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Old 29-06-2009, 08:44 PM   #41
lunadude
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Hi, Ward.

I'd love an accurate Dark Star kit.

Still missing is good reference material on the aft top of the ship, and bomb details. Wish someone would publish good research on the subject.
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Old 30-06-2009, 02:36 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunadude View Post
Still missing is good reference material on the aft top of the ship, and bomb details. Wish someone would publish good research on the subject.
(That you, Mark? If so ... thanks, and did you notice your name in the article?)

I realize the quote above was likely tongue-in-cheek ... but (mostly for those reading over our shoulders) if that had been super-serious, I'd have to reply with "define good".

In this case, it's not a matter of finding "accurate" additional resources, which would settle any discussions of what's correct and what's not, once and for all ... but of very very painstakingly eliminating the many, many, many misleading resources out there -- and in those two areas you mentioned, the film itself is a really rotten "reference"!

Why? Because we're not seeing the model, itself, in the film -- or rather, "the models". We're seeing 2D photographs, for instance, which Dan O'Bannon took of the Dark Star filming miniature, by itself; and then took seperate photos of the (one, re-dressed) bomb model ... which he took as seperate 2D sources, and then altered one or the other's size in relation to the other ... all of which ends up with something that, proportionally, varies so widely throughout the film that you'd have to say "accurate ... to this one scene."

There's little if any consistency to the shot-by-shot sizing of the bombs, as seen in the film; as compared to the Dark Star. (Or even color timing!) And the same story goes for Talby's dome -- another "magic on the animation station" deal, and therefore, unreliable.

Neither the bombs nor the dome ever existed in a screen-seen form that I'm able to call a "primary source". It's all secondary stuff -- sometimes even several steps removed from being a primary source.

Add in that idea the idea that Greg Jein's original DS model isn't fully symmetrical ... and that can be confirmed, via Tom Seiler's photos -- and you end up with a "get out the calculator," and start figuring out how best to make a replica be "least inaccurate, overall" situation.

There's no one "holy grail" reference out there ... just much data, to be studied.

In my case, to make all the seperate references "make sense," I had to study all of them; reject none of them (out of hand, completely, without serious study first); and add in the idea of "but would it actually work?" ... coming up with a specific "bomb size" for instance, that looks like it's pretty proportionally accurate, as compared to what's seen in the film ... but which also has some chance of "working," as well, with re-sized bay doors.

The hatch on the upper deck area, if one studies it, can't possibly open -- at least not as it was shown opening, on screen. So, I altered my replica's proportions, slightly, around that area; and split those hatch doors down the middle, long-ways ... and that would work. It still looks like it matches what's seen on the screen; because it's based on that data.

But so as not to beat a dead horse ... folks who are seriously interested in researching that model's original details should study Tom Seiler's photos, as published in SFFM #13. There's a ton of info there that no kit manufacturer I'm aware of, to date, has picked up on, and included in their models.

The beltline (or widest point, all the way around) is not flat, for instance, as seen in profile. It's anything but flat! So, any kit that starts with an upper half and a lower half, both of which sit on a table, perfectly flat ... they're "wrong"! And that's no minor boo-boo. That one simple error causes many others -- distorting contours, all over the entire craft!

Another subtlety ... seen from the top or bottom view, and focusing on the long tapering edges of the craft's front half ... that's not a straight line. Put a straight-edge against each side. If your eyes are well-calibrated enough, you'll find that's more like two straight lines (per side), which bend at a very small angle. It's not a rounded shape, along either forward-side, by any means ... but it's not straight, either; as nearly every kit has depicted things.

I shall leave things at that, for the time being; and let folks make their own further discoveries. I've already done my homework on the DS. And, yes, I once wished there was some magical shortcut, to get past all of the raw data and the confusion it brings. But in hindsight, I'm quite glad no one handed me those answers, years ago. Having had no choice but to figure out how to figure it out, led me to even more important problem-solving skills. Which have in turn allowed me to "figure out the shape" of not only the DS, but many other models.

