Say what you will about the cheesy horror movies of the 80’s but there is one element of them we can all agree on. The monster imagination and creativity on display was really something else. Pinhead from Hellraiser truly falls into the ‘nightmare fuel’ category. I work with quite a few people who are younger than me that don’t recognize half the stuff I put on my board but as soon as this guy went up they were all, “Oh! The guy with the pins in his head! I know that guy!” Of course, nostalgia allows us to gloss over a lot of terrible things in movies and tv shows. People seeing Hellraiser for the first time now might laugh more than they get frightened. But there is something about Pinhead that transcends that. He’s legit scary, even if the effects around him aren’t so great. Here are some progress shots.
Gremlins is on the all-star team of those puppet-driven 80’s movies. It’s funny, scary weird and fun all at the same time. Joe Dante made the film for the paltry budget of just 11 million dollars. It went on to make over 150 million. It had no right to be as successful as it was that’s the beauty of a movie like this… When everything comes together just right you can hit it out of the park. I would have loved to have been in the meetings or focus groups for this movie, watching the suits try and make sense of what they were funding. 🙂 Here are the progress pics.
One random day in 1999, I decided to go see a movie. I wasn’t going to see a specific film, I just wanted to sit in the dark, eat popcorn and be entertained for a couple of hours. In case you couldn’t tell by my whiteboard choices, I’m a huge movie fan. Going to the movies at that time was a lot different than going now… No Rotten Tomatoes. No smartphones. It was also easier to stay spoiler-free, especially for a person like me who loves movies and is interested in movie news but wants to go in relatively blind. The only movie playing within an hour of me getting there was The Matrix. I knew next to nothing about it other than Keanu was in it. I’ve seen a TON of movies in the theater and enjoyed most of them but I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve had my mind truly blown at the cinema. The Matrix was one of those. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen and was a mash-up of things that are right in my wheelhouse. Dystopian sci-fi, badass fight scenes, incredible effects, and a twisting plot that only got weirder as you move further into the movie. I don’t feel like the Wachowskis really stuck the landing with Matrix Revolutions but we did get a titanic Neo/Smith battle that was gorgeously filmed. Here’s my rendition of it.
The first two Alien films are near-perfect blends of horror and science fiction. Couple that with awesome creature design and a strong female protagonist and you’ve got an all-timer on your hands. Think about how much the xenomorph influenced creature design in film. And let’s not even get into the whole mouth-in-a-mouth thing. That’s next-level. Between Alien and Blade Runner, Ridley Scott has certainly done his part for the sci-fi genre. James Cameron came along and made a great sequel to Alien. Every time I watch Aliens I’m reminded of what a frustrating director James Cameron is. Capable of so much but his own ego and sense of self-worth keep him elevating to another level. He succeeds sometimes in spite of himself, which is a shame. Regardless, I’m thankful for his contribution to the Alien franchise because it’s a good one.
The 80’s was a golden age for movies about a group of kids going on an adventure. The Goonies was a big one for me. It had some of everything in it. Think about how much crap they piled into that movie. Financial debt, criminals and murderers, pirates, treasure, traps, hair loss, disfigured people, the truffle shuffle… The list goes on and on. Plus, most importantly, it had one of my first real crushes, Keri Green. It was also responsible for getting me to try a Baby Ruth candy bar, which remains one of my favorites to this day. Here are the Sloth progress pics.
My tour of great 80’s movies continues! I had a hard time picking the right frame from the movie to do. The villains would have been great and a shot with Winston would have been nice, too. This one I settled on had the right balance for translation to the whiteboard, which is what ultimately made the decision. It offered the opportunity to practice more faces as well as some really cool lighting on the characters. I have to admit that the black background was attractive, too. 🙂
I haven’t seen the Ghostbusters reboot but, aside from the casting choices, nothing about it really drew me in. I wish they had just given that cast a fresh new idea to dig into. Sigh. Hollywood. Speaking of which… Next up we head to Tattooine!
There are only a small handful of movies that I consider near-perfect films. Cinema is such a hard thing to get right as there are so many moving parts that have to come together to form a unified whole. A bad script can kill a movie. A bad actor can kill a movie. A bad director can kill a movie. Bad production design can kill a movie and on and on and on. Back to the Future is one of those where damn near everything in the movie is pitch-perfect. They actually cast Eric Stoltz as Marty originally but let him go after it just wasn’t gelling with the vision. Can you imagine ANYONE other than Michael J. Fox in that role?
Time travel movies can get overly convoluted and shoot themselves in the foot. This one kept it simple, light and made the focus the characters and not the science. Smart move. Plus, the chemistry between Marty and Doc is amazing. I picked a scene from the movie that I felt really nailed that dynamic, their ‘first’ meeting in the past. What a great scene.
I’m really sad to see this one go. It’s one of the first that sort of pained me to erase. I love the subject matter and feel like it suits me to a T. That movie is so good on a lot of levels and does the impossible job of being entertaining, tongue-in-cheek and poignant all at the same time. Every performance in the movie is memorable but the Battle of Wits is a high point for me. The dialogue is hilarious and Wallace Shawn aces this scene. I wish I could have saved this one, it gave me a little boost each day when I arrived to my cube. Up next: BACK TO THE FUTURE!
This has been a very Potter-centric month for me. I finally read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and got around to doing a Potter-related whiteboard. I’ve known for a long time I’d get around to doing one from these movies but there is just so much to choose from in J.K. Rowling’s expansive and incredibly interesting world. Her imagination is absolutely amazing and I hope she continues to visit and explore the wizarding world in her writings. Ultimately, I love bad guys so I decided to go with a powerful image of Voldemort at the Battle of Hogwarts. I knew that scene with the rubble and people everywhere would make a compelling whiteboard if I didn’t botch it. Despite all the details I thoroughly enjoyed this one from start to finish and it hasn’t probably gotten more love from around the office than any of the others. Here are some progress pics!