The Making of


'Universal Soldier' is a movie for big boys. All you love to see is shown here.
Fearless Action Movie heroes (Jean-Claude Van Damme/Dolph Lundgren), lots of wild stunts 
(Stunt Coordiantor Vic Armstrong), noisy special effects (SP/FX Supervisor Kit West) and 
the manliest Truck you have ever seen in a movie!
A fast-paced action spectacle. No one needs to think here, just have fun!
The making of 'Universal Soldier'.

The filming of 'Universal Soldier' started in August, 1991, in Arizona and 
and at Hoover Dam (Nevada). Director Roland Emmerich and Karl Walter Lindenlaub 
(Director of Photography) mostly filmed in the beautiful State of Arizona, in and around 
several small cities (Cottonwood, Kingman, Oatman, Ashfork,...).

Here we see the makers of 'UniSol' walking down the mainstreet of Chloride (Arizona) in
search of suitable locations.
'UniSol' Team in Chloride, Arizona. 
From left to right: Mr Unknown? (guy from Production team?), Roland Emmerich (Director), 
Karl Walter Lindenlaub (DOP), Steve Love (1st. Assistant Director), 
Kenneth E. Fix (Location Manager) and Vic Armstrong (Stunt Coordinator and second unit director).
The founders of Chloride.
Location Manager Ken Fix makes the first contact.
After an exhausting walk in the heat of Chloride, the guys went into the local Saloon.
Director Roland Emmerich is talking with Ken Fix (location Manager). 
Standing in the middle, Assistant Director Steve Love.
Assistant Director Steve Love and Special Effects Supervisor Kit West enjoy a few drinks.

Director of Photography Karl Walter Lindenlaub.
You will see more of Karl when we start our spacious 'Stargate' report.
A german Director conquers Hollywood - Roland Emmerich.
'UniSols' was his first real step.
Production Designer Holger Gross is making a few preliminary notes and plans.
Emmerich wants the Vietnamese jungle on a golf course, a gas station in the desert, 
phew, that'll be fun...
Chloride, Arizona, 1991.
Now the crew went to Oatman, Arizona, for some 'UniSols' location hunting.
Vic Armstrong (Stunt Coordinator) discovered the right vehicle for the chase scene!
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Donkeys in Oatman.
Location Manager Ken Fix (left) and Production Designer Holger Gross.
Who is the guy with the hat?
Roland Emmerich, Karl Walter Lindenlaub and Steve Love talking about the locations.
The boys walk on the old 'Route 66', between Kingman and Oatman (Arizona), in search for locations.
The 'UniSols' production team on the 'Route 66'.
First Assitant Director Steve Love (blue shirt) and Stunt Coordinator Vic Armstrong (black shorts). 
Karl Walter Lindenlaub (DOP) is talking with Director Roland Emmerich and next to Roland on the 
right side, Production Designer Holger Gross.
A great landscape - Could this be a location for our movie?
Yes, of course. 'Universal Soldiers' - 'Route 66' Movie scene.
Okay guys, let's go, the Taxi arrived.
Vic and Roland still climbing in the hills.
The crew found an interesting place to built the Gas Station for the explosion scene.
Oatman Road, between Kingman and Oatman.
This is the ruin of the old 'Cool Springs' Gas Station.
The ideal location in the desert for a big bang.
This is the right place!
Roland Emmerich, Karl Walter Lindenlaub and Steve Love (1st.Ass.Director).
The new 'Cool Springs' gas station in 'Universal Soldier'.
The gas station actually reminds me a little of the old 'Route 66' gas station that 
once stood here. A great Job of production designer Holger Gross. 
Through the old stone jambs the new gas station got charm and soul!
Holger Gross (Production Designer) is enthusiastic about the place and takes out his 
measuring tape immediately ...
Vic still looks a bit skeptical (left). 
The man with the notepad is Donald Heitzer (Associate Producer and unit production manager) 
and next to him, with dark glasses is Karl Walter Linderlaub (DOP) and Steve Love 
(Assistant Producer) in blue shirt. 'Cool Springs' Station, 1991.
'Cool Springs' Station, 1991 - 'Universal Soldier'.
From right to left: Donald Heitzer, Karl Walter Lindenlaub, Vic Armstrong and an unknown
person (owner of the place?).
You will see this old stone pillars and the rest of the old walls perfectly integrated in 
the new Gas Station, built for 'UniSols'.
Donald Heitzer (Associate Producer and unit production manager) fondles a dog.
The new Gas Station in 'Universal Soldier'. Built to explode in a big bang!
The Truck with Ed O'Ross and his 'Unisols' arrives and only seconds later...
Booooommm! The entire gas station explodes.
Kit (Special Effects Supervisor), your big day today.
what can you tell me about the explosion scene?
Kit: "Well, we used one hell of a lot of gasoline, with black powder, and magnesium 
flash powder as igniters. 
It took over four days to prepare, along with the assistance of the art and
prop departments. 
I hope the effect on the screen speaks of the success of the shot. 
Just the one take, thank god."
Just one take, then everything has to fit...and it did very well! 
'Cool Springs' Gas Station explosion - 35mm Slide.
What a great Big Bang!
Let's go back to the ruins before the explosion. 
Here we see Production Designer Holger Gross between the old stone pillars.
He built the new Gas Station and Kit blew it all up in the air.
Well, but a few years later another crazy guy, Ned Leuchtner, bought the whole ruin and ...
Ned Leuchtner rebuilt the 'Cool Springs' Gas Station out of the ruin of the old one.
Look at that, the two old stone pillars perfectly integrated into the new building.
This is the spirit of the old 'Route 66' Gas Station...it's back again (partly).
The 'Cool Springs Cabins' is now a gift shop offering souvenirs and memorabilia.
Check out their website here: 'Cool Springs Cabins'.

