AMIE robot form The Red Planet

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by GaryArm, Jun 22, 2015.

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  1. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    I am only new to the Forum and don't know if this has been touched on before but

    has anyone out there consider doing a reproduction of the robot AMIE from The Red Planet ?


    I would be very interested on the thoughts of the community to such a project
    But I must warn you that the prop on set does not match the digital one even though they scanned the prop after we built it

    cheers

    Gary
     
  2. Rodewaryer

    Rodewaryer New Member

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    Would be interested in more commentary on your statement regarding the movie prop vs the digital one...
     
  3. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    there was a "practical" amee and a very different digital version. the practical can be seen, briefly, at the very beginning being loaded into her "cargo hold". then when V.K. and S.B. pull her out. and at the "explosion" scene very briefly. the rest of the film was all digital. my AMEE head sculpt is based on the digital version as there is so much more reff material. but it is slow going LOL
     
  4. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Is this digital? not sure were this come from
    amee__blackmesa__ed__wip_2__by_darth_biomech-d5hzmz0.jpg
     
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  5. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    OK now the back story
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  6. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    OK now the back story is that an all mechanical spider robot that could do the entire film had been built.
    But the powers that be dropped it, as there was such a negative responses to the spider theme on The Wild Wild West.

    I was brought in as part of the team to build a new robot being designed by Sid Meed. We had a week to build it so they could scan it in to make the digital version.
    We were given full size drawings of the front, side and rear of the robot to start fabricating, But they were for three different droid designs.
    This led to a lot of confusion for us to work out its look, then we were receiving daily up dates of art from Sid with major changers so we had to keep remake many parts.
    The look was very compromised from the early Meed art that had some very dynamic posses.
    We were carving some of the part out of green foam and then resin coating them to give a hard surface for further detailing. These part were then used as masters to make molds, fiberglass or vac-formed parts were produced as there was to be more than one unit needed to fulfill filming needs.

    In the end our prop AMEE was cut to I think three scenes and the digital AMEE did the bulk of the movie.

    Gary
     
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  7. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I like that photo sean!! and yes that's the digital version im sculpting. this is one of my fav sci fi movies because of AMEE, nice to hear some back story to this thanks for sharing!!
     
  8. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Gary, can you tell us about AMEE's battery? Did you fabricate that prop as well?


    -MJ
     
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  9. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This Is cool guys. I think AMEE was one of the best robots out there. probably to me because it had such cat like quality's. If i could ask one question. it would be .


    Are there any picture's of the practical AMEE?
     
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  10. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    agree'd sean. I have a couple old pic's on my comp. tower but its in storage. but take my word as a RED PLANET fan the final screen used AMEE is a lot better. I love the cat walk also, as seen on screen versus the "gorilla" unfold etc. they used for test unfolds. again, I have those saved on my comp, but I cant get to them anytime soon. im sooooooo looking forward to anymore/all info GARYARM can provide on this subject!! plus any other prop's he might have worked on, pre production pictures etc!!! arrrghhhhhh!!!! and a woo hoo!! im tuned in to this thread......:love
     
  11. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    OK MikeJ I don' remember doing anything with the battery, this could be a laps in my memory of the time,
    or it happened after I left the show to another commitment on the T.V. series Farscape.


    On Red Planet I had a difference of opinion with one of the bosses so I left and then they didn't give me a screen credit.


    As for photos of the prop, I don't know if I still have any. They may have been lost in my last move.


    I can tell you that it was not a happy set, with the two male leads at each other's throats and even tacking out restraint orders against each other.
    It got so bad that they would only act with the others double. So there is a lot of optical work to get them in the same scene.


    Even with everything that has happened I still have a fondness for AMEE and was interested how others felt about Syd's creation.


    I really regret not keep some of the art work that Syd Meed did of AMEE as that was fantastic.


    I don't know if I will ever get around to rebuilding her, I have too many personal projects in the wings


    Cheers Guys


    Gary
     
  12. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    Hey I'd love to hear more about the rows on set - was that between Kilmer and Sizemore?


    Steve
     
  13. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    Well I am not going to put names to them,
    but I can tell of one time when Actor 2 arrived very late on set, Actor 1 says "This is unprofessional turning up this late"
    Actor 2 responds with "you want to talk unprofessional, I just seen your dailies".
    The crew had to separate them.


    But this is getting away from the subject of this thread AMEE
     
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  14. Chaank

    Chaank Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure someone on here had started one of these?
     
