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Daniel Wagner – The ILM Professional Specials Effects Guy Bit by the Predator Bug!

March 1st, 2007

I recently had the extreme pleasure of meeting at chatting with an special effects industry professional that has worked for ILM for over 18 years and has worked on some major movie productions such as War of the Worlds, Van Helsing, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Hulk, Signs, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Planet of the Apes and the list goes on and on! Daniel Wagner is a well accredited professional, completely down to earth and is genuinely passionate about what he does, it’s obvious. He is a professional sculptor, model maker, painter, creature maker, puppeteer and makeup artist and you can check out his insanely impressive portfolio at IMDB.com. And guess what? He’s been bit by the Predator bug in the 90s! And the best part is that he shared some of these awesome photos with me and it’s my pleasure to bring you a candid look of what the pros do on their own time.

First up, check out the 18″ scratch built Predator he made in 1994:

Daniel Wagner Custom Predator!

Danny candidly admits that he’s quite a bit critical of his work because it was done so long ago, almost sounding like he may take another crack at a new and improved version. Danny – we certainly won’t mind, as long as you make a few extras for us!

This is a custom made, one-of-a-kind 18″ Predator figure made of urethane skin, hot pour vinyl dreads and peal stop paints. It also features a complete wire armature inside for custom posing! When asked about the paint process, he offered this:

(Peal stop sealer is a sealer used for outdoor house pait to stop it from pealing.) It worked on the urethane. I just tinted the sealer and used it as a paint. With the dreads I used sc-89 sealer as paint, from BJB.

It’s just amazing to me to see how people made these custom pieces years ago… we’ve advanced so far in terms of materials and sculpting processes, it would be very cool to see what a second generation of this piece would be like. You can check out some additional shots by clicking the icon below:

The next piece he shared with me was equally, if not more so amazing! Some of you may remember that awhile back, Steve Wang sculpted a custom figure for Diamond Toys. This was a prototype that was to be used for a fully pose-able toy that Diamond was going to produce. Well, the toy never happened but there are a few genuine castings of this prototype floating around and they are EXTREMELY rare! Daniel managed to get his hands on one, and tore it completely apart and transformed the solid casting in a fully jointed and pose-able figure!

Daniel Wagner Custom Predator!

Daniel was kind enough to send me a stack of images of this figure, including some revealing in progress shots that shows how he laid out the articulation. This looked like a VERY complicated project and I don’t even want to think about how much work went into this. Check out all the photos by clicking the photo icon below:

I would like to once again thank Daniel for taking the time to share his stories and sending me all the photographs, and for allowing me to share all this with the Predstuff readers! I REALLY hope you create a new predator related goodie to share with us and we wish you all the best in your future projects with ILM and beyond!

Post a Comment!

 

2 Responses to “ Daniel Wagner – The ILM Professional Specials Effects Guy Bit by the Predator Bug! ”

  1. Bonnie Says:

    Danny rocks! I’ve interviewed him loads of times for starwars.com, and he’s one of the most talented guys in the biz!

    He’s done everything from building Felucia sets:
    http://www.starwars.com/episode-iii/bts/production/f20060807/index.html

    to helping local high school kids with an anti-drunk driving film: http://www.starwars.com/community/news/family/f20060427/index.html

  2. Faken Says:

    Thank you very much for the extra links! You can tell just by talking to him that Danny is a stand-up guy all the way.

    Dan

Leave a Reply



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