In films, I've built models for Star Wars Episodes I and II, for Space Cowboys,
A.I., Terminator 3, Galaxy Quest, Home Alone III, Bicentennial Man, and the
Matrix sequels, Matrix: Reloaded, and Matrix: Revolution, among others.

I can show you pictures of many of these, but unfortunately, my contract
with some employers precludes me from public display of the projects I've done for them.

Earlier this year, after working on Episode I and II, I finally got some press in
the Star Wars Insider magazine, in a small piece written by David West Reynolds.
That's me working on one of the buildings I did for Tipoca City.  My pose here is
what we call the 'Modelshop reach'.  These pictures are always taken when the
model looks interesting.  Which is after the brillinant painters at ILM have had their
way with them.  Then everyone who worked on the model is brought back, and
we hold a tool to look like we're doing something important, and voila!  There's
not much I'd be doing to a model at this stage of it's completion with an exacto knife
unless I'd screwed up.  Oh, and that's not a cover shot.  I pasted the magazine title
over the picture.  That picture is in a 'Behind the scenes for EPII" article inside.
 
 

The two ships above, the Y-wing fighter and the Tie Bomber respectively, came
directly out of the work I do at ILM.  I built them as master prototypes for Galoob/
Hasbro to use as part of a library for their line of Star Wars toys.  Each is approximately
8" long, and they're very accurate.
 
 

Above are 2 of the props I built for Bicentennial Man, starring Robin Williams.
At the top is a shoulder, which was later chromed and detailed, and the bottom
piece is a robot neck.  These were decoration for Mansky's office.  I built each in
about 2 days each, using Ren Shape, a modelling material, styrene and brass.
The drawings on the right are what I had to work with.

Another prop from Bicentennial man.  Very complex, I spent nearly a month.  The
goal was a retractible doctor's eye checker that looked like a Dunhill lighter.  It had
a battery and tiny (very tiny) switch that turned the leds on when the button was pushed
and the spring loaded mechanism extended.  I did all the machining, electronics and design
for the etched brass.

The last thing I built for Bicentennial Man.  This was the robot's remote control.
It also had a bunch of lights in it, with watch batteries and 2 buttons.  I made 3 of
these, all identical.

This is the drawing and final product for some custom built R/C cars for the
film Home Alone III (a classic). We made 12 of these and they were scrapped
the day before shooting.

Not for a film per se. But I didn't know where else to put these.  Above is one of
the fire megaphones built in miniature for a scale model of the Titanic.


This is an exact scale replica of the radio room from the Titanic.  It's completely scratch built,
and is only 5 inches wide.  Note (in the enlargement) the size of the exacto blade nest to the room.

This radiator is actuallly hollow plastic.
Simple, but sometimes you have no idea what's fake in a film.  For the Francis Coppola Film, 'The
Rainmaker', they replicated a courtroom, and needed 13 radiators.  It actually turned out to be cheaper
to make the radiators from scratch than to ship the heavy things.  This is my short one.  I like to
answer the door holding this over my head, and sweating.  It makes the solicitors go away quickly.
 

When working on Space Cowboys, I worked on the space shuttle model.  While I can't display
pictures here, I did add a little joke, and there's probably no harm in showing it here.  We spent six months
using copius amounts of reference material from NASA, and bunching in all in , chock a block to
look good and crowded for the film.  After all the meticulous miniature construction, I had to include a joke.

Voila! The space Mister Coffee.

I can show you a still from the film itself:

That's a CG Clint Eastwood leaving the airlock.  That's my model payload bay around him.
The entire width you're looking at here is about 10 inches side to side.  TINY stuff.
 

All content and images Copyright 2003 Adam Savage.  No part of this website may be reproduced without express permission.