INTERVIEW WITH GIANTS LOG
Stefan at Gary Conway's Office 1991
Was everyone was signed up at the same time?
No, different times. I think I was last, I'm not sure. If I wasn't last, I was very close to last. But yes, it was within a few days when I knew I was doing the show. And yes, the set was all built. Well, actually, that's not entirely true. We started shooting on the interior which was another stage and we didn't get up to the exterior set, which was on 17 and 18, until a couple of days into production because they weren't completely finished with the set. So, it was a couple of days before I got up there and saw it.
A lot of people have asked about the actual construction of the main space ship. We have been told it was a complete ship, but I believe it was actually in parts.
Oh, it wasn't complete - that's not entirely true. It was about three quarters complete. There was some interior built in. The cockpit was built in the exterior ship. Basically, what you have to figure is that everything that was visible from the camera's point of view was made so if you were to look through the front windows of the Spindrift, you would see the back wall of the cockpit - you'd see the door, the seats, the top of the control panel and the back panels on the wall. If you were to go inside and walk around and be in the cockpit, you would see that the actual front panel was just raw plywood. There was nothing there because that was not visible from the outside.
We see scenes where you can view the outside from inside the cockpit. Was that actually a different set?
Yes. Generally that was a number of different things. They would do that different ways. Sometimes they would take in the panels and drop them into the front of the exterior set in the interior cockpit and they'd shoot through there. Often what they would do is take the actual interior cockpit set, which was a 'wild' set, which meant that it could be moved anywhere. They'd just take it and they'd set it up on the stage in front of the trees, in front of the greens. Sometimes, they would just setup trees and greens in front of it, and then other times it was done either with a process plate or with a composite matte.
So you might just end up with the front side of the cockpit out in the 'forest' somewhere - you'd just see the edges of the walls when viewed from behind?
Sure. They were just set up literally just the three walls necessary to construct the interior, then, shoot through those. Or, if there was action taking place outside the cockpit, sometimes it would be blue screen, so it would just be the cockpit set, set up in front of the blue screen, or if it was a process plate in front of the projection screen, or if it was a composite matte, which was rarely a matte for that kind of work, it would be screened off with usually black or blue.