An Acromantula glamouring his lunch


“An Acromantula is a species of giant spider, native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, particularly Borneo where it inhabits dense jungles. Acromantulas are believed to be a wizard-bred species, designed to guard dwellings or treasure hoards, and were first created before the Ban on Experimental Breeding in 1965. These giant spiders with a taste for human flesh were first spotted in 1794.” {source}

Film: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Although this spider bears a striking resemblance to Aragog, it is, in fact, much smaller. Spiders like this one were created to fill the background of the Forbidden Forest scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets or were attached to Ron’s car as he sped away out of the forest.

Warner Bros Studio Tour

July 14th, 2017

Bat-winged dragons and ugly tiny faces


Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. {source}

Getting into the spirit, starting today with this ordinary-looking, almost boring column. But look closer…  Coade-Stone Torchère, 1809
Manufactured by Coade and Sealy, Lambeth, England, probably after a design by Thomas Hopper (1776-1856) 

This candelabrum relates to a set of ten originally made for the Gothic conservatory that Thomas Hopper designed for Carlton House, the London residence of the Prince Regent, later George IV. They are examples of the Regency taste for the fantastic, with bat-winged dragons, medieval figures peeping out between their wings, owls in flight and tiny faces with differing features and expressions encircling the column. The torchères are made from ”Coade-stone”, an artificial stone developed by Eleanor Coade in the 1760s and very popular for use in architectural ornament. 

The Huntington

July 16th, 2017

The Huntington | Art Collections | Red buttons

Reginald Marsh
Girls (Red Buttons), 1936
Egg tempera on board

Marsh first pursued a career as an illustrator, working for the New York Daily News and The New Yorker, and only later began taking painting classes at the Art Students League. Many of his best images are about seeing and being seen in New York City’s public spaces. In Girls (Red Buttons), one of the women looks at the viewer while the other glances to the right, outside the painting, her dominant red buttons supplying the painting’s title. 

George Luks
The Breaker Boys, ca. 1925
Oil on canvas

Breaker Boys is a bleak picture of unremitting toil. ”Breaker boys” were children who removed debris and sorted chunks of coal according to size and grade. They were poorly paid for their dangerous labour and suffered injuries or even death from falling down coal chutes. The painting’s large size (50 by 60 in. – 127 by 152.4 cm) speaks to the gravity of Luks’ message, which he reinforced with slashing diagonals and thickly applied paint that allude to the noise, chaos and mess of the boys’ working conditions. (In 1938, Federal regulation of child labour was achieved in the ”Fair Labor Standards Act”, which imposed minimum ages of employment and hours of work for children.)

Reginald Marsh
The Locomotive, 1935
Tempera on concrete plaster

Marsh made ”The Locomotive” as a study for a commission he received from the Treasury Department to design and execute two murals for the Post Office Building in Washington, D.C. Although the building’s architect suggested that Marsh complete his paintings on canvases that would later be affixed to the walls, Marsh sought permission to execute the murals in fresco, a technique of applying pigment on freshly laid plaster largely associated with Renaissance masters.

The Huntington

July 16th, 2017

Warner Bros Studio Tour – IV

Take 2 – Scene 3 ”Sets, Props & Costumes”

Blimp model, Blade Runner (1982)

2, 3/
Jack Warner’s phone and phone book (some mythical names included and that’s only two pages of the letter D)

Dobby the House Elf – Harry Potter

5, 6/
Gravity Capsule
This is one of the original capsules used in Gravity. This is an accurate version of a Soyuz capsule that was designed so that all of the panels could be removed as needed to make room for the cast, crew and cameras.

8, 9/
Pretty Little Liars
A’s lair is the mysterious base of operations. It is where ”A” would go to think of plans, send texts, create messages and find ways to psychologically torture the girls.
The question is: Who is ”A”?

Two and a Half Men
These are the original costumes and the living room set from the final, 2014-2015 season. The view of Malibu seen on the show was, in fact, just a photographic backdrop.

