Phil Tippett


Last night I went with a friend who works at Tippett Studio to see his boss talk and to watch Starship Troopers.

Phil Tippett, in case you don't know, is a big deal. He worked on all three Star Wars movies, invented go-motion, oversaw the transition from go-motion to pure CGI in Jurassic Park (but not before coming down with pneumonia, when he began to believe that CGI had ended his career and everything he had been working for was moot), and now makes a living doing effects for movies, many of which are crap, but hey --- Smurfs and Immortals pay the bills.

I'm not going to say everything he said now, but as I remember things, I will add them to the comments. Check back.

Starship Troopers was just as ridiculous as you've heard. The acting is terrible (allegedly on purpose) and the humans' strategies are so stupid you kind of want them to get wiped out. But the movie did have one fun surprise: a Mormon scene. You can read about it by clicking the image.


  1. .

    Did you know: Phil and friends did all the Cantina masks. They made them then took turns pulling them on and off to shoot different scenes.

    For one mask, George Lucas wanted more eye boogers. So out came the hotglue gun.

  2. .

    Originally, the chess scene in Episode IV was supposed to be men in suits. But apparently Michael Crichton just did something that would make that seem derivative and Phil had been making little stop-motion puppets in his spare time. George saw them and asked if they could use those instead.

  3. .

    Do to time restraints, the rancor in Episode VI was a puppet instead of stop-motion. They did it at high speed, seventy or eighty takes at a time. One time, just before shooting, a poorly secured light smashed down on Phil's hand . After the shooting it was lunchtime and Phil couldn't get his now-swollen hand out of the puppet. So he had to eat with his hand still "up rancor's ass."

  4. .

    He's finished shooting a stop-motion film called "Mad God." He showed us the trailer. It looks good.

  5. .

    Kristen Stewart is a "beeyatch" in her behavior to the effect guys.