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Old 10-12-2009, 08:34 PM   #1
Wardster
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Default Curious about references for Disney's The Black Hole

Are there any online or print-source references or concept art or whatever, related to the Maximillian robot's design from Disney's 1979 movie, The Black Hole?

I have the DVD from 2004, and an old copy of the paperback novelization (somewhere), and I made a bunch of screengrabs from the DVD to check the "as built" details ... but if there was something like an "Art of The Black Hole" book knowing title / author / etc. info would be nifty to have. Somehow I doubt any such thing exists ... but one never knows.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:06 PM   #2
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An old Starlog magazine did a feature on the film and included some Maximillian production art. Don't ask me which issue though.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:25 PM   #3
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Clearly a man who doesn't have his Starlogs languishing in a pile in a box like me.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:27 AM   #4
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The Prop Store of London had the original model for sale but it's not on the site. This isn't much help but here is a video where they showed it briefly at around the 3:30 mark, even the image capture of YouTube shows it:

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Old 11-12-2009, 01:41 PM   #5
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Nice video thx...
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
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35. June 1980. Want some scans?
JD, impressive quick STARLOG source knowledge.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
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Clearly a man who doesn't have his Starlogs languishing in a pile in a box like me.
Me too.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:46 PM   #8
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Mine were! But some shelf space opened up, so they're right at my shoulder when needed!
JD, I envy you.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
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There's a first time for everything...

I stopped getting Starlog at about no.130, well after it had degenerated into a rag-sheet for the film/tv trade, but the earlier issues are still a goldmine of contemporary info.

For a teenager in New Zealand into SF and special effects there was nothing else that could touch it! It was a real lifeline!
I began subscribing with STARLOG #13, I believe in 1978. After I saw ROBBY THE ROBOT(Forbidden Planet) in a TV commercial selling STARLOG SUBSCRIPTIONS in 1978. I was fourteen. I loved STARLOG and purchased a subscription and back issues #1-12. I was a regular subscriber for years after that.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD View Post
35. June 1980. Want some scans?
Yes, definitely! Thanks much! (PM to be sent, momentarily.)

For some reason I spaced-it-out on the idea of old magazines -- which is odd for me, since I love print resources. (Probably a mental block, since I knew my boxes of old mags were buried under other boxes in the basement?! Ha!)

Anyway, while I was searching through boxes in the basement I came up with the Black Hole's paperback novelization. No photos in my copy. Looking through my meager collection of old Fantastic Films magazines, I found one article about the Black Hole in issue #14 (Feb 1980) -- but nothing like what you guys dug up, in Starlog. Just an interview with the film's director. About 9.33 pages long (four in color) but no good artwork related to Maximillian. Just one side-view photo of him, in a decent size.

Thanks for the link to that video, folks ... that was pretty cool! There's not enough for me to accurize the MPC model, based on seeing that prop -- but it was sort of a surprise to see such an animal; and a pleasant one at that.

You guys (an' gals!) are way too cool! :-)
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle12 View Post
The Prop Store of London had the original model for sale but it's not on the site. This isn't much help but here is a video where they showed it briefly at around the 3:30 mark, even the image capture of YouTube shows it:
Just out of curiousity, I ran their shop's URL through the Internet Archive "Wayback Machine" ... but I didn't (in the few archives I glanced at) come up with anything useful. (Just a "Press Kit" -- the only item listed at present, under "Black Hole".) Still, maybe when the 2009 stuff is up, on the Wayback Machine...?

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.propstore.com/

And before I forget it: a Google search on images related to "Black Hole Maximillian" turned up something that might be the studio's 1:1 scale original Max "model": (can anyone confirm or deny that's what it is?):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorenjavier/3759339497/

... and from the looks of it, other people also took pictures at the D23 booth at the San Diego Comic-Con. There are many other images of that and Vincent, etc., on the images section of Google. (It's just that I was curious about pre-production stuff ... mostly.) I haven't done it yet, but a search on "Maximillian Black Hole D23"...

Last edited by Wardster; 12-12-2009 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:15 AM   #12
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I remember there was a one issue BLACK HOLE POSTER MAGAZINE in 1979 too.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:59 AM   #13
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I remember there was a one issue BLACK HOLE POSTER MAGAZINE in 1979 too.
Cool news ... which I just checked via Amazon's search engine, and came up with one available -- but at $50.00 for it, someone else wants it more. They show the thing's front cover, though: which tells me it has a "detailed scene-by-scene breakdown" -- which sounds great in a 1970s mindset (before VTR's and then VCR's were invented), but which won't give me anything more than I already have, from having made many screengrabs off of DVD. Still ... as a bit of 70s trivia it's cool to know such a thing existed! I thank you for mentioning it!