...Skills I discuss in great detail, by the way, in my upcoming "SHADO Jet" article, in their #14 issue. So, in a sense, I turned people onto the raw data they'd need, in the #13 issue ... and taught them what to do with that raw data, in the #14 issue. And teaching a person to fish, methinks, is a greater gift than a few fish dinners!

Gotta run, though ... got a bunch of kits and a few scratch-builds to play with, for #15 and later SF&FM issues!

Last edited by Wardster; 30-06-2009 at 02:47 AM. Reason: forgot a sentence or two, towards the end
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Old 30-06-2009, 10:27 PM   #43
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Hi Ward,

I would be very interested in drawings or better yet a copy of the frame drawings you used to fabricate your hull, happy to compensate for your work whatever is a reasonable amount?

Lemme guess...

Define reasonable right? Lol

Regards

Cap'n
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:41 AM   #44
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I just watched it recently myself. I like the story, but I have a few concerns. Given the size of the thermostellar bombs in relation to the ship it's hard to believe that at least 20 could be stored aboard. The film mentions that two areas of the ship are severely damaged and exposed to space and yet there is no sign of the external damage you'd expect. With no resupply where are these guys getting their food and water? You can only recycle consumables so far. Yeah, I know what you're all going to say.

If you're wondering how they eat and breathe and other science facts. Just repeat to yourself it's just a show; I should really just relax.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:15 AM   #45
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Like the title of this thread, it's like comparing chalk with cheese. 2001 it ain't.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:45 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardster View Post
(That you, Mark? If so ... thanks, and did you notice your name in the article?)
Yep, tiz I. I appreciate the mention, though I haven't sprung for the issue, yet.

I trust the photos will encourage someone to make a better version of the DS (complete with landing gear). Even a stand-alone bomb19 kit, would rock.
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:55 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DX-SFX View Post
Like the title of this thread, it's like comparing chalk with cheese. 2001 it ain't.
Point taken, about being off-topic. So ... here's a very on-topic response to the thread:

Perhaps that "chalk and cheese" comparison was the Dark Star filmmaker's point.

I'm just playing Devil's Advocate, here, so I hope folks can control their tempers -- and note that I've already pointed out several flaws with the Dark Star film, that others didn't -- but perhaps the college kids who made that student film thought that 2001 needed to be knocked off of the throne it was being placed on.

Perhaps, just perhaps mind you, they were essentially saying that a really well-made film, visually, with a flawed central concept, was still a flawed film.

Perhaps the college-age, draft-age kids who made the Dark Star film saw the world around them -- Vietnam War going on, Kent State massacre, Tricky Dick having been caught breaking and entering (and/or many other, similarly scary or depressing things going on in that era, in America and elsewhere) -- and they interpreted the central theme of 2001 to be something akin to "Mary Poppins in Space". That 2001 was saying: "There is a higher power out there, who is watching over mankind, and no matter how bleak things look, don't worry, because that higher power will make sure that everything will work out fine."

In response, I suspect they made a film with an (original) central theme of, "Given that mankind can't get along with one another, even when there are only a handful of people involved in any given interaction, the more likely cause-and-effect scenario is that mankind plays their stupid little Power Trip games, while failing to communicate with one another, with the end result that they end up destroying themselves. Sorry, folks; no happy ending."

I'm also reasonably sure they were pressured by others to "cheer it up, some". So they took what they already had, and they mocked their own film, as badly as they'd mocked other people's. Making, in a sense, a two-level dark comedy -- but with the same basic "mankind will not get out of this alive, given their proven inability to do so, before."

For the record: I like 2001. I like 2010. I'm just playing Devil's Advocate, on this topic's thread. I think there's enough visual evidence (previously noted by others) to show that the film school students who made Dark Star, more than likely saw 2001 -- and apparently, copied some of it's visual elements, or parodied them.