  15. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I look foreword to seeing the sculpted head funboy. any chance we could talk you into building the whole thing...:$
     
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  16. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    LOL I skip around a lot, besides finishing the belt tool, battery and the w.i.p. helmet. I also started the amee "backpack" piece and chest plate..... I plan on doing a full build... its just very very hard to get proper dimensions to fall together only using screen caps. but I will (eventually) post a new W.I.P. thread with everything sculpted so far...:wacko im also working on the darn boots.....ugghhh love this stuff!!! GaryArm if you can "find" please post any pic's or tell more R.P. stories...and welcome to the RPF!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  17. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    Hi guys
    The prop AMEE stood upright, just over 6 foot, but I think they fudged the digital AMEE proportions to get more dynamic images.
    Originally she was going to have her own wings, but they must have been dropped with script changes, I do remember making them.
    Near the end of filming, one actors wanted the script changed so his character didn't die ....ah ..too late to change.
    As there were no actual blue prints, just some concept art from Syd, and as the digital AMEE was in the film the most, we may have to recreat her from fraim grabs. From what I can remember, the prop AMEE may not be the best source for data with all the changes they made to digital AMEE.
    Unfortunately with all the robots I have worked on over the years, the details are a bit mixed up.
    But I will be giving it some more thought and update any more info if I can.
    What I really need to do is find some time to sit down and watch The Red Planet again, I haven't seen it in years. I don't know how well the film has aged.
    cheers
    Gary
     
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  18. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  19. Chaank

    Chaank Well-Known Member

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  20. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    Thanks for the link Sean.
    I had a look at the work already done and am very impressed by the model.
    Just steering at it, elements of AMEE are coming back to me, like the wrist section was a bit more substantial, the body was more enclosed and the limbs were shorter.
    The head at first look, appears correct but there is something that dose not play true for me.
    The problem I think is I am remembering the original prop.
    Can the real AMEE please stand up?
    Anyway I would still love to have a copy of that model.
    Does anyone know if they finished the project?
     
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  21. Rodewaryer

    Rodewaryer New Member

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    Love it! You have made me want to see the movie again and as already stated, for relating factoids about the set etc is ALWAYS very interesting and we (I) love that stuff! Many thanks for your info here and I blame you (GaryArm) for getting me a little too interested in AMEE. :)
     
  22. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    this is so cool, thanks for the info garyarm!! In doing my research for the head sculpt I noticed the digital AMEE actually had a few changes during the movie in a few parts. makes it extremely hard to pick a single design to sculpt...
     
  23. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    I think that a general feeling of AMEE should be drawn up and lock that in as the definitive look for her
    Like the R2 D2's I had access to the original metal R2s from "A New Hope" when I was at Skywalker Ranch, and there are some small differences from film to film,
    so the R2 club did blue prints to lock down the look and it meant that their parts were all interchangeable and standardized among members.
    This would be the best way to proceed with AMEE.

    Oh.. another thing I just remember was well before filming had commenced on Red Planet Val Kilma visited the studio (Mars Productions) and came around to meet all the crew. I have never seen any actor do that before or since, and he was a very nice guy to talk to.
    Whereas another Hollywood Star ( I will not name him ) that came down here to do a big budget action film insisted that the entire crew had to singe a contract that stated that
    no one was to talk to him unless he spoke first
    when he was walking we had to make an open path
    no one was to be in his line of sight
    and many more rules, if you broke any one rule it was instant dismissal.

    Having a set of definitive plans would encourage other RPF member into also building an AMEE
    It would be great if Warner Br would release the digital files, they are not likely to do a sequel after all this time
    That's an Idea, does anyone have any contacts to get hold of some of the animation files?
    how many R2's would you like.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
  24. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I like the idea of a set blue print of some kind. and this picture rocks. Hollywood can have there actors. we have a myth buster...
     
  25. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    Thanks Sean ...but I am just a humble model maker down here in Australia, not a Myhtbuster.
    AS far as I can recall, I have never met Jamie but I may have encountered or worked with Adam many many years ago.
    As for talking about memories lapses, on a previous posting talking about Val Kilmer, I made a big mistake by not mentioning fellow Aussie, Hue Jackman.
    All the rumors that you have heard about Hue being the nicest person in showbiz are true, he goes out of his way to get to know everyone on the crew, there is no Them/Us thing that I have seen with other people, he is just a really great down to earth guy
     
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  26. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have the AMEE unfold video's and I think I have a couple other "test" video's from the old w.b. RED PLANET website before they pulled them. but like I said its all on my comp tower, buried in my storage unit somewhere. if I can get it out I will try to post the video's!! and yeah im THAT BIG OF A FAN!! LOL :love
     
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  27. Rodewaryer

    Rodewaryer New Member

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    Just watched Red Planet again, I think I see the differences, esp in the "face" of AMEE between the prop and the CGI version. I also paid attention to how many (few actually) scenes where the two leads (keeping names out of it as the original poster has suggested) are pictured together. It actually becomes obvious at times. Little tidbits like that make watching more rewarding.

