‘Superman I’ was one of the most friendly and inspired big film productions I ever got involved with, and many of my fellow participants, folks much more experienced than me, all agreed. Why was that? Fair and square, that happy state of affairs was down to the producer, Dick Donner, later, producer of the famous Mel Gibson, Danny Glover film franchise, of five ‘Lethal Weapon’ films.
Dick was just a really nice guy, and to me he was especially so. He seemed to put great trust in me and would send me away from checking rushes, in Theatre 7, with the crew, in Pinewood studios, saying, “……. just keep going and see what you come up with!” His trust arose from my very first contribution, which was to solve the production’s year long problem of filming the ‘red barrier effect’. The crew had struggled for the previous year to achieve a powerful rendition of a what might best be described as a well defined mega dust storm that threatens Superman’s craft en route from planet Crypton to Earth. More by luck than good judgement I filed it all in one take, in a thimble full of water laced with red-dyed brewer’s yeast cells, at moderate magnification.