11, 12, 13/
The set of ”Friends”, which at least 95% of you will have recognized. I was not a fan but do appreciate its popularity.

14, 15, 16/
Costume design, Mars Attacks!, Manuscripts

Last, but not least, Ladies & Gentlemen, may I present to you my Oscar (but spare you the painful ”thank you” speech)!

Sets, Props, Costumes (& the Oscars), part of the Warner Bros Studio Tour

July 14th, 2017


Warner Bros Studio Tour – III

Take 2 – Scene 2 ”The World’s Greatest Detective”

From the first issue of Batman to the latest Batmobile, there was not much more a Batman fan could have wished for – except perhaps more time inside this Batcave of Treasures before being ushered to the props. The few minutes we had to walk around the Batmobiles were nowhere near enough to take in everything, still, just enough to take a few quick snapshots:

Batman #1
Spring 1940. Making his appearance in Detective Comics #27, this first issue of Batman’s own title marks the first appearance of both The Joker & Catwoman.

Batman & Robin (1997)
Bathammer. When Gotham City is frozen over, it’s time to call in your ice-handling backup- the Bathammer! With 3 meters of wingspan, the added stability to this Bat-inspired snowmobile lets the caped crusader fight crime even in the coldest of circumstances.

Batmobile from Batman Forever (1995)
The vent work in the design was indirectly lit so it appeared to glow blue on screen. Joel Schumacher helmed the next two Batman films, with Tim Flattery designing the Batmobile for Batman Forever. Using a Chevrolet 350 ZZ3 high-performance motor, the Batmobile came to life with a brand new look and feel. Its design is also inspired by bioluminescent sea creatures, as well as both Tim Burton and George Barris’ Batmobiles.

Batman & Robin (1997)
Batblade. As Batman and Robin head off to fight Mr. Freeze, we also see Batgirl on her very own Batblade! Developed from a drag racing bike, Production Designer Barbara Ling added a neon Bat-logo to the front of the bike, maintaining the bright, comic book feel of the film.

Miniature remote Batmobile, Batman Returns (1992), from the props department

6, 7/
Joker’s car from Suicide Squad (2016)
Custom made by Vaydor Bodykits, an autoshop operating in Florida, providing custom, fiberglass kits, machine parts and gears for the Infiniti G35 Coupe. The custom Vaydor kit seen in the film was designed by Matt McEntegart and you can order one too (provided you drive an Infiniti)!

The Batmobiles, part of the Warner Bros Studio Tour

July 14th, 2017




Warner Bros Studio Tour – II

Apart from the outdoor sets and iconic soundstages, the tour offers views of original costumes, props and sets used in films and T.V. series, an unmissable opportunity to observe them at their source and a real treat.

Take 2 – Scene 1 ”D.C. Universe”

Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman costumes from ”Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)”. Designed by Michael Wilkinson

Perry White, Clark Kent & Lois Lane costumes from ”Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)”. Designed by Michael Wilkinson

Robin costume from ”Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)”.

Lex Luthor costume from ”Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)”. Designed by Michael Wilkinson

Harley Quinn costume from ”Suicide Squad” (2016)”. Designed by Kate Hawley

Eyeball Thug costume from ”Suicide Squad” (2016)”. Designed by Kate Hawley

The Joker costume from ”Suicide Squad” (2016)”. Designed by Kate Hawley

D.C. Universe, part of the Warner Bros Studio Tour

July 14th, 2017

Warner Bros Studio Tour – I

The city of angels, the city of stars, the city of dreams. Rather than revolving around a centre, L.A. expands in neighbourhoods, or rather cities-within-the-city, each one with its own character and levels of popularity, gentrification and cool. We will (re)visit some of these neighbourhoods in the coming days but… first things first: a behind-the-scenes tour where some of the magic happens – in Warner Bros Studios.

Scene 1 – Take 1 (exterior snapshots) Warner Bros Studio Tour
3400 W. Riverside Dr.
Burbank, CA 91505

July 14th, 2017