    Might be common knowledge to those that have seen it more that myself, but I thought I spotted a scene where someone was carrying the bust rig (whatever you call the chest piece) once they were down to 3 crew members yet all three had theirs on. Might just be me... it always makes me wonder how editors (and related professions) let stuff like that go when it's their job, and nobody's like me see this stuff. :)
     
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  28. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    Hi Rodewaryer
    I wouldn't be so hard on the editors, (I've been in this situation, being the editor on some smalls films ) You can have the Director and/or producer breathing down your neck to do it their way, you don't have any alternative shots to use etc. Things get by when you are under the crunch, every film has defects in it if you look close. Most Directors are still trying to refine their film when the studio takes it away from them for as petty a reason as the opening night :)
    One such goof that comes to mind was the opening night of Laurence of Arabia, there was a scene in the desert and on the hill in the background a camera crane truck came rolling over, Now the editor didn't notice it on the old editing machines back then, but it really stood out on the big screen.
    I used to be very critical of some props I 'd see on screen, how badly they are made or pore design work, but having been on the other side with budget and time constraints, I have become more forgiving.
    Gary
     
  29. Krel

    Krel Sr Member

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    Gary, shouldn't that have been caught when they watched the dailies? I used to read about how they would go out and film westerns on location, only to see power lines, airplanes, roads with cars, ect. when they returned to the studio and watched the footage in the screening room. They didn't notice them when filming, because it was normal, and didn't standout until they saw it in the context of the western setting.

    David.
     
  30. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    Hi David
    I don't know what the pressers were for the release of Laurence of Arabia, this was way before I entered the business.
    I know of more recent shows that had scenes cut into the print just minutes before the first screening.
    With the current trend of studios to shorten the time between "Green Lighting" projects and release dates, I am very surprised there is not an increase in goofs.
    Maybe it's a reflection on the skills and dedication of today's crews.
    Gary
     
  31. Rodewaryer

    Rodewaryer New Member

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    I get the production pressures, time constraints etc. I really do, what really annoys me is the thought that maybe they think the audience is too dumb to notice, or some such thought. I hope I'm wrong.

    Let me add a little fuel. We were watching Robinson Crusoe on Mars (ok, crappy one I know but it's from my younger days) and when our leading man enters a cave he's never been in, as they pan right, there's a fire extinguisher that they probably thought was out of view. Hey, at least they're safe on the set? ;-)
     
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  32. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    lol I loved that movie as a kid.
     
  33. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    HEY! I liked that movie. but hell back then i also liked teenagers from outer space.. :lol
     
  34. Krel

    Krel Sr Member

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    It is still a much better movie than "The Red Planet". :lol

    David.
     
  35. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    I agree with you Rodewaryer
    But I think too many decision makers seem to have contempt for the publics intelligence. They expect them to be just in ore of the visuals and not to pay attention to the details. This is insane when they want people to come back again and again to their films. They believe the public will lap up any defective product they throw up.
    I have worked for people like that in the past and it has usually ended up in conflict.
    The fire extinguisher in ""Robinson Crusoe on Mars", I missed that one, but a more recent film that comes to mind is The Mummy with Brenden Fraser.
    There is a scene in a bar with lots of extras in the background, one of the crew can be seen on the far left of screen, he thought he was not on camera.
    A lot of Directors will go for a take that has the best performance from the actor rather than a technically perfect scene.
    But if you look at any film too closely, you will always find defects in it.
    Well thats me on my soap box again :)
    David
    I can't comment on that, as I am a little byest to Red Planet being a crew member.
     
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  36. Rodewaryer

    Rodewaryer New Member

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    Well I like Red Planet as well, and it had a great soundtrack, sure was better than MIssion to Mars (music ruined it IMO). Even with the dirt we now know about the male leads...

    Looking forward to something more on the AMEE robot, if someone is really going to making a replica...
     
