Kids today may see CGI as the norm, but for those of us who grew up with the fantastical inventions of Ray Harryhausen, this is not the case. Visual effects which were solely based on creature design, stop motion and animatronics awed, terrified and inspired children for generations. Some of the best examples of creature design include the Alienss franchise, Star Wars, Robocop, Gremlins and that shark from Jaws.
In Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet’s documentary Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex they speak to many of the major players within the industry and look at how it has changed and evolved over the years. There are interviews with directors, including Guillermo del Toro, Kevin Smith and Joe Dante, who give an insight into the value of these creations. They also get the insider view from Alumni from Industrial Light and Magic and Weta, Phil Tippett and Rick Baker, amongst others.
What comes across most from all the contributors is that it’s the personality of the creatures which really shines through. Whilst improvements in digital technology means that CGI looks more realistic than ever, it doesn’t give you the same viewing experience. More and more producers and directors are opting to combine both. Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex is a ram-packed documentary which will entertain anyone with even a passing interest in special and visual effects.
* Designing the Opening Credits
* A conversation with John Landis & Joe Dante
* A conversation with Steve Johnson & John Vulich
* Stills Gallery
* Guillermo Del Toro Masterclass
Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex is released on DVD by Studiocanal on Monday.