Thursday, March 2, 2017

Film Design: Looking for a Monster

Hyper-Reality is an uncompleted 35mm short film that I co-wrote*, directed, and designed. (I've posted about the production a few times. The most recent of which is here.) A main part of the film's storyline is a narrative arc containing scenes that look as though they could have been lifted from the old, and very bad, television series Lost in Space (1965-1968). With that TV classic being our template it was necessary to design and build similar sets, props, and costumes for our little show.

In a later rewrite of the Hyper-Reality script I added a Lost in Space monster, the kind that would toss John Robinson about and posses the uncanny ability to all but repel ray-gun beams. (I mentioned my script adjustment to my art assistant and she cracked up laughing. "Why am I not surprised?") Once the ink had dried on the script page, I had to find that monster. My assistant and I visited the various costume houses here in Toronto and found a bear-like beast that seemed to fit the bill. As a matter of fact I shot a sequence with it, but once I saw the footage of the monster in action I realized it did not entirely work for me. I went to my drawing table to design a second creature for the Alien Lair.

Here are some early sketches for the monster that could now be built from my personal specifications:

(* Written by Tim A. Cook and me, with a draft and edit by Michelle Berry)


Jawsphobia said...

Favourite is the top. But anything with LIS as a style guide might have worked with the original, no? If I recall, PMS played it. Hope this is completed.

Simon St. Laurent said...

You are right. I did not like the first one at the time but now I do.

Thanks for your support and comment!

Tibor said...

It really has that "retro tv" monster quality to it.

Simon St. Laurent said...

Thank you!

I'm guessing my efforts were successful. I'll be sure to give myself a retroactive bonus.

To be perfectly honest, it was pretty easy. If you've seen those Irwin Allen shows, you'll know what I mean.