|The Black Hole (1979) concept art by Robert T. McCall|
Every Friday I feature artwork from a classic of science fiction cinema. This week's "Flashback Friday" post is on The Black Hole (1979)
The movie The Black Hole (originally known as "Space Probe One") is a forgotten classic, but stands as a landmark film in science fiction cinema. Back in 1979, The Walt Disney Company was known for it's all-ages rated films, but this film was Disney's first PG-rated production, and Buena Vista Distribution's second release with that rating. It also marked the first time Disney had made a straight sci-fi film and was the most expensive picture Disney ever made because of it's ground-breaking effects. While the movie got mixed reviews because of it's metaphysical and quasi-religous themes it still inspires film-makers generations later. One of the artists that helped develop the unique look of the film, that predated the production of Star Wars by the way, was the late Robert T. McCall.
Robert T. McCall was a professional art director and conceptual artist who worked on Hollywood films like Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Future Flight (1987).
Click on the images to enlarge.
V.I.N.CENT ("Vital Information Necessary CENTralized")
Originally V.I.N.CE NT was designed to have hinged legs to allow the robot to walk.
They got rid of the legs and this much more complicated design of the robot was made to float. McCall said, "I thought of him as a hummingbird, as being able to levitate and dart around very gracefully." Peter Ellenshaw would later refine the look of the design into the familiar look it had in the film.
The ship the crew rode in was designed to look very different from the final design but finally got close to the final look.
The Palomino's observation deck
See more of Robert Theodore McCall's uplifting work at http://www.mccallstudios.com/index.html
Click on the links if you want to see more of Robert T. McCall's work or The Black Hole artwork on my blog.
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen The Black Hole what do you think of the movie?
Some images via Gavin Rothery and Disney's The Black Hole Fan Site
Official The Black Hole Summary
"The U.S.S. Cygnus is perched precariously at the edge of a black hole -- the vast, empty nothingness where space and time end. Anything that crosses its border enters a universe of the complete unknown. And so begins a story that only Disney's film magicians could tell. A story of robots and humanoids. Of human genius and madness. And a spectacular descent into nature's ultimate mystery -- The Black Hole."Directed by Gary Nelson
Cinematography by Frank Phillips
Production Design by NAME
Starring Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux
Release Dates: December 21, 1979
Official Site: http://movies.disney.com/the-black-hole
© Copyright 1979 Walt Disney Productions, Buena Vista Distribution. All rights reserved