Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Parseltongue Required

We went up to the California Academy of Sciences about a month ago, and this creature was among the Reptile exhibits, labeled as "Hollywood's version" of a giant snake. You'll notice that they peeled the "skin" off the lower half of the body, so that one could admire the construction.

I was thrilled to see the snake robot, because one of my high school friends was the lead designer it, built for the movie Anaconda. He had quite the tales to tell, being on the set of Anaconda, Free Willy (for which they had built the whale), Maverick (normal sized snakes), and many other pictures with animal robots.

He would describe the peaceful scene where someone is out in nature, communing with the animal, and just out of frame, there's be a hundred people with lighting rigs, the sound boom, and ventilation devices. They also liked working with kids, because they're only allowed to work eight hours. That meant that the crew would definitely get a break in eight hours, when they swapped out the star kids with the body doubles and started the next eight hour shift. And then they would spend their "off" time repairing the robots. Whew!

We also saw a cute (real) basilisk. At the time, Q-ster was still part way through 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret,' so I told him to pay special attention to it. "Why?" Oh, well, you'll find out.


Bob said...

Wow, what a treat, the snake looks so real, too bad the T-Rex at the background is not animatronics. I wonder if they can turn the snake on as it may whack someone as your friend T pointed out.
I didn't know there are real basilisks, so they are lizards, not a snake like creature.

mayberry said...

What a cool job!!

Amber said...

I did not know that there was such a thing as a real basilisk - you learn something every day!