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Behind the Final Dimension

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  • Behind the Final Dimension

    This thread is dedicated to discussion of the third film's production. First, here's a link to Martin Neufeld's (Lt. John Stenn) website. Be sure to listen to the audio clip. It reveals the effort Neufeld put into the performance as well as some other fascinating behind-the-scenes tidbits: http://www.martinneufeld.com/site_html/h3pop.html
    __________________________________________________

    "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
    --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

  • #2
    Next, I'm going to post some articles from the now-defunct Highlander Sword Shopper's Guide website.

    Sword Maker Profile: Knifemaker Jose de Braga
    By WarAngel.
    Jose was the sword maker for the film Highlander 3: The Final Dimension.

    Based in Quebec, Canada, Jose de Braga's skill and renown preceded Highlander 3's propelling his name to fame among fan circles. His knives command four to five figures in price, and his artistry astounds even some of the masters. Yet beneath his joyful and humorous demeanor, the man is humble and approachable, and unsure of how to accept his status among Highlander fans as a legend.

    "Legend?! Boy, I wish my own kids had the same point of view - I'm sure it would be a lot more easier for me to shoo them to bed!"

    Making the Swords for Highlander 3

    Fans will recall that the sword used by the lead character - Connor MacLeod (portrayed by Christopher Lambert) - used an ivory hilted dragon-headed Japanese katana, inherited from his mentor, Ramirez (portrayed by Sean Connery in the first film). Jose de Braga was approached by the Art Director of Highlander 3 to produce three Ramirez-style swords. (Featured to the right is Jose's photograph of Christopher Lambert, autographed by the actor himself!)

    The first katana prop Jose de Braga made was telescopic. The requirements were that the blade had to retract 18 inches when placed against an intended target.

    The second was a "beauty blade" that would reveal beautiful details for close-up shots. A sharp edge was required for scenes that involved cutting - such as the sorcerer Nakano (portrayed by Mako) tossing large fruit at Connor for cutting practice. And finally, one prop was made such that the blade would come off easily. Ultimately, this sword was used in the fight scene when Kane smashed Connor's sword on Holy Ground. (After the sword fight, the handle was seen on the piano in Connor's home.)

    For stunt purposes, the prop department made casts of one of the swords and reproduced them in small quantities for a variety of interesting uses. One sword prop was made of rubber - almost indistinguishable from a metal one!

    Jose was also responsible for the Clan MacLeod claymore as it appeared in the third film. As fans may recall, it appeared at the end of the film, when Connor returned to the Scottish Highlands to light a candle to commemorate Heather's birthday - his first wife of 400 years in the past. The sword stood over her burial mound with a weathered and rusted look.

    Featured here is the one-handed opening folder of Alex Johnson (portrayed by actress Deborah Unger) which appeared in the scene when the detective questioned Alex about her business with Connor MacLeod in a restaurant where she pierced the coffee creamer - and out poured blood. This attractive folder was designed with a feminine touch that reflects Alex's personality.

    "Dark Magic"

    The sword - "Dark Magic" - was the sword of Kane (portrayed by Mario Van Peebles), the mortal enemy of Connor MacLeod. Through special licencing and arrangement with United Cutlery, a commercial version of Dark Magic is available on the mass market, made by Art Gladius. Featured left is an original handle made by Jose de Braga for the film.

    Words of Wisdom

    On knife-making, Jose has these words to share with those who dream of devoting their lives to this craft: "As for your dream, love, determination and persistence will get you there. If you approach the subject with the viewpoint that time and patience will bring it to you, you've already failed because when there is love there is no patience (you need patience when you don't like something). You'll notice that you'll need a lots of time when you're not determined. Then you say, "What if it take a lot of time to get there?" Well, that's were persistence is needed!"

    __________________________________________________

    "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
    --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

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    • #3
      Sword Maker Profile: Jose de Braga and Inside Scoop Details on Highlander 3
      By WarAngel.

      Highlander 3 is a movie fans either love or hate. For one, it richly features other aspects of Connor MacLeod's life. On the other hand, fans find inconsistencies with the first film. One thing is for sure: Highlander 3 is a delicious mix of history, romance, action and adventure, centering a character portrayed by one of the world's most favorite actors, Christopher Lambert.

