Art Streiber on shooting Wired’s “Star Wars” cover. Plus: behind-the-scenes video

The new issue of Wired has Star Wars in its sights—and on its cover, which features a foldout portrait shot by our own Art Streiber.

The story—introduced by comedian Chris Hardwick—details the many things (74, to be exact) that the next installment of the beloved sci-fi saga must include, alongside Art’s photos of Star Wars star characters in humorous scenarios—C-3PO doing standup, for example.

Below, Art takes us behind the scenes of the assignment, which he pulled off with help from many talented and interesting people, not least of which was the 501st Legion, the “World’s Definitive Imperial Costuming Organization”…

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Photo by Art Streiber for Wired, March 2013 issue.

Photo by Art Streiber for Wired, March 2013 issue. Click to view larger.

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“The March issue of Wired is the first under new editor in chief Scott Dadich, and I was incredibly honored when Scott called and asked me to shoot his first cover package.

Scott’s idea for the Star Wars cover story was to ask a number of critical thinkers what they loved and what they hated about the Star Wars movies and to publicly plead with the filmmakers of episode 7 NOT to screw it up!

And the whole package would be hosted by comedian and Nerdist Chris Hardwick.

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Art Streiber Star Wars

Chris Hardwick and stormtroopers on the opening spread. Photo by Art Streiber.

Photo by Art Streiber.

Photo by Art Streiber.

Photo by Art Streiber.

Photo by Art Streiber.

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So my team and I were tasked with a cover concept that illustrated the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of the movie series…and an illustrative opener to the package…and six concept executions…and 10 individual character portraits, all in one 13-hour day.

It was an enormous logistical puzzle to put together, and… it took a village.

Wired senior photo editor Carrie Levy, director of digital design Tim Leong, set designer Andrew Trosmans and my producer Emily Roth all worked tirelessly to bring this shoot to life.

Carrie searched for and found hardcore Star Wars fans who owned (and in most cases made) their own character costumes. Her first call was to ISS Props in Sunland, CA, and by an act of sheer luck and fate, Andrew Page at ISS is involved with the 501st Legion, the “World’s Definitive Imperial Costuming Organization.”

Andrew introduced Carrie to the 501st AND to our Chewbacca and Darth Vader.  Our C-3PO came from North Carolina and is regarded as ‘the best C-3PO in the business.’

And the stormtroopers were all volunteers from the 501st.

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Photo by Art Streiber.

Photo by Art Streiber.

Photo by Art Streiber.

Photo by Art Streiber.

Photo by Art Streiber.

Photo by Art Streiber.

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The person inside the Chewbacca costume is actually married to the person inside the Boushh costume, and their kids are inside the Jawa costumes! And…that’s their fully functional R2 unit.

The concepts we illustrated all came from the experts’ essays about the things they loved about Star Wars…the romance, the amputations, choking, funny droids, and suspending characters by their limbs.

For the opener, Scott wanted to revisit the famous Life photograph of the movie theater filled with people wearing 3D glasses…only he wanted to do it with stormtroopers surrounding Chris Hardwick. And while there are upward of 70 stormtroopers in the photo, there were only 10 in the studio.

That was the shot that took the most time, planning, patience and persistence, and seeing it come together on the monitor was awesome. Special thanks to my digital technician, Eric Vlasic, and my printer/retoucher, Angie Hayes.”

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Click here or on Art’s photo of R2-D2, below, to read Chris Hardwick’s piece on the “Epic Story That Shaped a Generation.”

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R2-D2. Photo by Art Streiber.

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And click here or on the screenshot below to see video of the shoot…

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Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 2.04.28 PM

Click on the still to view the video.

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2 Comments

  1. cb
    Posted 02/25/2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Video links to a Game Of Thrones Season 3 Trailer…


5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] For more information on the issue and the shoot please visit Stockland Martel. [...]

  2. [...] For more information on the issue and the shoot please visit Stockland Martel. [...]

  3. [...] Be sure to read the rest of the behind-the-scenes article and see the higher-resolution images on the Stockland Martel Blog. [...]

  4. [...] concepts and stories HERE on Wired Magazine, (Narrated by Chris Hardwick, with a BTS video) and HERE on stocklandmartelblog.com where you can read more behind the scenes info, and view the article [...]

  5. […] a post on the Stockland Martel blog, Art writes, “So my team and I were tasked with a cover concept that illustrated the good, the […]

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