Monthly archives: February, 2019

Star Wars Celebration announcement

 

So 17 years ago I wandered into something called the Diorama Workshop at Star Wars Celebration 2.  Little did I know that I would spend the entire convention in a small room making a massive diorama of Mos Eisley.  Also, I did not realize that I would meet Frank Diorio, a man that I have now worked with know at 8 Star Wars Celebrations. Frank runs Dioramaworkshop.com.  

 

If you don’t know what a Star Wars Celebration it is the name of the official Star Wars conventions that occur every 2-3 years.   At the workshops fans come and build a small piece of a diorama that will eventually combine to make a massive scene from a film.  It is all free and whatever you make you get to keep and take home. 

We have built Mos Eisley, the Death Star, Endor, Hoth, Tatooine, Bespin, and the Death Star surface with a Hot Wheels race track down the trench.  You can learn more about some of the past celebrations I have helped with here.

This years Celebration is in Chicago, IL on April 11-15 at McCormick Place.  We will be back again for one of the largest and longest running events at the Celebrations. 

Over the years we have partnered with companies like Hasbro, Mattel, Smooth-on, Aves, Sculpey and more.  This year we are going in a whole new direction and partnering with Fantasy Flight Games, makers of such awesome products as X-Wing, Imperial Assault, and Legion.  Our entire build is designed in 1/48 scale and will be the Battle of Scarif from Rogue One.  Guests will be able to make beach, jungle, and water scenes and custom create trees, bunkers, and more.  

For the last 4 conventions I have also been running what we call Master Classes.  This years I will be free running daily classes on how to paint miniatures.  So if you are going to be at Star Wars Celebration be sure to stop by and sign up for a slot as they can fill up quickly.

We have an amazing team of crew who have been with us as far back as C4 and on.  Everyone has a role and is putting in a ton of work before the show.  My contributions will include making a number of the most memorable scenes from Rogue One in miniature form as well as creating numerous small easter egg scenes to try and spot.  Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter as I have a lot of fun sunrises in store for the show and possibly some giveaways for subscribers. 

If you would like to volunteer or keep up with all our announcements head over to Dioramaworkshop.com to keep up to date with all the videos Frank will be posting. 


The War Galactic – 3rd commission for Patton Oswalt. Wes Anderson does Star Wars

Over the years I have had many amazing creative opportunities.  More than a few have come because of working with Patton Oswalt.  I first heard Patton mention me in a tweet years ago and then later in an Empire magazine article while promoting the film Young Adult.  The most flattering mention was when he wrote a post about me on his blog.   It is quite surreal when someone who’s work you enjoy so much expresses an appreciation of what you do.   Patton first commissioned me to create a line of figures where I imagined a world where Star Wars had been directed by the famous exploitation filmmaker Russ Meyer and all the characters would have their genders reversed.  The line was called “Faster Empire.  Strike! Strike!”  Next, he hired me to create a line where Star Wars existed in a Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic world.  The line was called “Road Wars”.

We had kicked around a few ideas of what to do next and then Patton threw down the gauntlet and said, “What if you did Wes Anderson does Star Wars”.  I was simultaneously terrified and excited.  I have found that my best work comes when I am intimidated by the idea of the commission.  Over the years I have never done a line that has been done by someone else first.   I have tackled Samurai, WW2, Steampunk, Western, and Serials.  But, to try to combine my favorite films with one of my favorite directors of all time was a quite intimidating.  This fact was compounded by the fact that Wes Anderson has one of the most distinctive filmmaking styles of all time. 

This was going to be a real challenge.  Many times, when people do these kinds of creations they “mash” things together.  That has never been my style and I knew I did not want to simply have the father Royal Tenebaum dressed in black like Darth Vader or do a Bill Murray as Obi Wan.   I have worked as a production designer and art director on films, so I decided to tackle this project the way I would if I was lucky enough to work on a Wes Anderson film.  I started with a 7-page script that I wrote that allowed me to create a complete narrative with the archetypal characters of Star Wars but in a Wes Anderson style world and story.  Once I worked through who my characters where I began to design their look with heavy research on the recurring looks of Wes Anderson costumes but with subtle nods to the Star Wars inspirational characters and colors but muted palette.   Patton always likes me to create vehicles, which I did for this line.  But I counter proposed an additional idea to Patton that would expand the world I was creating.  I pitched the idea of creating a miniature set for the figures to occupy.  The sets are as much a character in Wes Anderson films as anyone and his love of miniatures made the idea even more appealing.  Patton jumped at the notion and I was off. 

The line consists of 11 7′ scale custom figures, a three story diorama, a scratch build truck, and an original movie trailer.

Click on the poster image below to read see all the figures, the diorama, vehicle, and more…