Friday, December 30, 2016

SUPERMAN IV- Miniature Superman in ice

This is a really special piece.  For one reason, it is a beautifully made piece of art.  But most importantly I acquiered it directly from my good friend and mentor Harrison Ellenshaw, who was the Visual Effects Supervisor on Superman IV The Quest for Peace.

There were two made for Superman IV.  Both were part of the Ellenshaw collection.  Unfortunately, one was lent to one of the leading Superman collectors by Harrison for a display he was doing along with the prop green energy module Superman's space ship in the late 80s.  This collector never returned these pieces to Harrison.  The other one now is my collection, along with Christopher Reeve's costume from the film.

***If you are fortunate enough to archive Superman original artifacts, you should try to follow Superman's example.  Some of these Super-collectors should be sent to phantom zone for their shenanigans.

SUPERMAN THE MOVIE Fortess of Solitude control panel

This piece of Superman history was saved because one of the crew members did not throw away these pieces as he wanted to make a chandelier out of the pretty plexi-glass.   Many of the pieces still have the holes he drilled into them stringing wire through the holes.  I couldn't remove these details, its just too good of a conversation piece to see the wire and holes through all these pieces of Superman history.  Yet without this crew members interest to reuse these pieces for his art project, they would not exist today, as sadly the rest of the set was destroyed.

I purchases each and every piece, at a HUGE price, from a UK prop retailer that bought these trashed pieces from the crew member.  I pieced it back together after extensive research of what the panel looked like.   Let me say there is literally no reference material out there, so it took a lot to get it to look this good again.

Superman fans, ENJOY!

Universal Studios' Mitchell Standard 35mm Camera; located and RESTORED!

Mitchell Standard 35mm camera #302. This historic camera was purchased by Universal Studios in 1930 from the Mitchell Camera Co.  After its long career with Universal International, working on every one of their classic monster films among other Universal motion pictures it found its way to another major motion picture studio where it shot many modern classic films for it's new studio.

Fortunately for me, this studio archives department does not know what they are doing.  There fore I Indiana Jonesed another major piece of Hollywood history away from them and was able to restore this major piece of Hollywood equipment back into complete condition.  It was missing many of its exterior parts, and its internal movement.  I located the correct magazine, hand crank, external door, camera sticks, matte box, director's view finder and lenses among many other parts to get it looking the way it does now.  I was fortunate enough to know several 35mm camera techs who were instrumental in helping me locate the missing pieces.  I did all the tech work myself.

Why do you ask, did this motion picture studio get rid of such a historic piece of Hollywood history?  The answer is simple: the studio archives departments do not know what they are doing.  Their staff are not qualified to be archivists or historians.   Yet the studios still pay these staff of hacks including  their head archivists over 150k a year to sit in their office and pose as an experts, getting newspaper articles written about them etc...   If the executives of the studios really knew how little their "trusted" archives departments knew, they would be very disapointed that
they have been paying these people to do nothing.  Here is to hoping they keep these hacks employed so I can continue to salvage Hollywood for my collection...