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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Labyrinth Q&A with Original Visual Effects Crew by KingRichard76

Special thanks to MuppetHenson contributor, KingRichard76, for his wonderful account of the "Labyrinth" screening recently held in London at the Prince Charles Cinema. In attendance for a Q&A were those from the Visual Effects Team who had worked on the original movie.
Hope you all enjoy and check out the great video from the Q&A at the end.

Labyrinth Q&A with Original Visual Effects Crew 
by KingRichard76

Jim Henson was a man whom with his incredible imagination and talent for what he brought to humanity as a whole is something that has been admired by generation upon generation, one of his undeniable masterpieces was the wonderful 1986 movie, Labyrinth which saw Jim Henson directing, with David Bowie starring as Jareth the Goblin King with Goblins designed by Brian Froud, Written by Terry Jones, Executively Produced by George Lucas... And all shot at Elstree Studios (before most of it wasn't turned into a frickin supermarket)

I was ten years old when I first saw Labyrinth (the year it was origninally released - yep, showing my age here) that would have been at the Odeon cinema just off Southend High Street in Elmer approach, it was one of those Magickal moments of seeing a movie on the big screen and forever enjoying, everyone at school enjoyed the movie as well - was also enjoyable when the BBC showed "Inside the Labyrinth" and how so many of the behind the scenes elements came about, Hoggle for example being animatronic head (NOT prosthetics as I first thought when seeing it) over Shari Weisers costume.

On Sunday 31st January 2016 a special screening of Jim Hensons' masterpiece Labyrinth was shown by those wonderful people at the Prince Charles Cinema in London, this was a special screening as 25% of ticket sales went directly to cancer research in memory of Jareth (David Bowie) himself, in attendance at this special screening were exceedingly talented chaps from the Visual Effects Team who had worked on the original movie.

To be honest once this event was announced tickets started selling fast and in so many ways this was an event not to be missed. On the Sunday I travelled up to London (looking back I wished I'd have left a bit earlier as by the time the train I was on had arrived in London I had only half an hour to get to the cinema - turns out my worrying was not needed as there was a very long line of people waiting for the doors to open, one couple I got talking to were very enthusiastic at seeing the movie, turns out the chap I was talking to had never seen it before and I Knew he'd be in for a real treat)

Once inside I sat down in L17 (thought L for Labyrinth would be rather appropriate) and got chatting with fellow patrons, my Kermit Muppet/T Shirt/Onesie seemed the most appropriate way to dress, the person next to me said how they wished they'd have brought along their Scooter doll.

Before the main feature and in tribute to Alan Rickman we were shown "Epic Tea Time" a terrific movie starring another beloved loss :(

And then the familiar Unicorn from TriStar leaped into frame and Labyrinth began, was quite an experience seeing a much adored cult classic in a packed cinema theatre, we laughed, we awwwwed and above all we were in awe for the entire duration and as the credits rolled the audience applauded, for many of us we had once again been transported from our world into the wonderful imagination of Jim Henson and then back home again, for others this was their first time seeing this totally flawless masterpiece,
whether it be for the first viewer or multiple viewees we all shared this experience together.

Gavin Graham (Board member of London Visual Effects Society) then invited ORIGINAL crew members who had worked on the masterpiece that we just saw up onto the stage and there began a very rare treat, a candid question and answer session with those who were responsible for so many key factors. Brothers Peter and Tim Field, Tim Walton, Martin Asbury and Martin Body introduced themselves and what their jobs were working on Labyrinth and spoke about how it was back then and how it so differs thirty years on, one interesting anecdote was when they were discussing shooting "The Wild Things" *FieryGang and how all the creatures were shot against a black background and how the fact that Jennifer Connellys hair was a bit of a problem but this was all sorted out.

A few questions were asked from the audience, one about the apparent remake, and two on the creator who is so appreciated.

Then the session with the crew members came to an end and the audience began to pile out, I chose to go down the front and say a "Hello" to those fine chaps and a wonderful meeting it was as well, to be able to shake hands with those who had worked on and helped bring to life a true masterpiece and means so much to so many different people. For as Jim Henson said at the end of the Labyrinth documentary, Inside The Labyrinth.

"Trying to do a film that would make a difference to you"

This post is dedicated to the memories of Jim Henson & David Bowie (now reunited where once more I'm sure that Jim has once again made David, Jareth) and of course Alan Rickman.

With Love.


1 comment:

  1. Actually my hands are in Labyrinth - and Tim/Peter Field are my brothers!