June/14/2015 Filed in: Special FX
In 1986, visual effects company Introvision International was developing a movie project - an outer space version of the classic novel Treasure Island, entitled Treasure Planet. The company filmed a test sequence, most of which took place in a spaceship junkyard, to help attract financial backing for the project. The sequence utilized the "Introvision" process, a unique variation of the front-projection technique which allowed actors to be composited in-camera; accordingly, they were seamlessly integrated into an imaginary background without the need for post-processing.
I was part of a small crew of model makers who, under the direction of production designer Anton Tremblay, created the junkyard in miniature. We had a fun time in the model shop, making spaceships out of various plastics and working toward making them ultimately appear damaged and weathered. After the model work had been completed, I stayed on for a few additional weeks to help Anton and cinematographer David Stump set up the junkyard scenes on stage. Later, after I left, the actors were composited into our junkyard scenes via the Introvision process but I never was able to see the final result. Despite all of their efforts, Introvision International never made Treasure Planet . Such is Hollywood! Oddly enough, however, Disney Feature Animation made another movie with the same basic concept and title 16 years later!
Throughout the course of production on this little-known project, I photographed many setups on stage as well as several behind-the-scenes events in the model shop. Here are some of them…
Production designer Anton Tremblay fitting a vacuform piece. Michael Eschger in the BG.
Frederique Gallen detailing a space ship in the model shop.
Bruce Courtois displays his Space Hopper after giving it a primer coat.
Self portrait on the set.
Joel Fletcher ©2015