Visual Effects

A brilliant parody film by Mel Brooks (Director), with a lot of love for the originals.
Apogee Inc. was selected to handle the all-important task of putting together the film's 
many high-quality visual effects in a limited time.
Peter Donen (Visual effects supervisor) was engaged to oversee the production of Spaceball's visual effects. 
Model magician Grant McCune was in charge for all the needed miniatures with a small input by 'ILM' ('Alien' sequence).

The gigantic battlecruiser of the evil Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis).

The seventeen feet long 'Spaceball One' ready rigged for a motion control shot. 
The motion control camera rumbling past the tremendously huge battlecruiser.
'Spaceballs', similiar to 'Star Wars', begins with an atmospheric shot of an endlessly 
tall appearing spaceship that glides powerful through the image.
The clumsy giant is really fast ...and brakes for nobody!
Apogee model shop - Working on the extendable jets of 'Spaceball One'.
Model maker Tom Pahk (right) working on the battlecruiser - Megamaid transformation.
Fisheye shot - Preparations for a reverse bluescreen matte pass.
A pass using Apogee's red phosphor matte system as an alternative to classic bluescreen.
The battlecruiser is sprayed with an invisible special dye (luminescent pigments) 
that glows under ultraviolet light (phosphorescence).
The red phosphor matte system.
Compositing a matte shot of the 'Spaceball One' battlescruiser (Optical Printer).
Visual effects matte technician Jonathan Erland.
The 'Eagle 5' of Captain Lone Starr (Bill Pullman), a Winnebago in Space.
Modelmaker Cory Faucher working on the Winnebago. Apogee Model Shop.
Finishing details to the 'Eagle 5' by modelmaker Cory Faucher.
Glenn Campbell (Camera assistant) prepares the 'Eagle 5' for a motion control shot.
Motion control setup with the 'Eagle 5'.
Last corrections, everything must match exactly - Glenn Campbell.
Camera assistant Glenn Campbell surrounded by equipment for ultraviolet light.
Preparing a 'phosphorescence' shot with the red phosphor matte system
Apogee's reverse bluescreen matte pass - red phosphor matte system.
'Eagle 5' - Motion control setup.
Crash landing of the 'Eagle 5' miniature in the desert of Planet Vega.
Staged on the parking lot of Apogee with painted backings.
The Winnebago ('Eagle 5') was wire-rigged and filmed on high-speed to obtain a good effect.
Lost in the desert. Lone Starr of Arabia.
The transformation of 'Spaceball One' into a 'MEGAMAID' with a big vacuum cleaner is a pure blast! 
What a brilliant trash!
President Skroob (Mel Brooks) enjoys a can of 'Perri-Air' ...but he wants more, much more!
'Megamaid' should take every breath of air away from Planet Druidia. 
Working on the head of the 'Statue of Liberty' ...pardon, head of 'Megamaid'.
The Queen of the maids - Apogee model shop.
'Megamaid' - Ready to launch the escape pods.
Molds for the head of 'Megamaid' and the arm parts that went on a cruise through the outer 
space after the explosion of the transformed ship and finally land on the 'Planet of the Apes'.
'Spaceball One' reaches the planet Druidia.
The air shield in the orbit over Druidia is a transparent plexiglass dome.
Two overlapping animation cels photograped under motion control.
The Planet Druidia surface was a painting projected on a smaller plexiglass dome 
(rear projection).
The vacuum cleaner 'Megamaid' begins to extract the planet's atmosphere through the 
opened air shield.
Even the snow is drawn from the mountaintop....
Mount 'Perri' on Druidia is getting the finishing touches - Miniature set at Apogee.
The crew used baking soda dropped from above to illustrate the snow which is
sucked from the mountaintop. The scene was printed backward to achieve the effect.
A first test with microballons (very tiny hollow glass balls) as miniature snow?
Or is it a mist of baking soda in the mountains of Druidia?
Looks like dry ice smoke.
Miniature forest hangs upside-down on the shooting stage. 
Each tree could be quick released electronically with its root ball.
The effect looks very good with all the dirt in different sizes behind each root ball 
(ground-up rubber foam, vermiculite, fuller's earth,...). 
Last preparations before the rocket trees are fired ...into a bathtub of packaging chips.
No top-notch publication without the frills! Here we go!
Learn how to pimp your Winnebago with rocket propulsion. What?
Making of 'Spaceballs' in live size.
A ship full of arseholes. 
View into the outer space through giant windows on 'Spaceball One'.
A bluescreen of very great size was required for these scenes.

Some sad and good news!
Lorene Yarnell (Dot Matrix) died 2010 and John Candy (Barf) already died 1994th.
There are many rumors, but why not make a part 2 ...before it's too late forever?
Mel, open a can of 'Perri-Air', remember your enthusiasm and your love for the genre 
...and go for it!