I'm guessing the makers of Dark Star felt 2001 was being crammed down their film school student's throats, far too hard and often; and that it needed to be mocked, and dethroned. Sort of a "2001 was not cheese, it's frikkin' chalk" response to their teachers. And it's well-documented, many times by multiple people involved, that a film school environment was the only place the film's makers ever thought anyone would see DS.

Just saying. Given the evidence I've seen, that's one possible explanation of their motives.

In a sense, it may have been a way for them to learn how to do visual things like 2001 had managed to do -- a positive nod in that direction -- along with a "thank you, but we will not allow you to tell us what films are great; we'll make that determination for ourselves" response to their elders, and the film school's apparent habit of enthroning certain things.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:27 AM   #48
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Lest other folks end up getting all incensed or worked up, over some of the things I said immediately above, I'll take the liberty to post Wikipedia's definition of "Devil's Advocate" ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_advocate

"In common parlance, a devil's advocate is someone who takes a position, sometimes one he or she disagrees with, for the sake of argument. This process can be used to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure."

I'll also short-circuit any possible hard feelings by pointing out two hidden-agenda things that, previously, I wondered how long it would take others to work out for themselves.

First: my arguments about a sunny future for mankind are really directed more at 2010 than at 2001. Thereby invalidating that argument -- but only if someone were first to admit a subjective quality difference in terms of both movie's themes; or to admit those two movies had themes that may have, arguably, come close to contradicting one another. You decide.

Second, what interested me most about a previous poster's unexpectedly harsh comments wasn't their analysis of the perceived quality of one movie over another -- one opinion as to subjective quality is as good as most others -- but the idea that, arguably, despite this thread's stated title, the true topic the original poster apparently hoped would be under discussion wasn't relative quality, at all; but comparisons of little-known visual similarities. Those interested should go back and look again at the first handful of posts. I don't believe this thread was ever originally intended as a discussion of the subjective quality of 2001, versus the subjective quality of Dark Star. In other words, I took minor offense at a snarky or dismissive tone, and wondered if the poster (whom I respect) realized he was claiming others were off-topic ... while apparently not remembering what the original topic really was; or thinking it was something it was not!? In any case, it really doesn't matter either way. I'd "rather be friends than be right" so I'll just say "Shrug"! ... and "Back to my workbench".
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:44 AM   #49
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Quote:
Perhaps the college-age, draft-age kids who made the Dark Star film saw the world around them -- Vietnam War going on, Kent State massacre, Tricky Dick having been caught breaking and entering (and/or many other, similarly scary or depressing things going on in that era, in America and elsewhere) -- and they interpreted the central theme of 2001 to be something akin to "Mary Poppins in Space". That 2001 was saying: "There is a higher power out there, who is watching over mankind, and no matter how bleak things look, don't worry, because that higher power will make sure that everything will work out fine."
It's made clear in the book that the thing the aliens hold of most value is intelligence. They farm the universe and encourage intelligence wherever they find the potential. However, they're not afraid to weed when it all goes wrong and the central premise of 3001 is that the aliens may return to destroy mankind. Kubrick was never about upbeat endings either. Terry Gilliam was featured in a recent interview and was talking about Kubrick and Spielberg. Spielberg is about upbeat endings and 'popular' films. "Schindler's List" is an upbeat film about how Oskar Schindler successfully saved hundreds of Jews from the Holocaust but Kubricks opinion was the opposite. The Holocaust was about failure and the breakdown of civilisation. In 2001, Clarke/Kubrick are actually presenting a fairly cold vision of the future where technological advancement does not necessarily lead to a better quality of life.

Comparing Dark Star to 2001 is essentially like comparing chalk with cheese. The overall tone of Dark Star is comedic and may well have been having a gentle dig at 2001 but 2001 tries to present some huge concepts and ideas about mankind's origin and future whereas Dark Star is basically some students 'having a laugh' while making a film while possibly having a go at pricking the pomposity of what they saw as an over indulgent film.

