience, it's not that bad. Check out the comments made by Jeff Jensen at: www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20225033,00.html
Sounds to me like EW's parent company, TIME WARNER, who distribute THE CLONE WARS theatrically and own CARTOON NETWORK, gave EW a whoopin' for potentially damaging their new, continuing relationship with LUCASFILM (worth millions of dollars to both parties long term) and EW have had to respond with some thing a little more positive!!
Heh, heh, heh...
AFICIONADO CLASSIC BLOG 2008: IS THIS (UNINTENTIONALLY) THE WORST 'STAR WARS' COVER OF ALL-TIME?
STAR WARS and STARBURST MAGAZINE came out in the UK at around the same time in late 1977 early 1978, and both share unique blood ties. Each was revolutionary in their own way-STAR WARS as a film-‘nuff said- whilst STARBURST would soon become one of the first and best British glossy magazines to cover science fiction in all its medias-of which , at that time, only the US STARLOG (at first only available every two months) was superior with regards to its written and photographic content. Like STARLOG, STARBURST, with its great array of dedicated film expert film writers and columnists (like John Brosnan (the writer you loved to hate!!) and entertainment news-man Tony Crawley), soon managed to get the same kinds of contacts within the film, TV industries to make a worthy rival title for at least the first eight years of it’s life (though it did border a bit too much on the shlock horror front for a while (I’ve never been able to go near their horrific Zombie flash eaters issue, even to this day!!)). By around 1986, however, STARBURST’s sales were sadly floundering and science fiction in general was undergoing a period of metamorphosing, especially with the major loss, albeit temporary (thirteen years, if you call that temporary!!) for the Prequels. When MARVEL sold off the title, the then fledgling VISUAL IMAGINATION GROUP (a company set up by long time DOCTOR WHO fans who wanted to get involved in the magazine industry) took over, with some of the brand name columnists carrying on working for the newly revamped title for a while, though it was soon clear that the magazines best days were well and truly over with its Editorial policies. By the time of the upcoming release of THE PHANTOM MENACE, the era where exclusive material would become available for use was long beginning to dry up, and the age of the superstars and their ego swelling publicists were starting to take over the world’s media. The dreaded film company embargo's and their stringently controlled publicity machines, with the frenzy of the summer box office now gone into overdrive, had also taken their toll and the magazine was no longer as lavish and pioneering independent as it used to be. With everybody covering the making of PHANTOM, the first new STAR WARS in YEARS!!!, in the run up to its release, it presumes to me, as someone who works in the magazine industry, looking at their issue number 246, covering the making of this event movie, that they weren’t able to get hold of any publicity/ free stills photography before their stringent go to press printing date-instead relying of the rehashing of material from the STAR WARS SPECIAL EDITION on the feature pages whenever they needed to talk about CGI or the return of some of the series beloved characters. For it’s cover, I get the feeling that, in desperation, they literally had no choice, with no photographic material available from LUCASFILM or FOX at that time (or the possibility that all the best stuff had gone to higher circulated magazine rivals like EMPIRE and TOTAL FILM) that poor old STARBURST had nothing to utilize, resulting in the cover and the majority of the inside feature using, what I feel, is some of the poorest artwork to represent a STAR WAR film that I have ever seen. From what I can gather, no one from the VISUAL IMAGINATION GROUPs main publishers at that time, who I’ve met and are all extremely nice chaps, were really all that keen on the saga anyway (check out their anniversary celebration issue from last May-the same old pics used again and again and the films themselves gets very little enthusiasm from the magazine staff when asked whether they think they are any good), but knew that having STAR WARS on the cover would always have a stronger chance of flying off the shelf quicker than anything that would have had HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN on it!!
