Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Feature
The Genius Of Carlo Rambaldi
We look back at the special effects artist's best known creations

submit to reddit

1 2 3 4 5
Back 3 of 5 Next

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)

As well as the 40 foot mechanical ape, Rambaldi had mechanically enhanced a series of masks created (and worn) by Rick Baker. Steven Spielberg saw the movie and was impressed by the level of articulation and contacted Rambaldi about creating the aliens that emerge from the mothership at the end of Close Encounters. Spielberg had tried numerous different techniques — chimpanzees on rollerskates, children in alien suits, Muppet-style rod puppets, marionettes — but nothing had come close to providing the level of sophistication needed to deliver his ET emissary, nicknamed 'Puck' by the director. Rambaldi constructed the character in Rome and brought the character to the US when he attended the Oscars to pick up a special award for King Kong.

By this time, Close Encounters had wrapped principal photography, and, on May 20, Spielberg reassembled Bob Balaban and Francois Truffaut on a Burbank soundstage and revealed his alien. Fashioning a skeleton out of aluminum and steel and a skull out of fiberglass, Rambaldi added mechanisms that facilitated arm, hand, head and eye movement operated by fifteen thin flexible cables that run down Puck’s body. Rambaldi added quarter-inch thick polyurethane skin but only just before shooting as it decomposed rapidly. It took a crew of seven operators to bring the ET to life, air pumping through the chest to add realistic esophagus and breathing motions. Puck performed the five hand signals perfectly and, when it came time for him to smile, Spielberg himself operated the levers to produce that beguiling grin.

1 2 3 4 5
Back
3 of 5
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 PPS...
...No mention of 'Possession'?!? More

Posted by glaive on Thursday August 16, 2012, 17:48

2 P.S...
A "man" in a Rick Baker suit!!?? It WAS Rick Baker in his own suit! Shame on you Empire!!!!! More

Posted by malestorm on Tuesday August 14, 2012, 07:53

3 You HAVE to be kidding!!??
Ok it was BIG and the hands were clever BUT the reason why it was only on screen for a few seconds was because it was shit!!!! Talk about biting off more than you can chew!! Rick Baker WAS Kong in that film, end of story and precious little credit did he get, no wonder he,s practically disowned any links withit, end of story t!! More

Posted by malestorm on Tuesday August 14, 2012, 07:50


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
A Guide To Rick Baker: Monster Maker
Bidding farewell to a visual effects legend

Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)