February 20, 2024

Recently, someone took a deep dive into the creation of the “Hunter-Gratzner,” the spaceship created for my movie PITCH BLACK.  Ian Hunter and Matt Gratzner of New Deal Studios were the designer/builders of the 1:36 scale model, and they filmed all the elements for the VFX shots as well.  Years later, Ian would use a similar approach for the movie INTERSTELLAR, and he came away with an Oscar for his efforts.

I recall seeing the H-G model in the New Deal studio 10 or 12 years ago, but beyond that, I had no idea what fate it met.  Well, lo and behold, my ship would up in the hands of Peter Jackson!  He has a vast collection of film memorabilia and apparently was the high-bidder at an auction I never even heard about.  You can see the model right at the top of this video (starting at the :10 mark) — right next to Cameron’s chromed-out Terminator.

Just for the record, we built a full-scale version of the crash ship in the Australian Outback.  Rather than demolishing it after the 1999 shoot, some rando entrepreneur bought the ship and hauled it back to his yard in Coober Pedy, and there it has sat all this while, still something of a tourist attraction.