ADG Perspective

July-August 2016

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Page 73 of 75

72 P E R S P E C T I V E | J U LY / AU G U S T 2 0 1 6 reshoots Above is an original working drawing by Stephen Dane (see page 68) for the Ecto-1, the vehicle that the GHOSTBUSTERS used to travel throughout New York City busting ghosts and other entities in the original 1984 film. The vehicle was a 1959 Cadillac professional chassis ambulance/hearse combination built by the Miller-Meteor Company. Mr. Dane, credited as a hardware consultant on the film, was hired at the last minute— three weeks from shooting—when the property and transportation departments, which had been supervising this key prop, realized they were not equipped to outfit it appropriately. On October 5, 1983, Dane started working on Ecto-1. He visited the primary ambulance on the backlot at Warner Bros. (then The Burbank Studios, also home to Columbia Pictures). He took reference photos and measurements, then went home, drew up simple isometrics of the vehicle and its roof rack, and various views and elevations of the exterior and interior. After director Ivan Reitman approved Mr. Dane's design, studio painters and prop makers went to work. Mr. Dane oversaw the construction and directed the craftsmen. By the time Ecto-1 shipped to New York on October 19, the ambulance was about half done. He bought parts for the roof rack, had it built separately in Burbank, and then shipped it to New York where he traveled to supervise its installation. One to two days more of finishing touches and Ecto-1 was ready. Mr. Dane worked on call during principal photography, doing additional design and addressing prop needs that came about during filming. He had previously been the Assistant Art Director on Ridley Scott's BLADE RUNNER and supervised action prop design, vehicles and their construction. He then worked on other projects like BRAINSTORM and THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION, developing a specialization in key vehicles and action props. On GHOSTBUSTERS, he also designed the proton packs, particle thrower, muon trap, giga meter, slime scooper and slime blower, incorporating leftover warning labels and symbols from his work on BLADE RUNNER.

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