Gabrielle Kesign Design Consulting
Traditional and Computer Aided Design and Graphics
Los Angeles, California, USA, Terra, Solar System Sol, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Virgo Super Cluster, Local Universe

Visual Effects - Model and Prop Builder and Special Effects.

Most of my two decades in the entertainment industry have been designing and building models for Visual Effects.

My Visual Effects career began in June 1978. I had taken a class in Architectural Model Making at Cal Poly, Pomona where I was pursuing my Architecture Degree. The instructor was a Visual Effects fan who had sold a few models to Battlestar Galactica and he gave me four phone numbers. One of these numbers connected me to Wayne Smith, who unknown to me, was a Theme Park enthusiast. When I mentioned my 1/1200 scale Theme Park model that I had designed and built, he had to see it. Within a few days, I was working as a model maker on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Over the years, I expanded my skills and started doing Prop Shop and Special Effects. For health reasons, I wanted to get away from the chemicals and dust of model making. In 1990, I began working with CAD, starting with CAD-Key but quickly switched to the more popular AutoCAD ©. I returned to college in 1993 and completed my Design degree in 1994. I returned to Model Making for 15 months to replenish my savings. I spent these 15 months working as Visual Effects Model Maker on Batman Forever and Independence Day - both the box office winners of their respective summers of 1995 and 1996. Three weeks after wrapping on Independence Day, I began my new career of Visual Effects and Computer Specialist Set Designer on Batman and Robin and never looked back. I left Model Making voluntarily to pursue something I liked better and my last two Visual Effects Model Making jobs were top rated projects.

I now have a number of Visual Effects Set Design credits to my name while also working on more conventional set Design.

I no longer actively seek work in physical effects. I do still build study models as part of my regular duties as Set Designer.

How to Become a Model Maker

Note: These photographs are presented here for portfolio purposes only. These photographs are not available for sale or to be given away in hard copy or digitally in any scale. I will be happy to show hard-copy during a legitimate job interview for Set Designer.
The film Independence Day has a special place in my heart. It was after this motion picture that I voluntarily retired from Visual Effects Model Making to pursue Set Design. It is a good feeling to know that I left voluntarily after working on the box office winner of that season.
ID4 Closed
ID4 Open
Independence Day, 1996. Everyone asks if I built the White House model that blew up. No, I built the death ray that blew up the White House.
Batman Forever
Claw Island, Riddler's base, Batman Forever, Visual Effects model, 1995.

Luna One miniature.
Fifty Foot Woman
Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, 1993. Model town,
1/12 scale. - Video Clip 1 - Video Clip 2
Aurthor Anderson Group
Aurthor Anderson Group commercial.
Model Time Square, New Years Eve
Lucky Goldstar
Lucy Goldstar, simulator ride. Managed laser cutting for Boss Film, 1992.
Batman Returns
One of several roof top models for Batman Returns. 1991
Spider Tug for Solar Crisis
Spider Tug for Solar Crisis. Model for Boss Film, 1989-1990.
Pod for Solar Crisis
The Pod, another model for Solar Crisis. Model for Boss Film, 1989-1990.
Tales from the Crypt
Tales from the Crypt. Helped build house for Boss Film, 1989. - Video Clip
Star Trek
I was on the Special Effects crew for the pilot for Star Trek: The Next Generation. I wired most of the Special Effects lights on several sets. 1988.
Murder She Wrote
I build this model oil field for Murder She Wrote, to be in a rich oil man's office. 198? - Video Clip
Knight Rider and Air Wolf
A tale of two dashboards.
For Knight Rider and Air Wolf , Universal Studios Prop Shop, 1985
I worked on Knight Rider along with other Universal Studio projects over a period of several years. Knight Rider had already been going for a few years and the second dashboard already existed. The insert dash was a complex piece of electronics to squeeze into a small space and I spent much time repairing and maintaining it. The final season, I was assigned to be in charge of maintaining the insert dash and operate it for inserts. During the Christmas Hiatus, I rebuilt the center section which made maintenance much easier. A few weeks later, I was laid off and a few months later, the show was canceled. I am often asked if I still have the Kit dash. Everything I built for Universal Studios belonged to Universal Studios (the same goes for other studios). I have no idea what happened after the show wrapped.
For the first season of Air Wolf , an elaborate instrument panel was built for the aft cabin. I started working at the Universal Prop Shop about mid-season and had some involvement with Air Wolf . For the second season, a new front instrument panel was made. I helped to build this.
Red Dawn
Wired four Soviet tanks for Red Dawn, 1983
Child's Play
Child's Play. A house full of toys built 60% oversize. 1987
Three 31-second Visual Effects fly-by sequences for the Choose Your Tomorrow attraction, Horizon Pavilion, EPCOT, Walt Disney World. 1983
Three 31-second Visual Effects fly-by sequences for the Choose Your Tomorrow attraction, Horizon Pavilion, EPCOT, Walt Disney World. 1983
Tomy Toys
Establishing shot for Tomy Toys commercial. 1981
Beast Master
Bridge ornaments for Beast Master, 1981
High Frontier
High Frontier Simulation, 1982 - Video Clip
One from the Heart
Miniature Las Vegas for the feature One from the Heart,
1981.Video Clip
Art Deco lobby model for a Playtex commercial, 1981.
Sasson Jeans
Sasson Jeans Commercial, 1981.
Safari Rally
Miniature 747 jet for Safari Rally, 1981.
Cheach and Chong's Next Movie
Cheach and Chong's Next Movie, 1979.
Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Galactica, First season, 1979.
Flying Motercycle
Full size flying motorcycle for
Galactica 1980, Second season, 1980.
Draconia, Visual Effects model,
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Feature, 1979.
Airport '79
Visual Effects models for Airport '79.

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