BY ADAM GRACE
Before the APU could go on set it had to be tested and rigged to ensure it achieved the required positions called for in the script. Visual Effects Supervisors John “DJ” Des Jardin and George Murphy supervised a photo shoot of the completed 1:5 scale model in different poses according to storyboard and scene breakdown notes. From this session the various APU positions were confirmed.
Dave Young and his team, in consultation with Martin Crowther and Adam Grace, produced lifting bridles and support stands to enable cranes to position the APU in its various configurations. The SFX team also manufactured a more powerful pneumatically operated shaking rig to impart gun recoil motion to the APU when it was requested that the whole body should shake during firing. It consisted of a double-ended piston fitted with large weights It could be mounted from either the front or rear of the APU through the forklift lifting holes, depending on the camera position. A device called “The Torso Rig” could mount the upper torso of the APU complete with carriage, and provided hydraulic forward/aft tilt with manual rotation. This allowed filming of APU operator action in addition to the motion base shots.