Reverse Engineering 1980s Sci-Fi Spaceship Visual Effects
A look into how one creative filmmaker reverse engineered how to create his very own 1980s style spaceship visual effects.
For many, there may not be a more singularly impressive visual effects shot than the opening spacecraft shot in the original Star Wars from 1977. While for many audiences, the visual effects have been updated to reflect more modern digital technology, the original was done using some of the most direct and simplistic measures available at the time.
Nowadays, our biggest blockbusters are far removed from simple scale models and projected background setups, but for some that nostalgic aesthetic was what made their favorite films great.
As filmmakers, it’s important for us to both embrace technology but still acknowledge the past while continuously challenging ourselves in the process. One Youtuber filmmaker, to his credit, has taken on this challenge firsthand with his own question:
“Using prosumer technology and a bit of duct tape, can I create the kind of practical establish effects shot of a spaceship that would have been seen in 1980s sci fi films?”
While not a completed mission by his own admission, it’s impressive to see how modern digital filmmaking technology can actually lend itself quite well to the same 70s and 80s style visual effects which are now well ingrained in our cinematic consciousness.
If anyone else is up to the challenge, or produced similar effects or projects of their own, let us know and feel free to share them in the comments below.