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October 14, 2011 9:59 AM   Subscribe

From the bankruptcy beat: Kerner Optical shut down. The original Industrial Light and Magic (in a building labeled "Kerner Optical" to hide from industry snoops and avid fans), the practical effects (in contrast to computer effects) shop became a department of a diversifying ILM, which sold it off in 2006. It struggled along on the margins of bankruptcy before filing for Chapter 11 early this year and closing for good in August, its final words a bitter letter about an uncooperative creditor. The Kerner Optical site (entirely in Flash) is still up, where you can see its credits (up through 2008) and view its demo reel.

Souvenir hounds and budding SFX shop owners can have a blast at the liquidation auction, and bid on a box of skulls, a pizza oven, studio props, stage props, leftover models, and tons of shop tools.
posted by ardgedee (19 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
A box of skulls?

You know what, I think I want those.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say I need them.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:05 AM on October 14, 2011


Wouldn't Avid fans all be swarming Burlington, Mass? Nyuk nyuk nyuk.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:08 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why do I feel like everything good is already taken.
posted by phaedon at 10:08 AM on October 14, 2011


You're on that Google Plus thread, aren't you?
posted by zippy at 10:09 AM on October 14, 2011


GASP SQUEEE!
posted by Think_Long at 10:11 AM on October 14, 2011


Some background on the mismanagement at Kerner from Variety
posted by phaedon at 10:13 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where else could you get an Arriflex camera body, a cargo container and a box of skulls?
posted by MikeMc at 10:13 AM on October 14, 2011


Where else could you get an Arriflex camera body, a cargo container and a box of skulls?

This guy?
posted by zippy at 10:21 AM on October 14, 2011


> You're on that Google Plus thread, aren't you?

I first heard about the auction from somebody else on Twitter. But yeah.
posted by ardgedee at 10:25 AM on October 14, 2011


It was a very sad day, indeed, when they declared bankruptcy. Practical effects are still widely used in films, but it's a very, very low margin business. Even if there was no fraud, the slightest mismanagement at a business like that can cause financial problems, and because making movies these days is all about reducing risk, once problems at Kerner appeared studios weren't willing to "take a chance" with them. Even ILM, which is obviously sympathetic as all hell to Kerner, had to cancel a contract because their finances were so precarious. RIP, you glorious practical bastards.
posted by riotnrrd at 10:44 AM on October 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:50 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Richard Stallman unavailable for comment (you'll have to hunt for it, hotlinking the image doesn't seem to work.)
posted by zippy at 11:36 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Golly. The mold for Yoda's head. That should bring a penny.
posted by CarlRossi at 12:22 PM on October 14, 2011


Now that I look at it, I bet there are some good secrets on the hard drives in those copiers... Nice goldmine here.
posted by CarlRossi at 12:23 PM on October 14, 2011


This has been making the rounds of a lot of SF Bay Area arts groups. There are a lot of geeks salivating at some of the machining tooling they've got.
posted by pombe at 3:15 PM on October 14, 2011


So just who was the unhelpful creditor? Could it be... no... say it ain't so.
posted by sammyo at 4:07 PM on October 14, 2011


Not Lucas. The Variety article says:

"Over the summer, Duncan sent Kerner into Chapter 7 when he refused to accept Edmeades' bankruptcy reorganization plan. Duncan insisted Edmeades step down, but Edmeades refused, so Duncan refused to endorse the plan."

Duncan was one of the three original owners of Kerner post-spin off. Edmeades bought out the other two, but Duncan remained a minority partner and creditor.
posted by zippy at 3:33 PM on October 15, 2011


Skulls are no longer there...
posted by lucidprose at 11:09 PM on October 19, 2011


because...
"The auction does not include anything that might be construed to be intellectual property of any of the clients of Kerner Optical," West said. "We had a number of models and props that we ended up not putting in the auction."

West said these include a model of one of the ships used in "Pirates of the Caribbean," original molds of Star Wars' Wookies and Yoda, as well as behind-the-scenes photographs.
posted by lucidprose at 11:13 PM on October 19, 2011


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