When Phil Tippett first saw the computer-animated T-rex stomping towards him in an Amblin screening room in 1991, he knew he was finished. Conjured on the sly by the team at ILM in their San Rafael facility, the fearsome creature moved with a lifelike smoothness that Tippett could only dream of achieving using the stop-motion animation techniques he’d honed over decades.
He turned to director Steven Spielberg, who’d hired him to create and animate the dinosaur miniatures for Jurassic Park, and said, “I think I’ve just become extinct.”
The headpiece of the Staff of Ra is central to what is, without doubt, one of the most powerful and majestic scenes in modern cinema: the Map Room scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. As John Williams’ magnificent score swells and soars to roof-lifting, operatic heights, a sunbeam catches the headpiece’s central, amber bird’s eye and transforms into an ancient laser-beam, directing Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) to the resting place of the titular relic.
This year, in Prop Store’s first Los Angeles-based Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction, we have a distinguished piece of movie-making history going up on the auction block, in the form of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vista Vision Motion Picture Camera. This camera, used not only on the production of Hitchcock’s Vertigo, but also by filmmaking legend Cecil B DeMille when filming The Ten Commandments, was a marvel of technology in its day, and helped the Master of Suspense produce an enduring Noir classic.
The cover piece for our first ever Los Angeles-based Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction is the 11-foot long filming miniature of the Nostromo from Ridley Scott’s horror classic, Alien. This artifact has been a part of Prop Store’s company collection for over a decade, but wasn’t always in the camera-ready shape you see it in now. Read up on this model miniature’s incredible history; from creation, to restoration, to auction.
It’s hard to think of a movie weapon more iconic or impressive than the lightsaber. With its unearthly glow and that mesmerizing hum, it represented the perfect blend of Star Wars’ romantic fantasy and sci-fi elements: a sword, which could have been a samurai blade or King Arthur’s Excalibur, whose blade glowed and crackled like a magically frozen laser blast. To quote Jedi Master Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness), it was “Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”
For our first Los Angeles-based Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction, Prop Store is swinging for the fences with 870 film and television treasures set to go under the hammer on August 26th and 27th.
As anticipation mounts for the auction catalog (coming July 27th!), we thought we would whet some appetites and highlight five standout pieces from the upcoming sale from some undeniably classic titles.
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