The #1 source of Krull inside info from the
movie's creature designer Nick Maley, a key contributor to the
creation of Yoda
Nick Maley talks about making the movie KRULL....Ergo
An introduction to the KRULL stories.
There were several movies that I made that were, in hindsight, exceptionally happy experiences. EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for Lucasfilm, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME for Colombia TV and LIFEFORCEfor London Cannon Films were amongst them. But I suspect that the cream of the crop would have to be KRULL.
KRULL was the first multi-million dollar project where the creature designs were entirely my own. Peter Yates was very easy to work with.... prepared to make definitive choices on the strength of short decisive meetings and recognized the need to stick by the decisions made. Peter Grimes, the Production Designer, had done a few drawings but was happy for me to adapt them as I saw fit. That allowed me to develop my ideas in an extremely productive & creative atmosphere.
It was also on that movie that I established the nucleus of a creature/effects make-up crew that would work with me for several years....... good people prepared to stretch themselves and meet unusual challenges with unusual concepts (unusual at that time at least). Amongst them were Beryl Lerman, Bob Keen, Marian Nicholson, David White and my wife Gloria. (Nick Dudman - Creature Designer of the new Star Wars... (Episode I), also helped me on KRULL, completing the assembly of the Emerald Seer transformation puppet. )
The Production personnel were exceptional in their appreciation of the work we produced within the limitations of an unusually short prep time. That resulted in a life long friendship with Producer Ron Silverman and his wife Myra.
My old friend Christopher Tucker had originally been asked to design the creatures and make-up effects for the movie but creative differences between him and the production team lead to his withdrawal from the project and so..... 6 weeks before shooting, I started to assemble a crew to build a plethora of effects on this US$ 40 M movie.
Considering the inadequate pre-production time we embarked upon an ambitious list of make-up effects combining techniques in forms that were not common at that time.
The Cyclops, "Rell", combined radio controlled animatronics, which I puppeteered, with regular prosthetics. That lead to Bernard Breslaw, who played the part, refering to me as his "alta ego".
The Beast was the first self contained animatronic suit (that I know of), providing not only facial movement but also lung, heart and body-fluid movement all without a single external cable!
The Emerald Sear transformation puppet, which was intercut with a non 3D transformation make-up, attracted the welcome attention of the great Dick Smith and gave birth to a long distance frienship that remains to this day.
There was also a 23 piece aging make-up on Francesca Annis as the Widow of the Web and we inherited the job of creating 40 "Slayers" (designing and building the first 20 in only 10 days!). All this.... combined with a tight shooting schedule and several weeks of location in Italy.
The one area where we over extended ourselves was in trying to create a hand that physically transformed in one shot to a "Changeling" claw. We couldn't finish that in time but used the technique we were developing for transformations on LIFEFORCE instead.
At the end of that movie I moved across town to Shepperton Studios to prepare THE KEEP. I remember clearly a sense of sadness as we packed up the workshop and said our good-byes. Over the coming months I will relive those happy days as we provide you with many insights and technical details of how those effects were achieved. The KRULLpages will be amongst the most extensive of the CineSecrets files. You will be able to access them directly from the KRULL link in the index.
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