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Jon Davison, Ed Neumeier and Paul Verhoven hired me and Jay Ohrberg of Jay Ohrberg Show Cars to design and build a RoboCop Police Car for the first RoboCop Movie. Ed Neumeier, the writer of RoboCop, Paul Verhoven the Director and Jon Davison the Producer worked with me on a daily basis for several weeks. Ed Neumeier was my main contact and we had a great deal of fun together. I went to his house a couple of times after work and sat around listening to music and reading scripts. It was a good time in my life.
If you are interested in seeing the RoboCop Design art, click here RoboCop's unseen Movie Cop-Car
This is Paul Verhoven in a candid moment. It was rare to see him without his trademark glasses. Around this time, I went to Hollywood and watched the thrill movie "Hitcher". It had a really great crash scene with 2 cop cars spinning midair and employed some wicked weapons. RoboCop would need lots and lots of weapon ideas. I liked it so much I told Ed and Paul about it and convinced them they should take some time off to see it. In the middle of the day, around lunch as I recall, we all drove over to the theatre on Hollywood Boulevard and watched it. They said they liked the sequence and we talked about it as we drove back to the studio. Paul is a very down to earth, nice guy. He listens. Here I was, practically nobody, and he listened to my suggestion and acted upon it. He was willing to take time out of his busy day and view what I thought was important. I will always admire him for that.
Ed Neumeier is one heck of a nice guy. If I were in the industry still, I suppose we might be friends. We had a great deal in common. We both loved cars, the written word, music, and action films. He admired my ability to put on paper what he was thinking and I admired him for his script. A sort of mutual admiration society. At one point he asked if I would consider working on his team. I agreed that it would be a great thing for me, but at the time Jay Ohrberg and I were working some deals and I had to think about it. What a fool I am! He and his group have had great success with Starship Troopers and other projects. Hey Ed, if you read this, write to me . It would be fun to swap story again.
Jon Davison is the man that made the decision to hire Jay and I. I am grateful for that opportunity and sorry things did not work out at the end of our contract. Jay's company and Tobor had some kind of contract problem and our cars never made it to the screen. I left Jay after he and I had a dispute and so I do not know why the cars were not used. I never asked. Jon hired me as a freelance designer even after the problem to finish some interior sketches. He was a very nice man. I would like to work with him again someday.
This is Arne Schmidt. He was a unit director, I think, working under Paul Verhoven. He really liked my stuff and took the time to review some sketch books I had. He seemed to think I had a lot to offer. I never had the opportunity to spend much time with him but we got along well. He was a visionary thinker and no doubt a big help to Paul. In this photo you can see him perusing a gun catalog looking for wicked weapons!
Here I am intent on scribbling in black ink on white paper. This was my office. You can see the art, scrap and inspirational material on the wall. Check out my art box. Not only does it have many very cool and rare stickers, Ascot 1/2 mile dirt oval track and Ontario Motor Speedway, it has a pencil sharpener right on the darn thing! I was the envy of all artists around me :) . If you look to the far right on the wall you will see a small drawing with a black background outlining flames or an explosion. This was a hint to them all that I wanted to do a RoboCop Comic Book. Merchandising had not been talked about much, but I wanted to put my 2 cents worth in. I guess they took my advice, without me :) ! The model airplane was used at lunch. The mere thought of flight calms me. It is one of the things that proves that life is wonderful and that all things are possible, if you allow yourself to dream.
This was the view out my office window. If you look close you can see, left to right, Martin Short, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase filming a scene from the "3 Caballeros". They are in the process of being kicked out of the studio "sans" Caballero costume by Studio Cops. This area was where I normally parked my car. Just 2 days before this photo was taken someone roped the area off and proceeded to dump tons of dirt all over it. I thought they were doing some construction work, until I saw this! It was fun working at the Culver City Studio and on RoboCop. It is an adventure I will remember all my life. Thanks guys!