Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. have launched a Kickstarter campaign for their film “Harbinger Down”. Sci-fi vet Lance Henriksen (“Millennium”, “Hannibal”, “Aliens”) is attached to star.
“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.
If you’re a fan of the art of Animatronics and Makeup FX, you know that this technique is overlooked by the big studios. I’m hoping that you will help us change that by supporting this labor of love. I will write and direct and ADI co-founder Tom Woodruff, Jr. will produce. Our company, Amalgamated Dynamics, will create the kind of Oscar caliber Creature Effects for which we are known.” Gillis says.
The duo are looking to raise $350,000; at this stage they’ve pocketed $35,548 from 155 backers.
”Harbinger Down is a small film. A mere speck by today’s studio standards. Sci-fi/horror films like John Carpenter’s The Thing and Ridley Scott’s Alien are our models. They’re films that tell contained stories about characters you care about who are trapped in enclosed environments. When flight is not an option, the fight is more desperate. ”
VFX vet Gillis will write and make his directorial feature debut on the picture, which tells of a group of grad students who 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 3 decades, the creatures aren’t about to give up the warmth of human companionship.
Henriksen will play one of the main roles, said Gillis.
“Genre legend Lance has been a huge supporter of our work since 1985. We created the effect of him getting split in half by the Queen Alien when he played Bishop in Aliens. He’s not only a great actor, but a real friend. Did you know that Lance is also a ceramic artist? The man appreciates art built by hand. He loves the craftsmanship of what our ADI artists do so well. That’s why he’s so committed to star in Harbinger Down. Schedule permitting, of course. He’s in demand for a reason!”
Gillis and Woodruff Jr have worked on many classic science-fiction/horror films including “Starship Troopers”, “Aliens” and “The Monster Squad”; they’ve also been involved in the upcoming “Ender’s Game”.
The Kickstarter campaign for “Harbinger Down” is open to June 7.