An Evening With Phil Tippett (feat. "Dragonslayer"!)

Phil Tippett: the man who tamed the tauntaun from The Empire Strikes Back, squashed the bugs of Starship Troopers, built the robots for RoboCop and released the rancor in Return of the Jedi. A California native, Tippett first made a name for himself heading Industrial Light & Magic’s animation department for Empire & Jedi, pioneering the stop-motion technique “go motion,” which enabled realistic motion blur through analog means. Advancing the medium with every new project, Tippett’s exotic effects work has been one of the greatest highlights of films like Howard The Duckand Dragonslayer — and, most impressively, he transitioned seamlessly into the world of early CGI as the “Dinosaur Supervisor” on Jurassic Park. We’re honored to welcome a talent as towering as his monstrous creations to the Cinefamily stage for a career-spanning Q&A, moderated by Rob Schrab!

DRAGONSLAYER (brand-new HD master!) — approx. 10:00pm
“Perhaps one of the most perfect creature designs ever made.” — Guillermo del Toro

“The best dragon ever put on film” — George R.R. Martin

Today one can barely imagine Disney and Paramount banding together to co-produce a realistic, adult-oriented fantasy film — but so it was in the grand sword and sorcery heyday of 1981, when Dragonslayer originally clawed its way into theaters. With stunning effects by ILM’s master Phil Tippett and his Empire Strikes Back team, Dragonslayer is truly all about the dragon: the absurdly well-named Vermithrax Pejorative. Easily the most elaborate flying terror of the pre-CG era, Dragonslayer combined practical effects, a hydraulic forty-foot dragon model, and sixteen stop-motion puppets to create one of the most realistic scaly beasts ever to blast into film history. As if that wasn’t enough, authentic locations and costuming, as well as a lush medieval score, elevate this tale of wizards and damsels to bonafide classic status. A dedicated covenant of followers lovingly waxed over Dragonslayer in the hazy VHS era — and now, it soars to us in a brand-new HD master, created especially for our shows of the film by Paramount!
Dir. Matthew Robbins, 1981, digital presentation, 108 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Dragonslayer”!