Are ya ready for Bill Pearson?

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I recently re-visited the website of professional model-maker Bill Pearson. It is an understatement to say that I was BLOWN AWAY by the wealth of reference and resource material he has made available there!

When it occurred to me that I had to share this with you all, the opening riff of a favorite rock ‘n roll tune from 1991* almost immediately came to mind, and influenced the title of this post…

 

SO,WHO IS THIS PEARSON PERSON?

To answer that, let’s go back to the late Seventies. Bill Pearson began his work as model- and prop-maker in 1978. Over the past 40 years, he has moved into supervisory roles and been involved in projects like AlienOutland, Red Dwarf, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. remake, and dozens of others.

 

Bill Pearson, in the workshop with an unidentified miniature.

 

Bill Pearson, detailing the Nostromo’s engineering room blister. Photo from Alien Explorations website.

 

 

My earliest recollections of Bill Pearson come from seeing his name in an article in Starlog #27 (October 1979), about the special effects of “20th Century-Fox’s recent release, Alien.”

 

Starlog #27 (Oct. 1979), pg. 67. See Bill’s credit in the first column. Click the image to read the issue online at the Internet Archive.

 

Starlog #27 (Oct. 1979), pg. 65. I indulgently included this one, since it is my all-time favorite photo of the largest full Nostromo miniature…with then-special effect supervisor, Brian Johnson.

 

 

The next time I came across Bill’s name, it was in the pages of Starlog #40 (November 1980). His collaboration with Martin Bower resulted in  Bowerhouse Model Associates, the company through which they created the miniature Con-Am 27 refinery and spacecraft for Outland (1981). Sort of explains why so many fans like to think that Alien and Outland exist in the same universe.

 

Starlog #40 (Nov. 1980), pg. 12. Those jackets were very cool and complemented the miniature perfectly! Click the image to read the issue online at the Internet Archive.

 

YES, HE’S THAT BILL PEARSON!

When you see the list of films and television shows that Bill has worked on, you’re going to be surprised to find some you expected, and some you did not.

But enough background… Let’s move on to talk about BIll’s website, which is the very model of direct access to online content!

 

The man himself. Click the image to visit the site.

 

On this single webpage you will find details about Bill’s work history, contact information, and his portfolio….

…and that is where it gets exciting!

Why? you may ask? Well, because he has generously provided over 7.5 GB of downloads: photos, PDFs, scans of transparency slides and 35 mm photographs (some at 7200 dpi!):

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bonus is video of his June 2013 two-hour lecture at the City of Glasgow College! Here is a screencap from the college website:

 

A screencap of the college’s video page for the lecture. (Keen eyes will note that ‘Simon Atkinson’ provided details about the presentation. You guessed it: that is none other than Simon Atkinson, polymath and illustrator of Piers Bizony’s “2001: Filming the Future”! He also introduced Bill in the video.)

 

When I got in touch with Rob, the webmaster for Bill’s site, for permission to use these images, I learned that Rob is the lucky guy who uploaded Bill’s portfolio online to the EagleTransporter.com forums. Thanks to Rob, who also runs a comprehensive Evil Dead website!

 

So, there it is!  There’s nothing for it now but for you to get clicking…

And if you talk to Bill, tell him The Nostromo Files sent you, ya hear?

 

 

*Oh, I almost forgot! If you’re wondering what that song is, check it out!

 

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