Zorgon Spaceship Original Model
This impressive Zorgon spaceship filming "miniature" measures a full 6 ½ ft. long x 16 in. wide and was made by the visual effects company Sony Pictures Imageworks for the movie Zathura: A Space Adventure. This was the hero filming miniature for the shots of the ship for the space travel sequences. Constructed of resin and styrene elements with a meticulously hand-painted finish and intricate detailing. Miniature models were used to create the spaceships because director Jon Favreau enjoyed going back to techniques used in many earlier films such as the original Star Wars trilogy. "I’m a bit of a nostalgic filmmaker so working with practical effects just makes it more fun for me. On Elf we did stop motion animation, and forced perspective in camera. I find that the challenges of presenting the crew with the mission statement of trying to work with practical effects makes it a much more collaborative and creative experience. We used digital effects here and there to help move the story along and help smooth out the rough edges. But at its core, we wanted the main set pieces to be based in the real world, in a practical environment. It feels more realistic to people of my generation who grew up before digital effects were so pervasive. To me, movies with too many digital effects look a bit like a video game. The design of the Zorgons is very derivative of early sci-fi. And they remind me a lot of Frank Frazetta’s paintings from the John Carter Of Mars serial books. We screened a lot of movies, like Forbidden Planet and other early sci-fi classics." According to Pete Travers, Visual Effects Supervisor on the film for Sony Pictures Imageworks, retaining the stylized "1950s sci-fi look" from Van Allsburg's book "was a very important aspect of the effects". This model is part of ScienceFictionArchives.com, and the second model of the Zorgon Spaceship built for the movie is on display at Jon Favreau's house.