Harbinger Down

StudioADI

Lance Henriksen has been working steadily in the movies (and television) for decades now, and he has the elongated IMDB page to prove it. Even with nearly 200 titles to his name though he will most likely always be remembered for his work through the ’80s in films like The Terminator, Near Dark, Aliens, Pumpkinhead and more. Those films share something more than simple genre though — they’re also loaded with still memorable practical effects work. Granted, it was the ’80s, and CGI wasn’t exactly a known quantity, but the fact remains that nearly thirty years later we’re still impressed and affected by the scene in Aliens where Bishop (Henriksen) is grabbed by the alien queen, ripped in half and thrown along the floor. It’s accomplished with practical visual effects, and when the artists who crafted the scene (Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. of StudioADI ) set out to make their own Kickstarter-funded movie this year — a creature feature called Harbinger Down — Henriksen was one of the first people they called. Check out the monster-filled trailer for Harbinger Down below.

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harbinger down creature art

As I’ve stated in previous Fund This Film posts, one of the main benefits of crowdfunding is that it offers opportunity for projects that Hollywood literally rejects. Filmmakers like Alex Cox, Ralph Bakshi and even Zach Braff have hit Kickstarter because their visions and methods don’t fit the industry standards and preferences these days and no mainstream production and financial outlets are interested in their works as they’re intended. Similarly, with computer effects being the go-to norm in moviemaking now, people wishing to work with practical effects need to go to fans of such tactile techniques in order to pay for it. We’ve already seen a few campaigns highlighting old school movie magic, including Cox’s effort, and now there’s one from animatronic and makeup wizards Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. If you’re not familiar with those guys by name, you know the creatures and other stuff they’ve done for such films as Aliens, The Terminator, Tremors, Spider-Man, X-Men: First Class, Evolution, Cocoon, Jumanji, Superman Returns, The Incredible Hulk and The Monster Squad. Gillis was nominated for an Oscar for both Alien 3 and Starship Troopers, and Woodruff was also nominated for Alien 3 and won an Academy Award for Death Becomes Her. Through their company, Amalgamated Dynamics, they also collaborated on the recent prequel/remake of The Thing, but they were disappointed to see most of their work on the movie replaced or augmented with CGI, and that’s part of why they’re doing this (similar-sounding) feature film called Harbinger Down themselves.

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