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 Post subject: AA/RMQ, who "designed" what and Brian Muirs commen
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:04 pm 
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I just wanted to put right something Mac said regarding my views on a particular subject....

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It's like I'm supposed to believe that Andrew Ainsworth designed the Stormtrooper because Jez has been over to AA/SDS (no offense intended, Jez) and the two get along great? I'm sure Ainsworth is a fun guy to hang out with and can tell you lots about his part of Star Wars history. But if you do some web searches, you'll find some McQuarrie drawings where the Stormtroopers do look like the film versions. Quite frankly, I've never seen AA/SDS publish any of his own concept stormtroopers from that same era. When I consider only one side of the story, I'd conclude AA was the designer of the stormtrooper. When I consider other available sources of information, I get a larger picture.



I'm not sure whythe subect of AA should have come up in Mac's post concerning the SFS helmet but just to be clear, I don't think anyone could suggest that AA created the Stormtrooper likeness, as that was clearly the work of Ralph McQuarrie in 1975/76.

The issue for some of us (and imo the crux of the LFL v SDS case) is whether AA sculpted the 3D version of the Stormtrooper we have all come to love (presumably from the McQuarrie illustrations) or whether theres some unknown person at Elstree who could have done it (such as Liz Moore - which imo is incorrect)

No biggie - but i was concerned that I had been misrepresented. I hope the SFS thread is reopened so long as people can keep their cool!

Cheers

Jez


Last edited by Star Wars Helmets on Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:37 pm 
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I'm no longer on the staff, but it was my impression that the SFS thread would only be temporarily locked while staff was debating the next course of action.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:06 pm 
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NoHumorMan wrote:
I'm no longer on the staff, but it was my impression that the SFS thread would only be temporarily locked while staff was debating the next course of action.


You are right Carsten.
There is no need to start new threads on the subject, as the original one is under review and discussion by the staff.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:09 am 
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Given the other post seems to have died I'm glad I raised this separately.

My issue was that I felt that my opinon on something had been incorrectly represented by another

Cheers

Jez


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:51 pm 
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Hi Jez,

Brian Muir told told me that he sculpted the stormtrooper armour and AA only vacuum formed the moulds. He said it definately wasn't AA that sculpted the stormtrooper helmet and he had seen photographic proof of the sculpter, but was keeping his cards close to his chest. Hopefully all will be revealed in the near future.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:30 pm 
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Jez,

If I misinterpreted you, I apologize, but what you're saying sounds different than our past conversations. Perhaps I misunderstood you then, but to summarize those conversations, it was basically along the lines of:

1. Ralph McQuarrie came up with a concept,
2. but the Stormtrooper as we know it today was Ainsworth's interpretation and unique execution on those concepts, and
3. the resulting design differs from known drawings of Ralph McQuarrie
4. Ainsworth claims the TK is his design
5. He further claims there was no contract to surrender ownership of "his" design to LFL

Please let me know if you disagree. The last time we spoke on this, we disagreed on intellectual property laws, particularly what constituted a "design".

If you've changed your position and no longer believe AA was the designer or had the right to claim ownership of the TK design, then I'm totally with you, but please rename the thread from "CSMacLaren's misrepresentation" because your change of belief does not mean I misrepresented you having observed your former belief.


Last edited by CSMacLaren on Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:35 pm 
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BingoBongo275 wrote:
Given the other post seems to have died I'm glad I raised this separately.

My issue was that I felt that my opinon on something had been incorrectly represented by another

Cheers

Jez


There is a reason for it being locked Jez.
Please do not comment anyfurther on the issue.
Please respect that the Staff needs to review the original thread.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:10 pm 
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I thought they were talking about SDS now, not SFS. :cool:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:15 pm 
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clutch wrote:
I thought they were talking about SDS now, not SFS. :cool:


Please read the first line in Jez's first post.
This stray thread is in relation of that thread, so please meet the staffs request.
THAT GOES FOR ALL.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:47 pm 
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CSMacLaren wrote:
Jez,

If I misinterpreted you, I apologize, but what you're saying sounds different than our past conversations. Perhaps I misunderstood you then, but to summarize those conversations, it was basically along the lines of:

1. Ralph McQuarrie came up with a concept,
2. but the Stormtrooper as we know it today was Ainsworth's interpretation and unique execution on those concepts, and
3. the resulting design differs from known drawings of Ralph McQuarrie
4. Ainsworth claims the TK is his design
5. He further claims there was no contract to surrender ownership of "his" design to LFL

Please let me know if you disagree. The last time we spoke on this, we disagreed on intellectual property laws, particularly what constituted a "design".

