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Empire Strikes Back Machinist Udo Pampel

One of the many great things about working for 32TEN Studios is when retired ILM’ers from the 80’s stop by. One day I was working in the model shop alone and a guy walked in. I said hello can I help you. He smiled and introduced himself. He was Udo Pampel, former ILM employee and apparently just wanted to stop by and say hi. He got a big smile on his face when he saw his old machine – the Bridgeport mill that he worked on for many years.

He told me about making the ankle mechanics for the AT-AT’s in Empire Strikes Back. How they designed them to animate properly & quickly while also supporting the weight of the model during stop motion. He went on to tell me about the custom camera and components they made for the mine cart model chase sequence in Temple of Doom, etc. Udo’s a nice guy. I enjoyed his visit and his stories. Month’s later I learned that Udo along with Michael MacKenzie, Mike Bolles and Joseph Fulmer of Industrial Light & Magic won an Oscar in 1999 for their pioneering work in motion-controlled silent camera dollies.

32TEN Studios is a special place. It always brings smiles to faces. Checkout 32TEN.com for all your production needs. It’s no longer Lucas’s ILM but there is still magic there for sure.



 * https://www.oscars.org/sci-tech/ceremonies/1999

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