Last edited by DX-SFX; 05-07-2009 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:52 PM   #50
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Thanks to this thread I jumped over to Amazon.com and grabbed the DVD for 7 bucks and change new. I kinda remember seeing it years ago but its just a vague memory.
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Old 19-07-2009, 09:54 PM   #51
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The toy helmets used in the movie were available for the longest time on Amazon.com and only recently became unavailable. I scoured the internet with no luck locating them. Even Ebay came up dry.

http://www.amazon.com/Realistic-Astr.../dp/B000NAA2U0





Last edited by shadopilot; 19-07-2009 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:34 PM   #52
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Default Dark Star on Blu ray

Has anyone here got or watched the German release of Dark Star on Blu ray?
The reason I ask is I would love this in hi-def but the suggestion on the net is that the picture quality is as bad as the Dvd release?
Don't know if they were all the same but the Dvd version I have is pretty poor picture wise.
Have read that Dan O'Bannon was involved in a special edition version for blu ray release but the project stalled due to Dan's untimely death, So no idea when that is likely to be released.

Any info much appreciated.


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Old 09-06-2010, 07:43 PM   #53
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Dark Star imdb page has information links down the left margin.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069945/

more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Star_%28film%29

http://www.planet3earth.co.uk/dark_star.htm

Last edited by Steve Gerard; 09-06-2010 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:01 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoref View Post
...Dark Star on Blu ray?
So we're talking about a movie shot in 16mm, transferred to 35mm, and converted to Blu-ray. Hmm, not expecting a lot of this new format.

Never know, might be wonderful, then again...

"Let there be light."
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:05 PM   #55
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FYI, check out the Replica Prop Forum, for a NICE studio scale Dark Star bomb model.
http://www.therpf.com/f10/dark-star-bomb-20-a-70511/
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:50 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD View Post
"Pay attention, 007!"

Lee is a member here as well, and posted his Bomb 20 build here.

Thanks for posting that thread, Lee S did a excellent Dark Star Bomb 20 build...so accurate it looks dangerously real.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:28 AM   #57
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The one thing that really separates the two films, for me, is how their separate film "languages" have stood the test of time. Kubrick's film still essentially works in terms of the narrative and the themes in his film. Alas, Dark Star, pursuing completely different ideas and thoughts, especially the comedic ideas, has a film language doesn't work after only a decade after its initial release. (Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the film.)

For example, when I first saw Dark Star, at Cornell University (American Ivy League school for those not familiar with our academic elite), one bit, used at least twice in the movie, and to great amusement of the audience, was Dark Star (the ship) not observing the concept of conservation of momentum. That is, when it comes out of hyperdrive, or whatever they called it (haven't seen the movie recently), it comes to a complete sudden stop, which Newtonian physics would probably scramble the crew into little blobs of goo. This was a big laugh to the Cornell audience in the initial year of the film's release. Up to this time, there had been no depictions of sudden stops on the big or small screens (that I can remember). Analyzing what this bit of film language means I leave as an exercise to the reader, though I have to mention it fits right into the irreverent tone of the film.

Somewhere around ten years later, the film's reputation was at least of great interest to the middle school crowd (11-13 year olds) and it was in a mini-film festival at a public school I once attended. The price was right, and I watched the film again. But this lack of conservation of momentum wasn't even slightly amusing to this later, albeit younger, audience. And that's because they (and I) had seen several depictions of FTL travel (besides DS) which all worked around the limitations of einsteinian & newtonian physics frameworks all of which at some level, showed massless vehicles, or frameworks that make mass irrelevant.

If I was to watch the film again, there are probably other bits of film language that would remind me was funny when I first saw the film, but I remember this one bit that was intended to be funny, and met with utter silence only several years later. In fact, I'm pretty sure Dark Star is the first film I saw that acknowledged that one "solution" to FTL was changing the mass of the vehicle or how that mass interacts with the universe.
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Old 25-06-2010, 12:42 PM   #58
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Whenever I'm trying to do something on somebodies Macintosh, I always end up imagining how if it could talk it would sound just like bomb 20.

"I'm afraid that I cant do that! And I've been programed to explode in 20 seconds!"


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