Ghosts of Ghostbusters: Chuck Gaspar

By Casey Tourangeau

Mailed on August 28, 2014

Dear Chuck Gaspar
Special Effects Supervisor

Dear Chuck,

It's the eggs.

The eggs make me most appreciate your work on Ghostbusters. As special effects supervisor, you were responsible for all of the practical, on-set effects work. The really big set-pieces—proton packs, Slimer, Terror Dogs, Gozer, Stay Puft Marshmallow man, and so on—those were the domain of Richard Edlund, and his visual effects team. Your team had the task of making all of those post-production elements feel real, and appear to interact with the real on-set elements. Chandeliers exploding after a missed shot, a dining cart smashed into a wall by a frantic ghost; that was all you.

But I keep coming back to those eggs on the counter of Dana Barrett's Upper West Side Apartment. It's certainly not the most spectacular effect you rigged in Ghostbusters, but when revisiting the film after all these years, I was struck by how well that simple trick works. The eggs come alive, vibrating in their carton, jumping out, smashing on the counter and frying sunny-side-up. Apart from the logistics necessary to execute even this simple scene (was there a whole griddle rigged to that counter top?), I started contemplating how this would be created today.

Of course the entire sequence would be CGI. A graphic artist would spend hours creating wire frame models, adding texture maps, creating photorealistic eggs that could be manipulated in any manner. Sure, those eggs would really be able to really fly out of that carton, and the lighting on them would be perfect for any angle you could conceive of: the camera could be anywhere!

But none of it would have half the whimsy of the simple effect you created in 1984.

Rest in peace,


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