Manhattan Miniature from Escape from New York (1981)

EFNY-2

EFNY-1

EFNY-3

In the first two photos, Bob (dark hair and beard) and Dennis Skotak, two legends in the visual effects field, work on the model. In the third, Bob inspects the finished product. To achieve the computer navigation sequence as Plisken is flying his glider into the city, reflective paint was applied to the edges of the black buildings, which were then shot under black light. While reportedly James Cameron’s idea, it was almost certainly John C. Wash. Cameron was a director of photography on the film (as was Dennis Skotak), and he did some great matte work as well.

(Images via Matte Shot and Fuck Yeah Behind the Scenes)

6 Responses to “Manhattan Miniature from <em>Escape from New York</em> (1981)”


  1. 1 Don Gates January 15, 2015 at 12:08 am

    I LOVE what they did with that miniature: using a practical effect to achieve “computer graphics” results. Awesome.

    • 2 2W2N January 15, 2015 at 4:28 am

      The irony, right? Not to worry. The remake will use CGI to achieve CGI results, none of which will look as convincing as reflective tape, black light, and creative camera work.

  2. 3 Eric March 17, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Very cool, though I’m quite certain that’s not Carpenter in the third photo.


  1. 1 Behind the Scenes: Escape from New York (1981) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on March 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm
  2. 2 The Glider Navigation Sequence in ‘Escape from New York’, 1981 Trackback on February 14, 2017 at 2:34 pm

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