The Blue Box…

Arguably one of the finest soundtrack boxsets ever created, Superman: The Music is nothing less than a dream come true for everybody from completeists to the casual fan. As much has been written about the set already (go here) I need not go into detail save for the fact this comprehensive set is the standard by which everything else must surely be judged. This was reflected by the unprecedented frenzy of its release on Film Score Monthly’s website where demand had it crashing down in moments, eventually prompting a second pressing. Notable for its premiere inclusion of the hitherto unreleased complete soundtrack to Superman IV, the liner notes (a grand book worthy of its own release) even detail the track listing of the abandoned album. Credit must go to producer Mike Matessino who made the ‘Blue Box’ his baby and UK SuperFan Oliver Harper, whose enthusiasm served as a conduit for the involvement of Superman II composer Ken Thorne. Yet more proof of the power and influence of the passionate Superfan…!
From the top – Original photographs of 1st release Blue Box from my collection – Bottom pic; beautiful unused promotional art by Jim Bowers.

Ultimate 1:1 Progress…

A long-overdue update for this project but worth the wait as an amazing discovery has surfaced in the interim. Courtesy of Jim Bowers at CapedWonder.com is a special photograph showing a comparison between the handcrafted bust used for the project (far right) next to a recently unearthed genuine lifecast of Christopher Reeve! (centre). Of particular note is that the headsculpt was commissioned long before this discovery and completed with the aid of photographs alone yet the parallels are striking. Due to the ‘flattening out’ of the face during the procedure of lifecasting softer tissue can be compressed and expressions are usually grim or non-evident – the addition of the B&W photo by Chris King highlighting the sculpt with wider nostrils is a clear example of this.
The posts to follow will detail paint, assembly and finish but nothing could continue without the addition of the correct glass eyes. This became a problem as the original sculpt was completed without a set (apparently standard practice) for size/placement reference which meant ‘standard’ models would not fill the gaps. When John May made contact with specialists Cantor & Nissel (who have experience specifically replicating Reeve’s eyes) they unfortunately could not match the size required. This meant the project was stalled until another maker could be found. An extensive search on the
Replica Prop Forum linked me to Tech-Optics.com, a US-based company specialising in every conceivable form of false eyes handmade to your specifications. Though there have been many full-size interpretations of Reeve’s Superman, few have been so specific to attempt to not only get the right colour but include the specific patterns and ‘flaws’ present in the screencapture above (sent as reference) with the finished set below. This presented a unique opportunity so my thanks go out to James Alser of Tech-Optics whose patience and professionalism furnished us with what I consider to be an astonishing work of art.
In anticipation of the arrival of the eyes John May has also sent me two new pictures of early skin-tone airbrush paint tests (bottom two) and promises it will be something special when complete. Stay tuned…

Bubba, Vera, And The Psychic Nutritionist…

Excised from the Dovemead vaults and aquired by the Propstore Of London, this one-of-a-kind set of continuity Polaroids and costume design sketch from Superman III were used by the wardrobe dept. to keep track of an actors’ appearance scene to scene.  Above; Robert Vaughn, Annie Ross and Pamela Stephenson model their uniquely tasteless 80’s supervillain garb…