Star Wars – Rebels
Star Wars – The Clone Wars
Mackinnon and Saunders Work
“And now on ITV, Burke, Virdon and Galen try to escape the Planet of the Apes” … another surreal opening title sequence. You get the picture, right?
This is where it all began … Who made those monsters, where did they make them, and how?
Then there were the films. The original Planet of the Apes, first shown on TV in 1975. One time when it was repeated, I remember being out in the garden and my mum shouting me that “The trailer for the Planet of the Apes is on telly!” I ran so fast that I forgot I put my pet hamster, Fred, in one of those rolling plastic balls. I was so desperate to see the Apes trailer that my foot slammed down onto the plastic ball and cracked it open like an egg, leaving Fred looking up in sheer terror and shock. The same look that Charlton Heston had at the end of the trailer as he saw apes riding horses.
1976, my mum takes me to the pictures to see King Kong. And then, in 1977, a film called Star Wars … In 1982, Ridley Scott’s Alien premiered on TV and still, to this day, remains my all-time favorite film.
All this would shape what I now do for a living … create characters for film and TV. And I still do it as they would have done in the 70s. With clay and hand-made tools.
Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be lucky enough to have worked at the place where the Muppets were created and Star Wars was made. With a good cup of English tea in one hand, I will do my best to create and design someone or something for your next film or TV show.
Darren Marshall has been creating characters for film and television for over 23 years. Beginning at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in London followed by Mackinnon and Saunders where he spent nine years sculpting and painting characters for stop-motion animated features, TV shows and commercials.
In 2001 he relocated from the UK to USA and joined Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic in 2002 as part of their Digital Features Department, which would eventually become Lucasfilm Animation Ltd. For the past 11 years Darren was the in-house sculptor and character designer for Lucasfilm Animation working on various projects including Star Wars The Clone Wars for eight years.