When I first moved to Chicago to get into the movie business, I took a job to pay the bills while I worked my way through the cameraman’s union apprenticeship program.
Since I had made some models and miniatures for the visual effects studio I had worked at in Detroit and had photographed them, I was able to land a couple of job offers at 2 different model making studios in Chicago. I accepted the job at Richard Rush Studios, then spent the next 3 years building props, and making models full time. While I was making models there, I also learned how to weld, work with plexiglass, wood, sheet metal, resin and fiberglass. There were a lot of very talented people at Richard Rush and the work was very interesting.
On my days off, I’d go out with a seasoned union AC and work with them as an apprentice on a TV commercial or some other production.
I was enjoying the work at Richard rush Studios but the more I went out on film jobs the less I wanted to build models. I finally got a call to be the intern on “The Babe” directed by Arthur Hiller and photographed by Haskell Wexler. But before I gave my notice and left all the dust and paint fumes behind, I was presented with a brand new guitar and was told I needed to make it look like the fin of a ’57 Chevy. It had to light up, too. It was to be attached to the dinosaur which someone else at Rush Studios made, and shipped to a McDonald’s restaurant somewhere. So I cut up a perfectly good guitar and after many hours, made this.