I suppose their “it’ll have to do” policy regarding the art accompanying the inside (which actually is a pretty good feature by David Bassom) was fine for that issue, though the inside article illustrations are also pretty bad, with likenesses of Anakin, Obi-Wan, even Yoda and the Emperor!!, that look nothing like them. Indeed, it’s pretty funny when you check out the editorial from it’s then Editor, David Richardson, who, I presume with a straight face in order to try and cover up the fact that they have no EPISODE ONE shots apart from the then released Anakin in the desert poster image, amazingly compares, in a totally positive way, their new issue cover deliberately hearkening back to a style similar to their original first issue STAR WARS cover which launched the magazine in 1977/78. Sorry, David, there’s no comparison-the art on he seventies one may have been typically MARVEL COMICS cover style, and the likeness of Luke may not be as realistic, but it still is really rather superb, even thirty one years on!! Fortunately, the next edition the following month was positively flowing with photographic material from EPISODE ONE now that the press embargo's had been lifted and, over time, the artist who illustrated the EPISODE ONE cover, Grant Kempster has greatly improved no end-some of his work for the DOCTOR WHO range (digitally mixing his own art with photographic images) has been very impressive. But if the time comes for STARBURST ever to do a future important STAR WARS cover, lets hope that a situation like this, presumably hoisted onto them from the film company rather than LUCASFILM, doesn’t happen again..
AFICIONADO CLASSIC BLOG 2008: PHIL TIPPETT: GO-MOTION-GO!
I really like Phil Tippett. Ever since I saw him clowning about with the eventually unused Rancor costume in the CLASSIC CREATURES RETURN OF THE JEDI documentary way back in 1984/5, he was one of those people whose work and dedication, and his devilish and cheeky streak of humour, really made him stand out. With a voice that, though a little higher pitched, is reminiscent of Droopy’s affectionate drawl at times whenever I’ve seen him talking on television, Phil, to me personally, always seemed to have an air of “my fun hobby has a tuned into an amazing Hollywood job. I don’t believe that this is happening” aura about him, mixed with a kid in the candy store character, and with a flavouring of an early 1970’s Joe Dante film type of beach bum/ hippy innocence about him, that same kind of energy that also lingered within people like Joe Johnston and John Dykstra when they first started work on STAR WARS-the we’ll work hard to get these shots down at ILM and then have a great party at the beach type attitude. I liked that-that sense of fun but hard work seems to be missing from special effects film-making now. It’s all so dour and serious. Though he’s probably matured a little bit over the years (though probably only just a little bit!!), he was great to hear talking about the STAR WARS films on one of the US CELEBRATION IV panels back in 2007, but sadly, because there were other cast and crew taking part in the same talk, he didn’t get as much to say as I would’ve liked.
Going back to those early days, as well as in depth about his most recent pioneering monster/effects projects (in which he is candid and truthful about the possible overuse of modern effects in today’s summer blockbusters, and audience expectations each year), Phil is interviewed for one of the recent STARLOG magazines (May 2008 Issue 365, which can still be purchased through WWW.STARLOG.COM) and his enthusiasm for his work on the original STAR WARS movies still clearly shines through after all this time, as he recalls one classic fun incident of the “we had a hunch this film was gonna be big” variety, that I think all of you people in cyberspace might like to read. He recalls: “We looked at the scenes we were gonna put our work into that George (Lucas) had assembled, and it was pretty darn clear that this was the movie we had all been waiting to work on! We knew it was going to be that special. In 1977, I went to an SF convention with Dennis (Muren), George (Lucas) and Gary Kurtz. Where they got on stage in a room filled with 300 people. George and Gary said, “Hey, we made this movie called Star Wars, and we made it for you, and we hope you come and see our show!” I was there that day-it’s like being there when Jesus walked across the water. I was there, and I saw it with my own eyes.”
I personally never get tired of hearing stuff like that. The “we knew that it was going to be very special”, or the “somehow they beat all the odds to come through” type of stuff that has now become part and parcel, almost in a symbiotic way, with the legendary making of the original first film. Stories and quotes like the above always make me feel good about STAR WARS and they way it has touched the hearts of worldwide audiences.
As his pioneering work continues beyond the Original Trilogy (how about a book on your work-something like Lorne Peterson’s?), with such notables as STARSHIP TROOPERS, JURASSIC PARK, CLOVERFIELD and THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES under his belt, its nice to see that he’s still a big kid at heart.