Subject bounce: has anyone else noticed how badly distorted the aspect ratio of some scenes is, on the DVD? It looks like Max and the humans get really skinny, from time to time -- appearing like they squeezed really-widescreen images into a not-quite-so-widescreen space, as it were.

Question: does anyone have it on LaserDisc ... and is the aspect ratio correct, or mostly correct? It is sort of a trivia question, since the grabs I have are fine for what I need. (Mainly contour work; not proportions or outlines.)

Bounce #2: it looks to me like the MPC mostly got things right. There are a number of simplifications in terms of shape, as well as omitted panel lines and the like ... but when they got something right, they really impressed me. Some stuff I was tempted to think couldn't be right, upon checking many DVD screengrabs ... yeah, those details were there. Maybe not perfectly shown on the kit, but it looks like they had excellent references, and tried hard.

Last edited by Wardster; 12-12-2009 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardster View Post
Cool news ... which I just checked via Amazon's search engine, and came up with one available -- but at $50.00 for it, someone else wants it more. They show the thing's front cover, though: which tells me it has a "detailed scene-by-scene breakdown" --
You are not missing too much. THE BLACK HOLE POSTER MAGAZINE 1979 was like the 1970s STAR TREK POSTER MAGAZINES and STAR WARS POSTER MAGAZINES. Simply put a large poster that folds into a magazine consisting of only six 8"x11" pages.
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:40 PM   #15
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Okay, good to know about that "poster magazine". It's even less on my want lists, now. Doesn't seem all that pertinent, as references for Max go.

I did a bit more searching, and can now confirm that the D23 exhibit was an official, Disney-sponsored event. (Looks like they had a D23 booth at a convention; but also had a whole convention hall set-up this September.) It appears there was an official brochure explaining the larger event, and it was scanned in as a PDF by someone; and the scan can be had at this link:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19429145/D...Expo-Guidebook

Just as a minor warning: that web site requires a quick, free registration before they'll allow downloads.

There isn't much of anything about the robots, picture-wise, in that scanned brochure; but there is a brief text mention claiming the robots seen were the full-sized ones from the film:

“And if science fiction is what you’re after, we’ve brought out the V.I.N.C.E.N.T. and Maximilian full-size robots from The Black Hole for your viewing pleasure.”

(Quote seen on page 51 of the brochure; or page 29 of the scan.)

I'm presuming that the "D23 booth" pics found in a Google Images search are a cut-down version of the larger expo; but that they're the original robots.
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:07 PM   #16
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Another "post web-browsing" update: it looks like there was a catalog of the "Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives" book available at the expo:

http://micechat.com/forums/d23-disne...d-edition.html

And it looks like someone might have scanned some pages from it:

http://s127.photobucket.com/albums/p...ris/?start=all

The image of Max shows some details I'll have to double-check against the movie, to be sure they're what they seem to be; or are 'in the original'.
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Old 14-12-2009, 05:27 PM   #17
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I believe that "Cinefantastique" ran a cover article on this movie when it was released back in the Christmas of '79.
They did two covers, the other being ST-TMP which came out at the same time, I think I have this issue somewhere at home. If my memory isnt playing tricks I think the cover image was a pre production painting of the Cygnus entering the hole.
I'll have a ferret around & see if I can find it.
Good luck though to anyone trying to do something with the old MPC kit, its been in my stash since it was released but its such a simplified moulding it would basically be a scratch build exercise to make it look anything like the ship on the screen.
The two robot kits are pretty good though.

Last edited by Sage the Owl; 14-12-2009 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 14-12-2009, 06:14 PM   #18
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The two robot kits are pretty good though.
Agreed. I don't have the VINCENT kit, but if it's on par with Maximillian, it's pretty good. I was sort of pleasantly surprised at how many things they got right on the Max kit, once I made a bunch of screengrabs and started really studying what was there. The injection-molding process and the requirement for keeping the parts count low (for what they likely assumed was a youngish audience) seemed to be their main limitations: not a lack of references or whatever.

That said, I'm making many small changes to accurize my build-up. Not so much because I feel compelled to: it's just that in studying the screengrabs I've come to appreciate some of the subtleties of the form the robot's originators created. My original question to the group was meant as a way to get more info than the DVD would be able to provide. As it turned out, grabs from the DVD are pretty much all I'm going to need to accurize what's there, kit-wise. Well, that and time. But I'd still like to see concept art or whatever ... largely because the styling of Max's "armor" is growing on me. There's a lot there for a person with a good eye to sit back and admire, I think.

-- Ward Shrake --

Last edited by Wardster; 14-12-2009 at 06:21 PM. Reason: more thoughts
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Old 14-12-2009, 09:57 PM   #19
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JD, nice MAXIMILLIAN development sketches. I remember the STARLOG issue images.
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Old 15-12-2009, 01:00 AM   #20
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Nice pics'. That top one is very Vaderish.
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