John the Robot

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by dreamer7, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. dreamer7

    dreamer7 New Member

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    Hello All,

    Does anyone know how I can track down the owner of John the Robot who appeared in the ANZ Call centre ad on Australian tv a couple of years ago? I've tried contacting the Australian Lost In Space site but no joy.

    Sincerely

    Tom
     
  2. DarthBish

    DarthBish Well-Known Member

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    Dunno, but it was a great ad.....
    must've cost a small fortune for the rights of all the characters, especially the Daleks
     
  3. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  4. dropshipbob

    dropshipbob Sr Member

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    That's a pretty cool robot design, I've never seen it before.
     
  5. Docking Bay 93

    Docking Bay 93 New Member

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    Yeah, that is pretty cool. Some of it actually looks like how some of the HONDA and SONY robots look, doesn't it? It almost looks functional in some ways.

    -E
     
  6. wozabee

    wozabee New Member

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    Wow! ...sorry it's taken planet Earth so long to conspire up enough coincidences to lead me to this very post.

    what, 5 years!!

    I built John (well, we had time to make just his upper-half) for director Sean Meehan - now quite some years back - when I was with Sydney's Studio Kite.

    Sean came to us after the original script called for Robby the Robot.
    It seems the licensing difficulties made it impossible at the time, so he asked if we knew of ANY classic film robot that (may) be out of copyright?..

    Well, I'd been obsessed with Russia's Pavel Klushantsev for years, and realized that nobody had ever bothered to build a relpica of John! I'd looked for years into what may have become of the original, and was pretty sure he's lost, or in scattered bits, out there... somewhere (snif').

    So... after providing him with a copy of the ORIGINAL Planet of Storms, he was hooked on the idea, we got the go-ahead, and Shaun was even determined to get john's accent right (what a true geek he is!).

    We'd already spent ages doing countless hi-def screen grabs from the film, deciding on a scale, and reverse-engineering plans from that (hopefully, I still have them... somewhere).

    So, while the rest of the Studio Kite busied about making all the background robots, Jason Taylor and I set about the marathon of getting as much of John's upper-half built in the remaining 2 1/2 weeks as possible!

    Even sleeping over at the workshop (felt like toasting some marshmallows), we only were able to get about 70 percent of his detail completely finished. Missing are his shoulder pistons, and elbow-to-wrist detailing, also the 4 tapering rods that support his protective neck ring.

    His body was sculpted from a single block of lightweight polyurethane foam, Plywood discs matched to the various joint sizes applied, the whole thing fiberglassed, then the foam removed.
    His waist support ring was a 2 foot stainless steel "lazy susan" bearing from a big chinatown market.
    His enormous shoulders were huge heavy-duty aluminium boilers from a catering equipment store.
    They each had another of those great "lazy susan" bearings - 18 inch - inside for movement.
    Other joints were just single point pivot bearings. inside the wrists were trimmed down slimline 5 inch pressed-metal bearings for pronation/supination (thet have a really slim profile and nicely smooth on the ample inside hole to get your arm through).
    Upper-arm and Elbow bits were from Large PVC pipe offuts.
    Wrist joints were 6 inch chromed "gazing balls" from a homeware store. Vacuum-formed fingers pieces were made in 2mm styrene.
    Head dome halves were in PETG.

    Jason (poor sod) volunteered to be John's operator. The only problem we never quite solved was severe pinching under the arms if they were let drop too low. We cut as much as possible away for his pinching armpits, but were limited by the cut-outs appearing as he raised his arms - maybe a secondary gusset/barrel bit needed ...hmmm...

    I'll see if I can dig up some on set pics to post here soon (we had little time to take shots while making, as we were literally running to get him finished).

    Fun shoot to do. We even had a visit by Ira Allen! (who even did her Lost in Space Valkyrie call for us). B9 was one originally made by Lewis Morley, and the Dalek, by a couple who live in Canberra obsessed with making Daleks.

    I'm now over in NZ at Weta Workshop, but John's being minded (well, HALF of John) by a friend back in Sydney. I'll be sending for him some day - when we're done on the H*bb*t - and hopefully, I can encourage Richard, Dave, or others at a loose end to geek-up in their spare time and help get the rest of him finished.

    I REALLY hope someone else here would like to take up the challenge of making the world's first complete replica of John. He truly deserves his own pedestal in the Film Robots Hall Of Fame (crikey! "FRHOF" is a pretty lame acronym... hmmm...).

    Please don't hesitate to contact me if you''re at all interested in pursuing this.

    Re-making John the Robot would truly be a noble & worthy (and historical) cause!

    Cheers all,

    Woz
     
  7. Jelcoprops

    Jelcoprops New Member

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    Yes! I'm VERY interested. Sent you a private note..

    Please contact me at kjsgang@aol.com for the fastest reply!
     
  8. blip

    blip Sr Member

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    Great build story! I thought I was the only one who even saw that film.
    Yep, pretty cool robot and landspeeder car...even the acting was cool.

    Very best of luck getting more done on it.
    Would love to see some pictures one day.

    blip.
     

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