Archive for the 'Nautical' Category

Realizing Epic Film Environments: Miniatures


At the dawn of film in 1898, miniatures proved a vital special effects tool in recreating the sinking of the Battleship Maine during the Spanish-American War.

The following article offers a look at film miniature history from Metropolis to Titanic and its future in the CG age. Also featured, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, From the Earth to the Moon, Independence Day, Star Trek and Tora! Tora! Tora!. [Ed. Note: The proceeding article was originally written in 1998].

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Through Lost’s Looking Glass


Tonight ABC will re-air (9pm EST) an annotated version of Lost’s season 3 two hour finale, Through the Looking Glass, in anticipation of tomorrow’s season premiere.

Worse than Devil’s Island in French Guiana, the imprisoning island of Lost also serves as a key character. Filmed predominantly outdoors in Hawaii, the art department has still had the opportunity to conceive significant set pieces. All beginning with the wrecked Oceanic Airlines aircraft scattered across the beach. An expense that resulted in a pilot budget of $12 million, the most expensive in ABC history and rivaling the massive cost of the HBO/BBC series Rome.

Season two introduced elaborate interior sets as the we discovered what was behind the hatch. One section of the underground complex even featured a Buckminster-esque geodesic dome.

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Ocean Arcologies


The notion of cities condensed into a singular structure or hyperstructure, has frequented works of fiction as far back as 1899 with H.G. Wells, When the Sleeper Wakes. The concept garnered wider attention seventy years later when Architect Paolo Soleri published, Arcology: The City in the Image of Man. Massive self sustaining habitats, the pliable infrastructure and small ecological footprint of arcologies avoid the damaging, inefficient urban sprawl of today’s cities and suburbia.

Despite increasing stresses on our existing societal structure and a world population rapidly growing to unsustainable levels, land based arcologies appear unlikely in the foreseeable future. The answer may reside with the remaining seventy percent of the Earth’s surface, our oceans. Ocean arcologies could utilize ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) or derive energy from the ocean’s perpetual motion to provide abundant pollution-free energy. Fresh water would be available via desalination. Despite the inherent dangers and high expense, the surface of Earth’s oceans are already littered with surprising structures from Sea Forts in the Thames Estuary to the famed remnants of Florida’s Stiltsville and of course the ubiquitous oil rig. Following, a compilation of ambitious ocean arcology concepts.

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Falkirk Wheel

Many of the world’s canals are exceptional feats of engineering. It is a rarity when they also offer inspirational design. One such example is Falkirk Wheel, the world’s only rotating boat lift that reconnects Union Canal to Forth & Clyde Canal in Scotland. The wheel elevates boats approx. 25 meters (82 feet) in four minutes using a mere 1.5KWH.

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Fearless Yachts & Porsche Design


Crockett and Tubbs would feel at home in this first collaboration between Fearless Yachts and Porsche Design.

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