There's a good reason credits come at the end of a movie -- no one wants to watch the names of best boys and personal assistants drift across the screen for 11 minutes. But if you've ever bothered to stick around through the scroll, you may have realized that some of the same names keep popping up in all your favorite movies, and they aren't next to jobs like "director" or "Indiana Jones." In fact, you've probably been a diehard fan of the following seven people your entire life without ever realizing it.
7Ralph McQuarrie Envisioned the Star Wars Universe
Quickly, what's your favorite scene from the original Star Wars trilogy? The first moment you see Darth Vader? When Luke loses his hand and finds out the truth about his father? The battle with Imperial Walkers on Hoth? Whatever it was, chances are it was conceived long before A New Hope was ever made, and not by George Lucas.
Ralph McQuarrie was the production illustrator -- basically, the guy whose job it is to get studios excited about the movie. He was supposed to sketch out a few ideas based on an incomplete script, just to give a hint of what direction the film might go. Here's what he came up with:
Looking at what he accomplished, it would be insulting to call his pictures "concept art"; they were Star Wars. Ironically, McQuarrie didn't have a lot of faith in the film, but that didn't stop him from illustrating the coolest universe he could think up, and Lucas was sold from the start. He even said after shooting the trilogy, "When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph's fabulous illustrations and say, 'Do it like this.'"
But surely McQuarrie was just bringing George Lucas' ideas to life, right? There was, after all, some semblance of a story on which he built these worlds. Well, to get an idea of how pivotal McQuarrie was, take the most iconic character from the trilogy: Darth Vader. In the original script, Vader was only described as wearing long black robes; it was McQuarrie who decided he probably needed some kind of breathing mask to survive the vacuum of space.
BMAD: The Blog
"Oh, and is it OK if I make him look awesome, too?"
Without McQuarrie, there wouldn't be a Darth Vader helmet, or a Boba Fett suit, or Storm Trooper armor, which means you would have spent an entire decade of your childhood dressing up each Halloween as a ghost or a skeleton or some bullshit. Unless you did do that, in which case, you should watch Star Wars, it's really good.
McQuarrie didn't just work on Star Wars. He also designed the mother ships for both Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. You can even see some of his original drawings in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones shows everyone the devastation the ark is capable of inflicting.
The Bible wishes it was illustrated by McQuarrie.
In other words, from the time you were old enough to make gun fingers until you hit puberty, just about every one of your fantasies took place inside of a world designed by McQuarrie.
6Colleen Atwood Dressed All Your Favorite Characters
Tim Burton sure is good at making memorable-looking characters: Edward Scissorhands, in his bondage suit made of old seat belts; the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, dressed like a crazed, homeless clown; and the characters wearing sweet ape armor in Planet of the Apes, which may have been the most memorable part of the reboot.
But if you're wondering how he dreams up such remarkable and diverse attire for everyone in his movies, the answer is that he doesn't. Colleen Atwood does. She is the costume designer for nearly every single Tim Burton movie, and since that includes dressing Sweeney Todd and the alien prostitute in Mars Attacks! she's also served as the costume designer for at least 10 percent of every geek convention of the past 10 years.
Of course, that's just the tip of the iceberg. The academy handed her three little golden T-1000 statues for her work on non-Burton films Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha, as well as Alice in Wonderland.
Her Etsy shop cleans up.
And she's been at it for decades. For instance, she's responsible for the terrifying look of one of the most memorable killers in modern film.
Atwood designed Hannibal Lecter's mask and getup for Silence of the Lambs, as well as the lesser-known adaptation, Manhunter, making her Hannibal's exclusive go-to-gal for prison jumpsuits and terror masks. It's hard to really get a perspective on how awesome that Lecter mask is until you see just how stupid it could have looked:
Steve Buscemi, someone has wronged you terribly.
Behold, the Con Air version, also known as the loincloth Michael Bay happened to have in the back of his car the day that scene was shot.