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  1. steve neill's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 4, 2017, 11:53 AM - 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #1

    I first watched 2001 when it came out in 68. I was in high school. It changed my life’s direction and career pursuits. I started making films which I still do today. But it also turned me into a maker.
    I watched so many great sci-fi films and movies and often I wanted things from those films. So I made them myself. This later lead to my working at the American Zoetrope and then in 1974 I came to Hollywood where I met Rick Baker and was quickly dropped into the make-up effects and creature making world.
    For years I have worked on so many things. I made Spock’s ears for TMP. Made creatures for Ghost Busters, Fright Night, and so many other films. I worked as a SAG actor in creature suits. Did many gorilla suit gigs thanks to Rick who referred me. I even helped launch Doug Jones career with the Mac Tonight moon mask I created for Mac Donald’s.
    But during all this time I never stopped thinking about 2001 and the impact it had on me. I wanted to make something from the film and relive the history as I did. So I started on two projects in my spare time away from the post production of my TV pilot, “But Something is There”.
    I am building Moonwatcher and a studio scale replica of the Star Child. I am documenting the process on video and so far I have sculpted the skin and made the core mold for Moonwatcher.
    I am working from photos and frame grabs. I have found the surviving head pieces pretty useless as a reference. They have been rotting over the years and the attemps at repairing them have only further distorted Stuart Freeborn”s fine work. Not to mention the upper lip being in a fixed snarled position.
    To get the neutral look of the skin sculpture I had to back engineer from the few black and white pictures available of the sculptures. Additionally there was little reference of the underskulls. But I knew how it was done. The same way I made my gorilla suit heads with a fiber glass underskull and mechanics to move the lips.
    What aren’t cannon about my techniques is the use of materials.
    They used gypsum for the molds and foam latex for the skins. Knowing that they will rot in time I am using GEL 10 silicone and deadener. For the molds BJB 1630. It just makes more sense to use modern materials that will insure better surface detail and longevity for both the molds and the skins.
    The first part to the video is long I warn you and I cut it back as best I could. So far it took a week to do the sculpture, mold and core mold.



    - - - Updated - - -

    A few pictures but to get the whole story watch the video it will answer all your questions.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. joberg's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 7, 2017, 7:54 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #2

    Great work Steve; following your vids with interest!
  3. RPF Premium Member DarkHelmet's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 9, 2017, 3:57 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #3

    I'm replicating Crash Corrigan's gorilla and this is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Finally, Ultracal alternative!!

    Steve, are you a member of the Ape Suit Cinema FB page?? If not you need to join! Chris Walas, Rick Baker are just a few in the industry that are members.
  4. steve neill's Avatar
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    1 Weeks Ago  Sep 9, 2017, 4:53 PM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #4

    Last time I checked I was. BTW Part 2 will be up later today with more great stuff.
  5. steve neill's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 10, 2017, 12:44 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #5

  6. RPF Premium Member ultraman's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 10, 2017, 2:13 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #6

    nice to see you on the rpf steve!
    been following your videos for the last 3 years!
    keep up the good work man!
  7. steve neill's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 10, 2017, 8:51 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #7

    Thank you!
  8. animator's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 10, 2017, 12:44 PM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #8

    Thank you for these videos! I'm learning a lot and the videos are very entertaining!
  9. steve neill's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 10, 2017, 10:14 PM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #9

    Thank you for letting me know. It is my hope to teach what I have learned over 44 years. Yikes it's hard to believe because I feel young still and wake up everyday inspired and excited to do this work as much as I was when I first started at the American Zoetrope in San Francisco. That was 1971 and 2 yeard later I came to Hollywood. It never gets old.
  10. RPF Premium Member CessnaDriver's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 11, 2017, 12:19 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #10

    "For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next. But he would think of something.”
  11. steve neill's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 11, 2017, 9:09 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #11

    yes indeed
  12. steve neill's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 13, 2017, 5:10 PM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #12

    https://www.facebook.com/10001534582...1539135367612/

    A few stills of the head so far. Today I will silicone adhere fabric to the inside of the skin so I can Barge cement it to the under skull. Do the lip mechanics which are simple plates attached to cables hooked up to the upper and lower jaw. Then I have to pad it. Without padding it's like wearing the iron maiden!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. steve neill's Avatar
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    6 Days Ago  Sep 16, 2017, 9:04 PM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #13

  14. RPF Premium Member DarkHelmet's Avatar
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    6 Days Ago  Sep 16, 2017, 10:28 PM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #14

    I've been on the RPF for 16 years and this is by far one of the coolest threads we've had. Thank you Steve!!
  15. steve neill's Avatar
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    6 Days Ago  Sep 17, 2017, 9:22 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #15

    DarkHelmet said: View Post
    I've been on the RPF for 16 years and this is by far one of the coolest threads we've had. Thank you Steve!!
    Well...Thank you DarkHelmet!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    DarkHelmet said: View Post
    I've been on the RPF for 16 years and this is by far one of the coolest threads we've had. Thank you Steve!!
    Well...Thank you DarkHelmet!!
  16. animator's Avatar
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    4 Days Ago  Sep 19, 2017, 8:25 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #16

    Inspirational!

    These videos are the first time I have ever seen techniques explained well enough that I thought I might be able to try a project like this myself -and I have always dreamed of doing something like this. Thank you, Steve! The videos are a real gift to the community.

    Can you go into any more detail on how you made the jaw hinge?
  17. joberg's Avatar
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    3 Days Ago  Sep 20, 2017, 7:43 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #17

    Great videos Steve Love the detailed tuto on how to make all that stuff! Eager to see the next installment for sure
  18. steve neill's Avatar
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    2 Days Ago  Sep 21, 2017, 9:00 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #18

    Thanks you guys. I am pleased they help and inspire.
  19. 3DImpact's Avatar
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    2 Days Ago  Sep 21, 2017, 10:07 AM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #19

    DarkHelmet said: View Post
    I've been on the RPF for 16 years and this is by far one of the coolest threads we've had. Thank you Steve!!
    Oh gosh, yes - THANK YOU, Steve, for sharing the detailed look into the progress on this!

    Dan
  20. RPF Premium Member DarkHelmet's Avatar
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    2 Days Ago  Sep 21, 2017, 12:34 PM - Re: 2001: a space odyssey Moonwatcher build #20

    I'm in the process of making a replica of Crash Corrigan's gorilla and was having a heck of a time understanding the process. I know it seems straight forward to most but not for me (I lack the mechanical gene). You show the process PERFECTLY for a slow learner like me to grasp!

    Saying all that, I'd love to hear how you'd approach a classic aluminum jaw in the mix. Here is a pic of the jaw being made by a fellow RPFer:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks Steve!

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