I have another interview connected to the Judge Minty fan film by Steve Sterlacchini. Based on the world of Judge Dredd from the British anthology comic 2000AD published by Rebellion. You can read my earlier spoiler free review or spoiler light review and at the end of this article are links to other interviews related to this film.
The film was released on You Tube during the early hours of Monday 6th May after six months of touring Film Festivals and Comic Cons throughout Britain, Europe and USA.
Today I bring you an interview with Daniel Carey-George, Prop and Costume Creator. Dan’s work on this film went on to him forming Planet Replicas.
Semple: How did you become involved in this project?
Dan: Me and Steve discovered our love of Dredd via a Vintage Porsche website, we both liked the idea of doing some sort of live action Dredd, this was way back, and before any news of the 2012 production.
I always made prop replicas for fun so it seemed logical to try to put them to use, I was showing my work at an event when Steve G showed me his digital work – actually it was his Aliens APC animation that I really loved- and from then the project seemed not so much a cool idea but a very viable project for us.
Semple: Where you a fan of Dredd before this?
Dan: Oooh yes. I guess Star Wars was the film that started the fire but 2000AD was the regular dose of greatness that kept it burning.
Semple: You created the Judge Uniforms and all the props for the film, do you know how many individual items that would be?
Dan: A lot ! Come the end of the shoot there were about 20 odd bin bags just of costume collections, Minty had quite a collection of little items as well by the end of the shoot
Semple: Did you design the uniform with an eye on the version as drawn by any artist in particular?
Dan: Truthfully I did it from memory – my favourite artists were Dillon, McMahon and Bolland, I didn’t really use reference as I just made it up as I went, using a mental picture. I just tried to not make it too sculptural, as that makes it look too ‘frilly’.
Semple: The Lawgiver MkII does draw a little criticism from some fans as it wasn’t in use at the time of this stoty (frankly I didn’t mind either way) was there a reason you went for the MkII over the MkI?
Dan: I dont think it was a decision we struggled over, the MkII was basically already made and good to go, nothing more than that !
Semple: Again, was there a specific artist’s version that you went for?
Dan: Id seen a few versions but I like the idea of it being a ‘Cannon’ rather than a pistol, so I wanted it chunky rather than beautiful, if that makes sense, so I bulked it up a bit. I know I had this image on my laptop
Semple:And as for fan feedback, how has that been?
Dan: Amazing, for all of us. Sometimes I know we are preaching to the converted, but the internet is a very harsh place to show off something that can be easily ridiculed and shot down, but so far I have only read praise which shows just how much of an effort everyone put in to it. Steve Green’s work especially – the digital work and solid hours he did on the film was a benchmark for anyone to reach, it looks as good as it does purely because of his camera work AND digital work, period.
Semple: Which character in the film, other than the Judges, are you particularly pleased with?
Dan: Simon Palmer’s – he was the character with the green goggles in MC1. His character had the lining from a lady’s coat I got from a charity shop, some padded sparing gauntlets and a pair of trousers I used to go clubbing in from back in the day. I thought he looked as hard as nails 😉
Semple: Are there any rejected mutant costumes?
Dan: No that I recall. Steve G did some costume tests wearing one of the helmets and a load of rags and a trench coat, which looked great but wasn’t replicated on the day, partly as the helmet lining was not usable so it was a bit dangerous !
Semple:Were there any costume calamities along the way?
Dan: Not really – just a lot of sweaty leather !
I did have to rip up Edmund’s original Judge boots as they had a rigid sole and very hard to walk in, and quite dangerous on rocky ground. I got a pair of cheapo walking boots and riveted the old boot tops on top. Thankfully it looked cool, like Minty’s boots really had walked a few hundred miles
Semple: From this film came the 2000AD license deal and Planet Replicas. How did that come about?
Dan: Well, I always wanted to do something official/with permissions for 2000 AD. I did some work off the cuff for a previous Licensee which never saw the light of day, but meant I was able to meet the guys at Rebellion, who liked my work.
Rebellion needed some work done in-house which they approached me to quote on, and while there I said about wanting to do Licensed work if and when it became available. About a year or so later, they offered me the license. Thankfully with Minty having been and gone (from my workload on it at least) I had a good bulk of the work ready to go, so it was just a case of putting money where my mouth was …
Semple: Senior Street Judge Burdis gets everywhere, how much responsibility do you have for that? Was the world ready for Senior Street Judge Burdis?
Dan: Hah, John is totally his own Boss. He does wear it VERY well and has my full gratitude for doing so. I certainly haven’t the self-confidence to be wearing the uniform myself, so its great he has the right attitude and look.
Semple: Will there be helmets or badges for other Judges around the world coming from Planet Replicas?
Dan: Never say never. With the movie costumes and helmets up on Ebay, and the many copies of that work that followed, the market is getting a little saturated so we are having to second guess a few options which, before the auction, were no-brainers. Its pretty sad but we are adapting fast and hopefully will be improving every aspect of what we do in order to get product out there that is desirable to all fans and at realistic prices. On a personal note I am a great fan of Hondo-Cit judges , especially when drawn by Frank Quietly.
Semple: Planet Replicas have done a Gunnar Bio Chip, I have one, any chances Gunnar himself will be on sale?
Dan: Well, Gunnar’s hanging on my wall at the moment, so if I can work out a way to replicate it easily- its a big old thing – then I will 😉
Semple: What other 2000AD characters can we expect to see arms or costumes of coming from Planet Replicas in the coming years?
Dan: Strontium Dog deserves some love, as does Rogue. Death too. I’d like to do a Slaine piece for his 30th, and we have yet to look into the ‘full size Busts’ option of our license- I have a plan for this, but best not mention it yet !
Semple: Outside 2000AD are there any other liceses you can tell us about?
Dan: Yes, but I don’t want to tempt fate at the moment !
Semple: You met with DNA to discuss costumes for the Dredd film, they went a different direction to Judge Minty. How did the meeting come about?
Dan: Well, while at Rebellion the DNA project was announced, so I asked Jason Kingsley to basically show them my work. He said he would, I left it at that, knowing that these things are rarely ever looked into.
Anyway, about a month later I got an email from DNA asking me to drop in with a costume to show the production team – pretty mind blowing really.
Sadly, I still had my fanboygeek head on so I was just glad to be there. For instance- I could have read Jocks comic book storyboard, it was there in a clear file, but said no as I didn’t want to know the spoilers! So, so stupid ( bangs head on desk)
If I had a second chance I would have had my business head on and had more self confidence. They already knew at this stage the direction they were going though- I think they were just interested by the shade of green I’d used, for instance, helmet visibility etc.
Still, its a memory I will always have, and always cherish 😉
Semple: Is there a question that you haven’t been asked yet that you think needs answering?
Dan: Would the Minty team do a TV series?
Well I cant speak for Steve S and Steve G, but I would certainly hope that, for us, if Judge Minty can be seen as a pilot for a series, then if it was with a paid wage at commercial rates, who wouldn’t say yes ?
Certainly the bulk of the praise references it as being a viable option for TV, so if a Production Company are paying attention – its got to be more promising than yet another reality show ?
Semple: I’d love to see that!
Many thanks to Dan for taking time to answer my questions.
Other interviews connected to Judge Minty:
Steve Green – Director of Photography
Edmund Dehn – Judge Minty
Jared Butler – Voice of Dredd & others
Integera Fairbrook – Aquila’s Daughter & Judge Anderson