1952-2004…

September 25th would have been Christopher Reeve’s 59th birthday. Still sorely missed his influence and spirit are stronger than ever seen through the eyes of his children (see here) as they continue to campaign for his beloved cause while we watch them grow to be the echo of their father. You can join them by honoring his legacy and life by visiting this this page and making a contribution. One can only imagine how proud our Superman must be of them and of the fact he is remembered with such affection. We still believe…
Pictured above: Pages culled from Screen magazine of Christopher Reeve’s promotional tour for Superman: The Movie in Japan…

Meddings’ Miniature Magic…

Startling in their primitive simplicity yet state of the art for the time, the models pictured above were given as a post-production gift to a lucky fan by the legendary Derek Meddings.
Still in the hands of that same collector more than thirty years later, they are a fine example of the craftsmanship associated with old-school film making. Meddings, (1931-1995) was nothing less than the Godfather of the industry with his work on both Superman: The Movie and Superman II among some of his most accomplished. Elegantly documented in the book ‘Special Effects Superman’ you may be surprised just how many big effects sequences in popular Films & TV he was directly responsible for and the influence he has to this day.
Photographed next to a penny for scale, the Superman flying miniature was most likely production made rather than screen used potentially as a stand-in. The radar dishes, however, come directly from the Eiffel Tower ‘maxiture’ as evidenced by the screengrab (bottom pic, upper right). This was one of the many detailed pieces made to furnish the 75ft tall tower constructed from various metals and shot on the backlot of Pinewood Studios. Legend has it after shooting the model was held in such high regard it was re-located to the Pinewood Gardens, where it was to become a permanent feature. Sadly as it was within the vicinity of the bar, it was destroyed due to a drunken employee’s attempt to climb it, King-Kong style…
My sincere thanks to SuperFan Steve Cambden for the use of his photographs…

Freeborn’s Fibreglass Folly…

Once described by Newsweek columnist Jack Kroll as having a face ‘as sharp & strong as an axe blade’ Christopher Reeve’s features were ideally suited for the transition of Superman from the comic-book page to Silver Screen. Pictured from top is the very latest addition to my collection both echoing this sentiment and representing the end of a personal crusade to locate and obtain this rarest of ‘lifecasts‘ of the man himself.
This indisputably genuine cast taken from Reeve’s face during the production of the Superman films is the work of make-up guru Stuart Freeborn (bottom pic, Far left). Freeborn (who turned 97 this past week!) is a bonafide legend in the industry and remained makeup Supervisor for all four Reeve pictures. Besides famously serving as the face model for Yoda, Freeborn was responsible for the differentiation in appearance between Clark & Superman as well as the vile demeanour for his Evil persona in
Superman III. As illustrated in the last pic, Freeborn made multiple casts of the principals mainly for infrequently-used stand-in dummies (e.g. The Fire & Ice scene in Superman: The Movie) and other effects sequences but despite this, few were thought to exist beyond the end of production. Indeed, the only evidence of a surviving example was featured in a lot offered some years ago from the Freeborn estate by the Propstore Of London and was snapped up for a handsome price even in its battered state, making this newly-discovered sharper example all the more desirable