  37. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    bump for the night crew....I know there are a few more people on this board that have worked in some capacity on this film. so come on folks, lets keep the thread alive!! hopefully GaryArm is digging up some cool pic's or something about the original AMEE model. :cool
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  38. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    Hi guys and thanks Funboy1013xx for the support on this my first thread.
    I have not been able to find any photos of the prop AMEE so they must be gone, sorry.
    Although I can give you another bit of trivia about the film, the Russian probe that Val escapes in at the end of the film,
    I ran into the prop on display at Movie World in Queensland Australia some time after the release of the film.
    It took me by surprise as I hadn't seen it since it was in the studio in Sydney.
    They had the probe with some other props including a full size submarine from the film The Phantom, which was shot at the Movie World Studios.
    Currently they are shooting the next Pirates of the Caribbean there with Johnny Dep.
    How long the probe was on display and where it went next I don't know, but it may no longer exists as it was mostly made from MDF
    and that is not a material you leave exposed to the weather, as it was then displayed.
    You are right Funboy
    There must be others on this board that can contribute information on AMEE, if we can get enough data together, making blueprints would be possible
    cheers guys
    Gary
     
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  39. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I believe the Russian escape pod is down in cali....somewhere. someone posted a pic of it on a different thread as they went to a "backlot" at a theme park?? or something and took pic's of all the different decaying ships, cars etc and that was one of them...... sooo sad! :facepalm
     
  40. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    also simon baker's PETTINGILL "clean suit" is on flea-fee-e-bay now, been there for a while, and the price jumps anywhere from 600+ to 900+.....DURING THE AUCTION. I wonder if they know about "buy it now"?? if they will take 600 then just post it at "buy it now" uh duh...would love for someone who could afford it to get it for reference :thumbsup
     
  41. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    I have a Santen Flightsuit if you want any reference - I wouldn't bother displaying the clean suit part if I bought Pettengills tbh


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  42. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    looks like we MIGHT be getting some pic's of the "practical" AMEE.......stay tuned red planet fans. this could be AWESOME!
     
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  43. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I hate suspense...:lol
     
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  44. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    BRO, ITS KILLING ME!!! lol just keep in mind (everyone) this is the practical AMEE not the digital AMEE!! if I could get some screen grabs I would post the 2 differences, but I cant right now, just started a new job blah blah blah. but if someone were to watch the very beginning of the movie were they load amee into the ship, that's the real "physical" amee. and it will give you an idea of what she looked like. there is also at the "explosion/self destruct" scene....briefly...were the drone fly's into her chest. if you slow-mo you will see again the practical amee. I will post any other info A.S.A.P. and remember "i don't always drink beer....but when I do...I preffer dos xx's.. stay thirsty my friends" :love
     
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  45. Rodewaryer

    Rodewaryer New Member

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    Or...."I don't often talk to Democrats, but when I do, I ask for french fries." Yes it is shown with our most interesting man in the world behind the text....

    That one kills me.

    Anyway, I am also waiting with baited breath for some on topic (sorry, my fault) pictures!!
     
  46. funboy1013xx

    funboy1013xx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    one question I have for garyarm about the practical amee that I "heard" way back when, is that the original design was actually a star wars droid. lucas film wouldn't sign off for them to use it. so after already building it, shooting scenes with it, they quickly had to change the design to the very different digital amee. it "sounds" plausible. also there is suppose to be a picture of it, in one of the star wars art or droid/tech books. there are so many * star wars books out there that I havnt been able to find it.....and I aint gonna buy them all just to check! LOL
     
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  47. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    Hi guys
    To Funboys question, from my recollections there was never a problem with the first robot, from Lucas Film, as it was a totally original design.
    The reasons they dropped it at the eleventh hour was robot one was based on a spider and there was a back lash to spiders in the film "The Wild Wild West" with Will Smith. At test screenings of Wild West the comment cards came back with such a high negative response to the sub theme of spiders that the studio re cut the entire film for its release, the result was very detrimental to the release print of Wild Wild West .
    The reception from the paying public to the final film meant the studio looked at the film as a failure.
    Next came The Red Planet with a spider type robot, the studio panicked and ordered us to trash the fully working robot spider.
    (No guys, I didn’t get any photos of that driod, sorry)
    Syd Meed was hired to quickly come up with a new design for AMEE , which he did over a weekend.
    But the changers kept coming during the week we had to build her.
    So there was one after another compromise to the final appearance, like the wings I made for her, you can still see two struts that come out of her back which was the mounting point for the wings.
    I hope they stored the spider AMEE so it can be used in another show,
    althoughthe teck’ used to drive spider AMEE is 15 years old now, so she would need a total refit to bring her up to a usable level of today’s film needs
    Cheers
    Gary
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  48. Krel

    Krel Sr Member

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    Oh, I think the problems with "The Wild, Wild, West" went, way, wayy, wayyy beyond the mechanical spider.

    David.
     
  49. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    Waiting for photos of wrecked AMEE- will chase the owner again today


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  50. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    Have been promised pics tomorrow by the owner- hopefully I can negotiate a deal with him to buy AMEE if it looks like it can be salvaged on some way. Apparently the front legs/arms are in good shape and the head but the rear legs are in pieces - as excited as you guys and you will be first to know when I have some photos


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