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After one year of development, with George in a near heart attack panic, the team throws together a shot that required no blue screen or motion control, with a spaceship model made out of two KFC buckets.


Photo from Star Wars Behind The Scenes Society on FB
The model was placed in the miniature setting, and dropped straight down. Shot with a rack-over Mitchell camera, the camera operator took great care to remember to push the lens back into position (Having experienced not doing so at some other point in his career)
The little claws in the larger model actually held it in place, and bits of mica put in for effect. It was later filmed in front of a blue screen for other shots.
The escape pod model was mounted off-center to give it a wild, twisting motion as it fell toward the planet matte painting.

I have heard the Star Wars escape pod model referred to as the "overnight wonder" and the "five day wonder" by those who made it.
At one point Adam Savage of @testedcom rebuilt the escape pod. Lovely #VFXarchaeology…
This wired article goes into the analysis of the Star Wars Escape Pod launch, and finds out if they actually dropped it - in an article worthy of #VFXarchaeology…
Dave Goldberg attends an event with many of the actual model makers from Star Wars (which is where I have met him) and he talks about the making of the Escape Pod model in detail. He has a lot of first hand knowledge from them. @testedcom #VFXarchaeology

Jonathan Erland seen with the remnants of a party snack. No one could convince Edlund to shoot it from an iPhone dropping out the window.
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