LOS ANGELES–Award-winning Visual Effects artists Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr., co-founders of Studio ADI (Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.) launched a Kickstarter campaign today to finance Harbinger Down. “In the spirit of sci-fi/horror classics, Alien and The Thing, Harbinger Down is a tense, claustrophobic full-length creature film that will feature only practical Animatronic and Makeup Effects,” announced Gillis, who will write and direct.
“Our company, Amalgamated Dynamics, will create the kind of Oscar caliber Creature Effects for which we are known,” commented Woodruff, who will produce along with Studio ADI’s Jennifer Tung. Lance Henriksen is set to star. Kickstarter link for Harbinger Down:
Gillis and Woodruff have over 60 years of experience between them, and have worked with many top filmmakers, including James Cameron, David Fincher, Paul Verhoeven, Ridley Scott, Neil Blomkamp, Robert Zemekis, Joe Johnston, Nora Ephron, and Mike Nichols to name-drop a few. But what will really make Harbinger Down special is passion.
Gillis added, “Fans of the art of Animatronics and Makeup FX, know this technique is currently overlooked by the big studios; I’m hoping the fans will help us remedy that by supporting this labor of love.” Contributors to the Kickstarter Campaign will also receive unique, amazing, thrilling, one-of-a-kind incentives for supporting the project. Details are available online.
In Harbinger Down, a group of grad students have booked passage on the fishing trawler Harbinger to study the effects of global warming on a pod of Orcas in the Bering Sea. When the ship’s crew dredges up a recently thawed piece of old Soviet space wreckage, things get downright deadly. It seems that the Russians experimented with tardigrades, tiny resilient animals able to withstand the extremes of space radiation. The creatures survived, but not without mutation. Now the crew is exposed to aggressively mutating organisms. And after being locked in ice for three decades, the creatures aren’t about to give up the warmth of human companionship.
Gillis and Woodruff hope fans are excited to help not only make a cool movie, but also to uplift an art form. Animatronics and Makeup FX have been utilized less frequently in films, and not because of audience disinterest. Traditional techniques still have a place in modern genre films. The filmmakers ask supporters of “old-school” visual effects to give them the opportunity to show it. That’s what Harbinger Down is all about!