Keep that flag flying for us wannabes, Phil!
Video interview (2014): See how one man made all those insane Star Wars creatures in new documentary | Blastr
Video interview (2014): See how one man made all those insane Star Wars creatures in new documentary | Blastr
AFICIONADO CLASSIC BLOG 2008: ROBERT WATTS: RECOGNISING THE UNSUNG 'WARS' HERO!
|On location in Norway for ESB, Robert Watts has a Wampa friend for company!|
One of the pleasures of being a STAR WARS fan is having the opportunity to attend conventions, meet fans and talk to numerous behind the scene people, actors/supporting artists/extras who worked on my favourite movies (and not just STAR WARS, but INDY too). Of the last few years, of all the people I have met, one of the nicest and most amiable people I have met has to be Robert Watts, a fellow Brit whose impressive list of film production credentials encompasses not just the first three WARS films but all three classic INDY’s and several JAMES BOND pictures too (and two of my faves as well-THUNDERBALL and YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE). Finally meeting him, as I thought neither myself or fans would ever get the chance as so many conventions are more actor orientated than behind the scenes, at CELEBRATION IV, it was amazing to see just how much he remembered, all these years on, about the making of the original films and recalling just how much an enjoyable period of his life it was. The nervous and I can’t believe that I’ve been involved in all of this nerves of Robert Watts, amidst thousands of fans equally pleased to see him at that first CELEBRATION appearance, soon gave way, I feel, to an immense enjoyment and wonderfully honest candour about his own life in the film industry. Indeed, his appearances at the STAR WARS REUNION French film screenings, CELEBRATION EUROPE and JEDI CON 08 were equally as good, and Watts was getting used to things, even more enthusiastic and enjoying the atmosphere, far more relaxed and I am sure he has gotten to know many more fans on a regular basis who he has given advice to as they have wanted to enter the film industry. Additionally, he has also been kind enough to bring along certain personal items from his collection (loved that Finse blue jacket from EMPIRE!!) and rare photos to show us all and enjoy. On behalf of all the fans, I’d like to say a big thank you for being involved in the STAR WARS/INDY universes. As Obi-Wan would say: “Good Job!!”.
Thirty years on from all his work on those landmark Lucas/Spielberg films, its sad to discover through, not only conversation with Watts, but also reading the wealth of material over the years on the various behind the scenes front, that, despite his hard work within the British film industry, his work for LUCASFILM (and other big movie companies), his nurturing and guiding of new talent, as well as working hard to get the most out of people in making films that have become legendary, Robert has not received one single award or accolade outside of LUCASFILM and AMBLIN for his considerable talents. Whilst other filmmakers/craftsmen who have worked on the WARS and INDY films have received career enhancing OSCAR and BAFTA awards, Robert Watts has, as far as I’m aware, never received anything at all throughout this magnificent, varied and prestigious career.
Annoyed by this, after months of mumbling how unfair the situation is to my AFICIONADO colleagues about this dreadful state of affairs, I decided to do something this week. I emailed BAFTA (the BRITISH ACADEMY OF FILM AND TELEVISION ARTS in London) and asked if Watts could be considered for some kind of ACADEMY FELLOWSHIP award for his genuinely unrecognised hard work within the industry-perhaps some kind of award like the one the BAFTA fellowship eventually gave to David Tomblin in honour of his being the finest First Assistant Director in the world-an accolade that I felt took too long in coming anyway, and sadly he received it only a few short years before his sad passing. BAFTA have since kindly replied, stating that Robert’s name will certainly be considered in their next meeting to discuss potential names worthy of receiving one of the highly prized awards. I feel Mister Watts certainly is more than worthy of a BAFTA.
If you feel the same way as I do, then perhaps my fellow AFICIONADO readers in cyberspace might like to lend support to the cause. BAFTA can be emailed at their website of: www.bafta.org/contact-us.html In the nicest way possible, of course, let them know how deserving and talented Robert Watts is. Let’s see if we can all chip in in getting an award for him that he so richly deserves...
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