Saturday, December 10, 2011

Echo Base News interviews Colin Ware

Last weekend I had the chance to conduct a very interesting interview with Colin Ware, the man behind Lushros Dofine in Revenge of the Sith and also a member of the film's make up department. Read on!

Echo Base News: How did your film career start?
Colin Ware: My career as a make up effects artist first started on a BBC show named Casualty. I went on to work on the original Prime Suspect series making corpses and doing various prosthetic effects. From there I moved onto A Touch of Frost and Cracker, that all took me slowly into more film work. A lot of forgettable movies at first. Probably the best of my early stuff was in a film called Saving Private Ryan, then the Mission Impossible films, etc. Working with Dave Elsey I came over to Australia from England to do all the creatures for Farscape. Eighty-eight episodes and a mini-series later we were back in Great Britain working on Silent Witness when the call came through to come back to Australia to crew up for the new Star Wars movie, Revenge of the Sith as it turned out to be. Then after that, Ghost Rider, Where the Wild Things Are, and Wolverine to name a few.

EBN: Were you a Star Wars fan before your participation in Revenge of the Sith?
CW: I am a fan of the movies, yes. I can remember standing in line to see the first film in the late 70's like it was yesterday. It blew my young mind away. The Empire Strikes Back definitely was one film responsible for my career path.

EBN: How did you get the role of Lushros Dofine?
CW: I would love to answer that it was because of my acting prowess, but actually I was working in the creature department when everyone was trying on an old head mechanism. I had a turn and people suddenly went quiet....Does it fit you? How tall are you? What are you doing next week? To which I answered...Yes! 6 foot 1, apart from some Emperor make ups not too much! The next thing i knew i was being fitted for a very hot costume.

EBN: Can you share some cool stories from the set?
CW: Well as I'm sure you can imagine, every day was pretty cool. I got to co-apply the Emperor, burn Hayden, recreate Chewbacca, and act in the movie too. I think the coolest thing for me was seeing my name on the call sheet next to Hayden, Ewan and Ian, but also one scene after Christopher Lee!

I guess a funny memory was one where the big slaughter happens, when Hayden kills every one and leaves. Well we all had 'how to die' training from our stunt supervisor. Hayden re-rehearsed again and again. It was a complex scene with people running all over. Well I rehearsed it once then when they went for a take they moved a camera crane silently in my way, with out telling me. Upon action I ran headlong into this crane knocking myself off my feet in the process...oops.

Then on a retake Hayden left up the stairs forgetting to kill me off, up the stairs he realised hed forgotten some one, turned around only to see me waving at him, he poked me in the belly with his light sabre and I did a overacting dive!

EBN: What was the process of getting the costume and make-up on like?
CW: They were fine, all pretty comfy really, the costume was very heavy, but we made me a cool suit to fit under, so after each take cold water was pumped around the tubing to keep me cool. The head wasnt a make up, it was a computer controlled animatronic mask that had full lip sync to the dialogue, as it was pre built it just slipped over my head before a take. The original characters had a big set of cables coming out the back that really restricted movement. We hid the motors under my hat!

The worst thing about the role was the chair I was in, it looked comfy, but was infact made of fibreglass...a few hours in that made for a numbing experience!

EBN: What's your opinion about the Lushros Dofine action figure?
CW: I like it. I'm looking at it now, I've got one in my office. I collected all the figures when I was a kid, so to to have an action figure of a character I played is pretty surreal, and pretty cool.

EBN: Which Star Wars film is your favorite?
CW: I guess I should say the one I'm in, and the one I did make ups and creatures for (with Dave and a crew of seventeen). However I have fond memories of growing up with the original three films, so I think Empire is my favorite over all. (And oddly enough the re-release had our Emperor make up in it, so strangely I got to work on the movie that got me into creatures in the first place!)

EBN: Do you go to conventions? How does it feel to sign autographs for fans?
CW: I've never been to a Star Wars convention, it's not something I've pursued to date. I have signed some stuff over the years, for Farscape, etc. As I'm rather outside that loop it's always a pleasant surprise when someone is interested!

EBN: What projects are you working on right now?
CW: I'm in the middle of a quite a few things, but I've just finished on Captain America, The Hunter and a small movie called Burning Man. I can't say what im on at the moment as I've signed a secrecy agreement.

EBN: You played not one but two Neimoidian characters (Lushros Dofine and Rute Gunnay). What's your opinion about the Neimoidians and their overa'l role in the Prequels?
CW: I quite like the characters. I prefer the feel we got from them in Revenge, I think the puppetry was superior in our one too...oh and the acting from Lushros Dofine (it's hard to type sarcasm)!

The main problem with all that kind of puppetry is that there is dialogue recorded for us to programme a head from and match the lip sync, but often the recording is redubbed afterwards throwing all the hard work out the window...

We'd like to thank Colin Ware for taking the time to answer our questions and giving us a great interview!

Interview by John Laskaris.

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