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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Heilemann’

Cool Ralph McQuarrie concept art for the original Battlestar Galactica series

Posted by LiveFor on December 2, 2008

Michael Heilemann may not have had much luck with his Star Wars Flickr collection (check out more of that story in this previous article), but he does have this lovely collection of Battlestar Galactica concept art by super artist, Ralph McQuarrie.

Glen Larson and ABC hired McQuarrie (who was also the concept artist for Star Wars) to put them together after the huge success of A New Hope. Check out the rest of Heilemann’s collection and let me know what you think of the artwork.

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Order 66 – The Dark Side of Lucas and Star Wars

Posted by LiveFor on December 2, 2008

Michael Heilemann has a ridiculously large collection of Star Wars production stills, behind-the-scenes photos, and concept artwork, and rather than just brag about it at comic conventions, he’s shared it online. Neatorama pointed me to Heilemann’s Flickr photostream, a collection of nearly 3,000 Star Wars-related images, most of which I’ve never before encountered (or looked for in any way).

While trawling through the wonderful world wide web to find more juicy morsels of amazement I came across the above article on I Watch Stuff. Being a fan of the good Star Wars I went over to Michael Heilemann’s Flicker photostream to have a wander through the thousands of Star Wars photos he had found. Unfortunately, the Sith Lords of Lucas had got there first and this is what poor Michael had to say about the matter (it starts with Flickr’s bad news):-

Dear Michael Heilemann,

We have received a Notice of infringement from Lucasfilm Ltd. via the Yahoo! Copyright Team and have removed the copyrighted items from your collection “Star Wars” from your photostream.
———————————————

In other words, the collection was Order 66’d. Including, I might add several images that most certainly are not under neither Yahoo or Lucasfilm’s copyright domain (I’m sorting that out).

I had expected this to happen at some point, even though the majority of images removed have been available on the net for years and years in other collections. So in reality it was perhaps not so much the content of the collection, but the volume or organization of it. But so goes the robotic ways of the copyright infringement take-down.

Collect, share, but do not organize or make sense of, would seem to be the lesson learned.

And such a shame too, as I had just started mapping out the matte painters and their work on the original trilogy, cross-linking the artists at work with their finished, in-progress and even sketch work (including images of their cameos in the films). Likewise, I had started linking individual images with their counterparts in the behind the scenes programs, like From Star Wars to Jedi.

Because that is the kind of resource I would like to explore myself. In fact, I would LOVE a resource like that. I’m a 15-year-old boy caught in a 30-year-old man’s body (get me out of here!), and when I need to recharge my creative batteries, Star Wars is where I go.

But a resource like that doesn’t exist. All the material is out there. Star Wars has been very well covered over the years. But it’s all disparate and in many cases very hard to find (with plenty of material still unreleased, which tells you something about the size of the Lucasfilm archives).

I’m head over heels with these little things. The details that went on behind the scenes (like how a man was nailed to the floor in the creature workshop). This is what I come to Star Wars for. I often cited Star Wars as being my primary well of inspiration, and I still feel that way. There’s a magic about it, which is forever, and which isn’t owned by Lucas or his companies. Unfortunately for my personal take on Star Wars, that magic is inexorably bound in the images of the making of Star Wars, and as such, quite literally owned by Lucasfilm.

I would love to work on creating such a resource; but I doubt there is any will to do so from Lucasfilm’s side, as it would prevent them from serving it up piecemeal to starving fans, as has been the case so far. Just today I received The Making of The Return of the Jedi book, which has been out of print, as near as I can tell, since 1983. Of the 20-30 images in it, I think one; maybe two were a part of my collection. I was looking through The Cinema of George Lucas yesterday, and saw for the first time, a Revenge of the Jedi poster I have never seen before (and it was quite amazing as well, I might add). It was a thumbnail the size of… a thumb nail.

There is so much undiscovered country.

Anyway, the take-down is a fair legal move as it were, even if I don’t (obviously) agree with it. After all, the collection was an attempt at remedying the exact _lack_ of such similar resources from Lucasfilm. Thousands of people have passed through the collection and been ecstatic at the chance to peek in behind the scenes at a mythology and a series of films that are forever, and I think that it is remarkable that even now, we all carry these films with us.

This is what starwars.com should be doing! But instead of its initial potential, it has grown into a tired, empty husk of a marketing machine, not only poorly designed technically (and a usability nightmare!), but also trying so desperately to promote the Clone Wars show that it has forgotten the very magic that once propelled the world into the stars, on May 25th, 1977.

As a boy I fought in the Clone Wars, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. And this isn’t it.

Anyway, a collection like the one I had here could exist and thrive only because it fueled a need not otherwise being met, and I hope that if nothing else, it might somehow have planted a seed that can somehow grow into an official online collection of much higher standards and with much better and wider access.

As it were, I tip my hat to Bonnie (who I am promoting to admin of the the Star Wars group, and I’m sure she will do a great job of it) and the Star Wars Blog and hope that in the future, we fans won’t have to swap images of Leia kissing a wookie in the backrooms of the internet or face take-downs when we do it in public.

Copyright laws protect Star Wars, but so far Lucas and Lucasfilm haven’t been doing the best of jobs with it, so one can only wonder if it isn’t in fact better left up to the fans?

Either way, those of you who joined because of my Star Wars addiction, I’m sorry, but there will be no more Star Wars on here from now on in. It’s all out there on the net, but you will have to excavate it up on your own, until such a time that

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I loved Star Wars. I still do, but I’m not sure the opposite is true any more.

It took me a couple of years to build the collection, to tag, organize and inter-link it. And it will take me a couple of years to get over the loss of it and the lack of any proper alternatives.

So goes it.

May the ashla force be with you.

– Mike

I feel his pain and hope that one day he gets a chance to show the collection again. He must be gutted. What are your views on this? Head on over to Flickr and show your support.

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