Thursday, September 3, 2015

Building a UFO - An Ed Wood/Bob Burns Sci-Fi Buzz Moment

After I noted the similarity between the look of my Halloween UFO prop so far and the flying Saucers from Ed Wood's cult classic, Plan 9 from Outer Space, I remembered a fun moment from when I worked on Sci-Fi Buzz on the Sy Fy Channel back in the mid 90's. Thought I'd share.

Legendary Sci-Fi historian and prop collector, Bob Burns, was a regular guest on the show often bringing in a few pieces from his basement museum to talk about. On one episode he brought the original flying saucers from Wood's Plan 9.

Bob's Plan 9 saucer as pictured in the March 2008 issue of Los Angeles Magazine.

Up until that day I believed the myth that they were just cheap, homemade, paper plate created props. But thanks to Bob, I learned that they were actually off-the-shelf Lindberg Model Company Flying Saucer kits available back in Ed Wood's day.

Original model box art

The director wanted to shoot a fun bump shot with Bob teasing the next segment as the saucers flew around his head. With Bob's permission, I carefully hung them with fish line from a broom stick and floated them up and down as he did something funny like trying to swat them away like flies.

Once we cut, Bob turned to me and said

"I think that's the first time they've flown since Ed made the movie." 

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