They are many. THey are everywhere. The end begins now.
A cross between gritty crime drama and sci-fi thriller, Hunters comes from executive producers Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead, The Terminator trilogy) and Natalie Chaidez (12 Monkeys, Heroes). It is inspired by Whitley Strieber’s best-selling novel, Alien Hunter. The show is about the disappearance of a decorated FBI agent's wife, which leads him to a secret government unit assembled to hunt a group of ruthless terrorists called "Hunters" who do not come from this world.
Hunters was a dream job for a few very special reasons. Gale Ann Hurd, is one of them. Not only is she someone I didn’t think I’d ever meet, but to work with and collaborate was a dream come true.
Just to hear some of her stories about starting out in the business, like sliming down creature suits for Rob Bottin on Humanoids from the Deep, basically that’s like FX porn to people in the Effects Industry.
The other is the creative freedom the gig presented. One of my pitches to Gale and Natalie, the show runner on Hunters, was let’s not default to digital, we’ll go as practical as possible and then let VFX enhance if need be. This alone grounds the FX in some form of reality.
The other thing about having creative freedom was being able to create moments, almost homage’s to all the great and iconic moments that got anyone into FX in the first place.
Like the chest splitting scene in The Thing to the the creature suits of Aliens. Practical FX have never gone away but they certainly have made a resurgence when for a while, it seemed like they on the brink of extinction.
I think audienceswho were initially swept away with digital effects now sometimes feel optically assaulted, my feeling is ‘Just because you can, it does not mean you should’. I’m certainly not anti VFX but unbelievable camera moves and erratic action scenes can sometimes be a little underwhelming when you are constantly bombarded with them.
Practical Effects will always feel more grounded, more real, because they are. They are bound by the physics of gravity, the production parameters of where you can actually put a camera. Sure, they may require digital enhancement or clean up, but you are already in a far more believablespace even if dealing with something unreal or otherworldly.
Gale Ann Hurd worked with James Cameron on Aliens, The Terminator and The Abyss, and these films not only hold up, but are a testament to the days of practical effects film making.
Not to mention it is so much better for the actors and crew working on practical shows. You can see it in peoples faces when they walk on a practical set, or hugging a huge alien or finding themselves in a forest confronted by a crashed spaceship.
They light up like children, because it takes us back to those days when films, even though maybe not as polished, but felt more real.