Automaton stars in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’

December 1st, 2011

Press release: 1 December 2011

UK team designs and builds mechanical hero

A British Business, Dick George Creatives, has designed and built the automaton which appears in Martin Scorsese’s new family film, ‘Hugo’.
The family fantasy is based on Brian Selznick’s novel, ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’, in which the automaton is a link between the hero, Hugo, and his late father.
Most film-makers today would use computer-generated imagery (CGI) to portray such a character. But Dick George Creatives won the contract with the film’s production company to design and build a working robotic man.
The team was a solely UK based collective of 26 experienced prop and model makers. The project spanned more than eight months, during which time Dick George Creatives designed and built 15 automata. These included two capable of drawing a picture.
One of the requirements was for the automaton to hold a traditional pen, dip it in an inkwell and make a complete drawing a representation of George Melie’s iconic ‘Man in the Moon’ image. The programming for this sequence involved nearly 15,000 lines of computer code. Scorsese’s reaction when he first saw the automata in action? “Excellent work, gentlemen, excellent!”
Dick George said: “We have a team of amazing people who worked together for nearly a year to get the job done. I personally am very proud and pleased with what was created, but possibly more proud to have led a wholly committed and dedicated team of people on a unique movie-making journey. It’s unlikely a project like this will ever happen again.”
Dick George, who operates from workshops in Surrey, has been working for film-makers for 35 years, including producing helmets for the storm troopers in the first ‘Star Wars’ movie.


Issued on behalf of Dick George Creatives by Words for Business – contact David Goymour on +44 (0)20 8647 7389

Dick George – +44 (0)20 8339 2555 or +44(0)7841 584599

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