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From Summer To Fall
STARSHIP TROOPERS was initially intended to be released in August of 1997, which meant that many of the effects houses had a delivery date in April or May. Sony Entertainment, the studio producing the film, instead opted to release the film in November, where the visual effects/sci-fi field was relatively bare, compared to the non-stop barrage of visual effects films in the summer.

"[Moving the release date to November] was a sigh of relief, especially for a film with such an enormous scope like TROOPERS."

Mark Sullivan

The release date change affected some effects providers more than others. Some companies were not able to enjoy the extra time afforded by the change. Dave Chamberlain of Thunderstone noted, "We were almost through with everything at the original release date, so it didn't give us much of a break."

Mark Sullivan, the film's matte painting provider, had a different story. "It made life a lot easier for us. We could have made the original deadline, but we would have had to put in some heinously long hours. We could have done it, and it was still pretty hectic toward the end, but the pushing of the release date was a sigh of relief, especially for a film with such an enormous scope like TROOPERS."

Scott Anderson, the spaceship senior supervisor, said, "It provided us the ability to rethink some shots and make ourselve a little bit better in terms of getting all the work done... to really polish the work."

Only a small fraction of the stories of the making of STARSHIP TROOPERS were mentioned here. The film is full of hundreds of dazzling visual effects shots, which were created by countless professionals over a staggering period of time. The result is a dense, rich film that will go down in visual effects history.

Special thanks to
David Latham, Lisa Cooke, Gregory Kerwin, Johnathan Banta,
Ellen Pasternack, Russell Darling, Jay Adan, David Jones,
Don Levy, Walt Hyneman, Chris Horvath, Todd W. Spencer
and all the interview subjects.

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