Thursday 25 June 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: THE ILM WAMPA!


With disappointing results from finished live-action footage shot in Norway and London, for the most part to be deleted from the film's editorial process, it's ultimately decided to show the Wampa creature's face in just one major shot, a scene now to be handled by Phil Tippett and ILM with the instigation of a far more scary and animalistic puppet face and partial shoulders/torso in comparison to the all-too-cuddly visage, and its further alternate fly-like variation, prior created by Stuart Freeborn and his team during late 1978/early 1979 for Elstree Studios. This ultimately successful ILM insert shot of the Wampa would be filmed outdoors in Marin County during The Empire Strikes Back's post-production phase, with the creature's face operated by Tippett himself.

Wampa face design idea by Phil Tippett.

Filming the Wampa's surprise attack on Luke.

As seen in the finished movie.


It looks like the close-up scene was also filmed at ILM.

Just hanging around during stop motion animation!

More detailed close-ups of the terrific Wampa face. 


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