Video: The Origin and Design of the Ghostbusters’ ‘Ecto-1′
By Germain Lussier
Our favorite movies are gifts that keep on giving. Presents to be opened time and time again, whether that means watching them at home, then on the big screen, or showing to friends, family, and your children. Then you may get a cool piece of merchandise, a collectible, learn an interesting piece of trivia you never knew. The amount of ways you can enjoy your favorite movies over the years is innumerable, and thats why they’re our favorites.
Ghostbusters is one of those movies for a lot of us. This year, we’ve been celebrating a lot. It’s the 30th anniversary of the Ivan Reitman classic and besides theatrical reissues, big art shows, new merchandise and talk of a sequel, we now have some cool new information on the chariot of the Ghostbusters: The Ecto-1. Stephen Dane, the man who designed the car, is part of a video where he discusses the origins of the car and reveals some alternate looks at it too. It’s a must watch, followed by a must read interview, chock full of new information about the Ghostbusters Ecto 1. Check it out.
The above link also has a full interview with Dane. Here’s one of his better quotes about the Ghostbusters Ecto 1 (he also designed the ghost traps and proton packs, which you can read about there):
We shipped the car out to New York City on October 19th so it could get there by October 28th to be ready for the first day of shooting. It took about a week for transcontinental shipping and I recall that we put it on a train because the car was much too big to fit on an airplane. Back in 1983, they didn’t have planes that were large enough to hold it. Nowadays they could, but back then they really didn’t have that ability and it would have been too expensive anyway. I just know that one day the Teamsters picked the car up from the studio and the next time I saw it, it was in New York.
The roof rack was flown to New York separately and was connected to the car there just before filming began. I think it took a day or two to get the roof rack attached with some finishing touches done and Ivan Reitman may have requested additional details as well. The prop guys in New York were the same guys from LA and they were fully informed on how it all went together. I oversaw the work, but it was those guys who finished the car pretty quickly as it had been all figured out ahead of time.
Some confusion still exists about the extent of the work I did on the car. Although I did closely supervise the building of the Ecto-1 before it was shipped to New York, I did not physically build or paint any part of it. As I mentioned, it was the studio painters and the prop makers at The Burbank Studios Mill (now under the Warner Brothers name) that put it together. I did the fully detailed plans and elevations of the interior and exterior as well as detailed isometric drawings of the car and roof rack and then oversaw its construction, painting and acquiring of various parts. It was a very hands-on involvement without really touching the car.
Seriously, there’s so much cool detail about the design of Ghostbusters in that interview. It’s a must read.
Also included, some of Dean’s original drawings of the car, which show some slightly different looks:
Header images: DKNG for Gallery 1988
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September 26, 2014 at 12:30PM
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