For the first time, Oscar-winning production designer and director Roger Christian reveals his life story, from his earliest work in the British film industry to his breakthrough contributions on such iconic science fiction masterpieces as Star Wars, Alien and his own rediscovered Black Angel.
This candid biography delves into his relationships with legendary figures, as well as the secrets of his greatest work. The man who built the lightsaber finally speaks!
Christian, a film director (The Sender) and Oscar-winning set decorator, describes working on classic films such as Star Wars and Alien in this meticulous memoir. He begins with the less well-remembered 1975 Lucky Lady, where he first worked with junk and scrap to dress a set, and also met designer John Barry. Through Barry, he met George Lucas, who hired him for Star Wars. Christian chronicles key moments from his time on that epochal film, from reading its closely guarded script to unconventionally set-dressing the film with old materials, such as airplane scrap used in the Millennium Falcon's interiors. Included in this section are gorgeous full-color photographs of early mock-ups for props and artwork. Afterwards, Christian prepared work for Monty Python's Life of Brian before signing on with Ridley Scott to work on Alien. On that project, he describes creating the look of the main spaceship, and the triumph of winning an Oscar. In the book's conclusion, Christian discusses deciding to make his own films, beginning with the fantasy short Black Angel. In a ruthless creative industry, Christian has held onto his resilience and patience, which enabled him to do innovative and influential work. His story will appeal to all fans of these films.