first Bug shot done by Phil Tippett and his Creature Effects department
was the arrival of the Arachnid army on Planet P and the assault
on the Whiskey Outpost. The shot comprises of a low-shot within
the Whiskey Outpost compound, and as the Troopers scramble to man
the ramparts, the camera rises, following the Troopers up the gantry
ramp, and rises high above the outpost to reveal the Arachnid army
approaching in their thousands.
shot was filmed on the first day on location in Wyoming on a particularly
windy day. Once the camera crane rose above the compound it
was vulnerable to the location's moderate winds, and the camera
If you watch the
scene, watch the near-camera objects, such as the compound and the
Troopers etc, and you will see them appear to sway as the camera
Creature Effects Supervisor
"The big boom shot
when the Arachnid army first shows up on planet P was actually our very first
shot on Starship Troopers, and, I thought it was the beginning of the end, you
know, if every shot is like this then we are absolutely doomed because it was a
big boom-up shot and once the camera boom got up there the camera was just all
over the place.
through the lens made the background look like it was locked-off, but it made
the foreground look like these guys were on a boat going up and down. It took weeks of just matching everything in
just to make sure that we were able to stabilize the background so we could put
the bugs in."
Director of Photography
"We had to do this
shot, and it was not stable. I said ok
shoot it and lets see - Phil Tippet has to handle it somehow. The problem was it was always very windy
there, and with a very extended crane arm, if there is some wind, the camera is
not going to be stable: the whole crane starts shaking a little bit.
All this shaking
was sort of strictly forbidden because it created terrible problems to shake
all of the thousands of bugs in exactly the same way. Frame by frame by frame he has to correct whatever the camera is
doing, so we had markers in the landscape, which were taken out later, of
course, that were able to follow even these little camera movements."
animation for the crane shot in production, showing the crane rise
over the ramparts and revealing the advancing Arachnid army from
Troopers wait within the compound, ready for the run onto the
Troopers rush into possition on the raised walkway as the crane
rises from the compound deck.
camera reaches its final position as the crane extends high above
the compound and the Troopers on the foreground walkway. When
viewed in motion, the compound wall and Troopers clearly appear
to sway against the static background.
is the finished shot, complete with the digital Arachnid army
compositors work frame-by-frame to ensure that the digital Arachnid
army 'moves' consistantly with the camera.
were used as markers in the battlefield, so that the movements
of the camera could be plotted as it swayed in the wind, and the
digital arachnids could be moved in accordance to the camera
movements, so both seemed to move at the same time, and thus the
movement would not be visable.