The 'Universal Soldiers' Gas Station is called 'White Flash'!? 
An allusion to the explosion ... a gimmick of Holger Gross?
Ed O'Ross (Colonel Perry) and Leon Rippy (Woodward) are not happy about the escape of GR44 
(Jean-Claude van Damme). 
The stone pillars survive even the strongest explosion.

Let's have a look at a 'Special Make-Up' scene with Dolph Lundgren and Tico Wells.
Garth (Tico Wells) gets in trouble ...
GR13 (Dolph Lundgren) rams Tico a syringe through the face.
How did they do that? Shot with a retractable needle in the syringe?
The Make-Up department of Larry R. Hamlin (Special Make-Up effects) sculpted
a latex (silicone?) mask of the head of Tico Wells for the scene. 
The excellent mask and some clever editing make the illusion perfect.
Who was the sculptor?
Now, let's have a look on the Truck/laboratory.
All scenes inside of the giant Truck were actually filmed in a Studio Set.
I like the design of the laboratory with the cooling chamber and all the gimmicks.
I have great material on the laboratory Set and might work out a story about it.
'Universal Soldier' - The Secret Laboratory of the UniSols.
German Lobby Card. Stunt Coordinator Vic Armstrong shot some great scenes at Hoover Dam.
Kit West (Special Effects Supervisor) and Trevor Wood (Special Effects Foreman) at the 
Hoover Dam, 1991. 
Trevor was the workshop supervisor for Kit on different films ('Stargate', 'Dragonheart') 
before he became a renowned SP/FX Supervisor himself with a long list of great productions.
Trevor Wood won the Academy Awards for 'The Golden Compass', 2007.
He is still in the business as far as I know.
The legendary Stuntman Vic Armstrong was the Stunt Coordinator on 'Universal Soldier' and 
responsible for some great action sequences as 2nd Unit Director.
Director Roland Emmerich and his 2 Stars, Jean-Claude van Damme and Dolph Lundgren.
A 'Making Of' story about the powerful Truck of the Unisols, 
a remodeled and upgraded Kenworth K100, will follow for sure! 
I love that Truck!
www.moon-city-garbage.agency

www.kit-west-spfx.com