If you've changed your position and no longer believe AA was the designer or had the right to claim ownership of the TK design, then I'm totally with you, but please rename the thread from "CSMacLaren's misrepresentation" because your change of belief does not mean I misrepresented you having observed your former belief.


Mac - No I dont believe my position has changed, and from your description above it now seems in line with my view, as opposed to what you posted in the SFS thread. It does indeed seem that maybe we disagree as to what the term "design" means, and I suppose there are several contexts for this.

IMO with respect to the Stormtrooper helmet, RMQ designed the original "look", and AA adapted this look in producing the screen-used 3D version. If you compare some of the more recent fan-made "visualisations" of the RMQ design, they are significantly different to the "version" AA produced which ended up on-screen - so in my view AA had an instramental influence on the finished design.

As to who actually owns the legal rights to this - I'll leave up to the courts to decide, but from an artistic/morally standpoint I can understand why AA believes he has rights.

Paul - your point regarding your conversation with Brian Muir is very relevant and over the years I have spoken to Brian on a number of occasions (I interviewed him for my site about 3 years ago). If Brian is correct and AA didnt sculpt the helmet then IMO AA has no rights (moral or otherwise). However when I asked Brian a few years back he didnt know who had sculpted it and IIRC dismissed Liz Moore as a possibility when I suggested her (the only other helmet sculpter I knew of other than Brian connected to the project). At that point AA was the only logical choice

Brian's position has apparently changed following him seeing this newly emerged photo, taken I believe by Gary Kurtz in early 1976, one of a small number which is part of the LFL submission on the SDS case. TO BE CLEAR I have not seen this photo but would very much like to as it could really open up the debate. Like everyone I want closure on this and perhaps the photo will provide this?

My GUESS is that it shows the clay sculpt of the stormtrooper helmet at a date before AA started working on the project (Feb-Mar 76) - however like I said I've not seen it, but if anyone has it please email me a copy.

Cheers

Jez


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:38 am 
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Jez,

In my early reading of your website - starwarshelmets.com - I recall you had described AA/SDS was responsible for the design for all the helmets in ANH, in the context of the AA/SDS Stormtrooper offering, which you said many would see as a "holy grail", and that the Stormtrooper was "his creationi". To me, it came across that you believed AA/SDS designed (from concept to execution) all the costumes (with exception of Vader and 3PO) in the way those of us here in the States perceive the word "design".

But "misrepresentation" is a strong word. It implies that I have intent of misrepresenting your point. I have no such motivation to falsely represent your belief, especially if that belief was already published clearly on your website.

If it was never your intent to come across on your site that AA designed the stormtrooper, then it's perhaps one of those things where we use the same written language but it means something different to us as we live in different continents.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:54 pm 
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Mac, I think we both agree and I will change the title of the thread since I dont want to suggest that there was anything malicious from you as I know there wasnt. I'll amend to reflect the actual discussion we are having plus the Brian Muir part which IMO is very interesting.

I think we agree the term "design" is quite a vague term since it may well mean different things to different people. I personally would not want to have to clarify what it exactly means. ASSUMING AA did sculpt the heelmet then it does look quite different from MRQ's drawing - yet understandably shares many of the same features.

I suppose in the trial, IF AA can prove that he sculpted the head (or LFL cant disprove it), the LFL's next step would probably be to say that the copyright is with RMQ (and therefore LFL) since AA's helmet shares the same features.

Its then a legal argument over what constitues a difference and what denotes "artistic craftmanship". Shame we cant all be there shouting comments from the public gallerys as I'm sure it would be a very interesting process :lol

So, anyone seen this photo Brian Muir's referred to?

Cheers

Jez


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:15 pm 
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Jez,

Thanks for the clarifications. My goodness -- you know, it's amazing that while we type and speak the same language, we sometimes experience communication breakdowns. But I have every confidence that if we were in some pub in England with a pint in one hand and a basket of fish 'n chips in another, I think we'd get along GREAT.

That is until I start cracking American jokes and then see you with a blank stare at me.... :toothy

So let's try to see if we can recap this whole concept of design.

If I understand this situation, Andrew Ainsworth believed and purported himelf as the designer of the Stormtrooper. In the "End of SDS" thread, crow posted a copy of the SDS catalog.

Image

Now the wording can be read both ways. On one hand, it implied that the TK was purely his concept. On the other hand, he could argue that the text never specifically said he was the designer/creator of the TK, and that these were his personal impressions as he regarded the project.