      The final version of Highlander 3 had come through a metamorphosis since its original script. Jose de Braga, who crafted the handles for the Sword of Connor MacLeod and the Sword of Kane (entitled "Dark Magic") reveals details of the changes made along the way that never fully made it to the screen - details which give us tremendous insight into the depth and drama of the original story of Highlander 3!

      The Mountains of Niri

      The legend of Nakano. Sorcerer and magician, smith and swordmaker. Originally, Nakano was not in the script. When the character of Nakano was created, the cave in which he lived was supposed to be a stable volcano. The original script depicted Nakano heat-treating the sword in lava which flowed through the cave. His magical powers would add great strength and durability to his swords.

      As shown to the left, Dark Magic has a hexagonal tsuba (Japanese for "guard"). In Kane's first appearance at the village in the mountain regions where he commenced the slaughter of the inhabitants - as well as when he first arrives at Nakano's cave - Kane's sword is different from the featured picture. Have you noticed that the tsuba was round and that the blade did not have a fuller? Nakano's sword not only has that fuller but has that same guard, while Kane's guard was round and rusty. "Kane's a bum," says Jose de Braga. "He doesn't take care of his sword, unlike Nakano."

      In his encounter with Nakano, he takes Nakano's head and his power and knowledge. Four hundred years later, Kane emerges out of the cave with his two ronins. He has now taken Nakano's blade and guard and has fitted them into his custom black-demon hilt. He is eager to test the blade - on one of the ronins!

      Also, some details that vary from the original script. The producers and director had discussed an option where Nakano's sword is retrieved by Alex Johnson (Deborah Unger) and brought to the museum on display. Kane in the bar watches the television interview of Alex's discovery brings him to the museum himself to get his trophy back.

      That would have justified his visit to the museum, and the story would have made more sense!

      __________________________________________________

      "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
      --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

      Comment


      • #4
        Sword Maker Profile: Knifemaker Jose de Braga and the Sword of Connor
        By WarAngel.

        Probably the greatest question of all time is if this legendary art-knife maker would custom-create for them the most famous sword of all time - the Sword of Masamune, as given to Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez, as inherited by Connor MacLeod in the movie, Highlander.

        Origin of the Sword

        Jose de Braga's rendition of Connor's famous sword in Highlander 3 is a variation and more refined version of the sword used in the second Highlander film. When Jose was first approached to recreate the sword, three copies from the original mold were provided, made of a strong polymer that, while able to withstand shock and impact for the swordfight scenes, was unfortunately not "camera friendly" in that it was extremely difficult to pick up any detail on film.

        As a result, Jose had to recarve the entire handle - not an easy task because the material of the handle could not be carved by conventional tools. The result, however, was that he achieved a beautiful antique look whereupon the details were captured on camera, and the sword handle captured the imagination.

        There are some similarities with the sword featured in Highlander 2. The swords of Highlander 2 were carved by another craftsman from - in turn - casts of the original handle of first Highlander film. To date, the sword as it appears on Highlander 3 is by far the most beautiful fans have seen.

        __________________________________________________

        "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
        --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

        Comment


        • #5
          Behind the scenes photos: http://eapfx.50megs.com/photos_high.html
          __________________________________________________

          "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
          --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

          Comment


          • #6
            For my money, Highlander: The Final Dimension features some of the greatest weapon-lore and design in the entire franchise, and this just reinforces it. The sheer amount of skill and love and microdetail poured into these weapons is absolutely insane. Thanks for posting these, Tootsie.

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            • #7
              Tootsie, you just keep posting things I LIKE!

              Comment


              • Tootsie Bee
                Tootsie Bee commented
                Editing a comment
                On the old board, this thread was far more elaborate. Unfortunately, I couldn't save it all from the internet black hole.

            • #8
              Interesting information about the weapons, but I never even noticed anything special about Kane's sword in the film itself. There's really only one good shot of it when he's climbing that thing in the Buddhist shrine.
              Formerly known as "Quickening"

              My latest video in which I go on a fifteen mile hike around my home in the Highlands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n__oUWVbuSc

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by David McMurdo View Post
                Interesting information about the weapons, but I never even noticed anything special about Kane's sword in the film itself. There's really only one good shot of it when he's climbing that thing in the Buddhist shrine.
                Yeah, I actually never noticed the "Dark Magic" hilt on it until years and years after seeing it. I thought it was just a basic katana.
                Highlander: Dark Places

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