Stars And Wars
Art director draws on past experiences
Release Date: 1 June
167 pages | Hardback Author: Alan Tomkins Publisher: The History Press
In a career spanning 50
years, Alan Tomkins served as art director on more than 100 films, including Lawrence Of Arabia, Cleopatra, six Bonds, two Batmans and one Star Wars ( the best one).
Of the 20 or so movies highlighted in this memoir – complete with Tomkins’s own on- set photographs – around half a dozen pass the SFX test, including a memorable chapter on 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which Stanley Kubrick proves to be as exacting a taskmaster as you’d expect. Indeed, it’s thanks to Kubrick there are no production drawings to accompany the text, as the director ordered them all to be destroyed on the film’s completion. Of his work on The Empire Strikes Back, meanwhile, Tomkins recalls a memorable trip to Norway – doubling for Hoth – where the weather was so bad they ended up shooting scenes in a snowdrift at the hotel.
Light on anything you might call gossip ( in a typically devilish foreword, Oliver Stone rebukes the author for his buttoned- up Englishness), this is nevertheless an engaging, handsomely illustrated peek behind the flats of some of the most iconic movies ever made. Paul Kirkley Filming Empire, a snowplough driver was bribed with vodka to collect Harrison Ford, who was trudging to the location on foot.
A snowspeeder under construction in Norway.