Pic of the Day – Tigerland (2000)

(Above) Joel Schumacher and Colin Farrell on the set of Tigerland (2000), my favorite film from the late director.

Set at Fort Polk, Louisiana in 1971, Tigerland follows a group of recruits during their final days of infantry training before shipping out to Vietnam. Shot on 16mm over 28 days in and around Jacksonville, Florida, the $10 million film was released in only a handful of theaters. Yet Farrell’s role as a Cool Hand Luke-esque anti-conformist launched the Irish actor’s career. The movie also marked the feature debut of the great character actor Shea Whigham.

The photo comes from the excellent production stills collection Behind the Clapperboard.

Pic of the Day: Thunder explodes in Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Behind the scenes of Big Trouble in Little China

(Above) The crew from the visual effects company Boss Film prepares the “exploding Thunder” gag on John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China (1986).

Photo from Tara Bennett and Paul Terry’s book The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China, released to commemorate film’s 30th anniversary.

Steve Johnson on the set of Big Trouble in Little China

Here’s Steve Johnson (pictured above), credited as Special MakeUp Effects on Big Trouble, on pulling off the gag.

“The head had huge bladders in it, plus mechanisms for the brows to work. His eyes were squint shut and it had a little bit of lip articulation. When it started to expand, we replaced that with another head…It started about as far as the first head would go, then we cut away to where the second head would go even further. We did some cartoon stuff like the steam out of his nose and ears. We also made feet and hands that expanded, plus a full body suit.

I also had this guy, Eric Fiedler, who was a great engineer. He created these dump tanks where we used compressors to get as much air in as fast as we could. At the flick of a switch, air would go through these huge hoses and the body parts would instantly inflate. All the muscles were made of separate bladders, so we had lines going to each one. That way, we could get his entire body to inflate. It went really fast on film so it would read on a quick shot.”

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Pic of the Day – Harrison Ford braves the “rapids” in The Call of the Wild

Disney’s new CGI canine version of Jack London’s 1903 novel The Call of the Wild hits Blu-ray and OnDemand today. Here’s non-CGI human star Harrison Ford in a gimbal-perched canoe, with an Alexa 65 rigged to speed rail on the gimbal and another Alexa on a Bolt motion control rig. Looks like there’s a pair of Canon C300s on the right side of frame – not sure of their purpose.

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Pic of the Day: Mad Max Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max Fury Road behind the scenes (photo by Jasin Boland)

I finally ventured out of my place this weekend for a Mad Max/The Road Warrior double feature at The Skyline Drive-In, located in Indiana. In honor of doing a somewhat normal human activity again, here’s a great behind the scenes shot of Charlize Theron and director George Miller on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road. Photo by unit stills photographer Jasin Boland.

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Pic of the Day: Italian poster for Solarbabies (1986)

Solarbabies italian poster by Brian Bysouth

“Half of (Solarbabies) is pretty damn good, and half of it is the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my whole life.” – Comedy legend, and Solarbabies executive producer, Mel Brooks

Above you’ll find Brian Bysouth’s Italian release art for Solarbabies, which United International Pictures re-christened Solar Warriors for the overseas market. The film was executive produced by Mel Brooks, through his Brooksfilm shingle (The Elephant Man, Cronenberg’s The Fly). Shot in Spain and initially budgeted at $5 million, the flick ultimately cost more than $23 million.

This one somehow eluded me during my VHS-spent youth, but I’m determined to track it down after hearing How Did This Get Made’s Solarbabies episode. Check out Will Harris’ interview with Brooks about the making of the film.

For more on the work of Bryan Bysouth, here’s an interview with the British artist from the excellent poster blog Film on Paper.