The arguement of "who" designed the Stormtrooper could be lost among semantics if LFL has been unable to produce evidence of an original stormtrooper helmet that would have been the positive form or template for SDS's vacuum forming production. In the absence of this information in the public, has Ainsworth claimed that it was his design? To further complicate the issue, if you have Ralph McQuarrie's concept work that differs from the look of the final Stormtroopers, does this mean that Ainsworth was merely inspired by RMcQ's work and that his implementation - howbeit different - is a product of his own design?

If so, where is Ainsworth's proof of the original Stormtrooper that he allegedly sculpted?

In a much earlier thread regarding intellectual property laws, I mentioned that it was popular belief that if something held at least 20-30% variance to the original that it would not constitute a violation of I.P. laws. I did some web searches and there were some legal sites that basically said that it was popular misconception.

On a separate note: how accurate are Ainsworth's Stunt helmets? Well, the arguement is that if he has the original molds (hopefully we are referring to posotive bucks and not negative molds), then they must be okay. But when you see photos of them compared with TE or GINO's work, Ainsworth's Stunt troopers seem distorted and skewed. Perhaps the formulations of molds or bucks were such that they don't retain their original structure over decades of time. Or perhaps due to a lot of pulls made on the templates that the templates themselves might get worn or wonky due to wear and tear.

In that regard, I think that TE and GINO's approach of taking actual original screen-used props and making reproductions off of them have produced a more reliable look (I personally feel less so with GINO's since his is an amalgam of two helmets -- howbeit a very nice amalgam -- but not a pure reproduction of any specific one screen-used helmet) so when you compare an AA/SDS against a TE or GINO, I have to say that the TE and GINO helmets by far look more true to the screen look.

Jez, thanks again for the clarifications!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:57 pm 
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The Vader helmet also differed from the concept design by Ralph Mcquarrie. It was the interpretation of Brian Muir from a simple pencil sketch even more simple than the concept look. But no matter what: Mcquarrie came up with the look, the basic concept which the finished clay sculpture was based on. No matter how it is turned... the copyright lies with LFL because of this.

If AA sculpted the stormtrooper helmet... it is still inspired and based on the original concept drawings - he did not come up with it himself, ergo, he is not the creator. The fact that his sculpt - if he sculpted it - differs from the concept art doesn't matter one bit: he was hired to do a job to create a 3d version of a 2d concept... and since the concept was LFL property, then the 3d version will automatically also be.

My opinion is that the stormtrooper design is LFL property, no matter if a contract was made... as AA would never have made them if it hadn't been for the film and the 2d concept. But we'll see how the courts decide this... as lawyers have a really twisted outlook on right or wrong... and can use thousands of loopholes. Definitely interesting... if anything is ever shared with the public regarding the outcome.

Haven't seen the picture that is being talked about.

You cannot really compare an SDS with a TE or GINO. The TE & GINO are made from molds made from the inside of 2 very distinct screen helmets, the AA is supposedly from the original moulds - two very different animals.

None of the screen helmets looked similar, so saying that the AA is wrong simply by comparing it to 1 or two helmets is wrong... you gotta compare it to all the screen helmets... and even then you can't be sure of a match... as none of the originals were identical either... so what do you actually prove? You can match the TE and GINO helmets to the 2 helmets they were sourced from... but you can't really match them to the rest, as they are direct replicas of only these two helmets.

The thing about the AA looking odd sometimes may be because he can't remember how they were assembled back then... or they were taken apart and reassembled later by the prop department or something. How many has actually taken an AA apart and re-assembled it more correctly?

I'm not saying the AA is one thing or the other... I'll leave that to the more knowledgeable... I'm just saying that it is stupid to get all bent out of shape... just because it doesn't look like the two helmets we have been used to seeing in replica form over the last many years. The originals were badly formed, badly assembled, badly painted... yet... people nowadays thinks theres only 1 way to form, 1 way to assemble and 1 way to paint them. Sure... :rolleyes


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:50 am 
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Quote:
If so, where is Ainsworth's proof of the original Stormtrooper that he allegedly sculpted?


Legally AA does not have to prove he sculpted the design as LFL are the complainant and saying it is their property,therefore LFL have the onus of proof that someone else sculpted the work and the IP is legally theirs.

The only time that AA will ever have to provide proof ownership of the IP is if he takes action against someone for IP theft then he will have to prove he owns the design.

Other than that is possible that AA may need to counter LFL's claims in court with his proof of ownership but as things stand he is not obliged to do so.


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