Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Creating the Engineers for the movie Prometheus: The design.

The "Sacrifice Engineer" (who dissolves at the beginning of the film) was played by model Daniel Twiss (stage name: Daniel James). The two Engineers aboard the alien vessel were played by John LeBar ("the Ghost Engineer") and Ian Whyte ("the Last Engineer"). All the actors were 6'8" or taller. All of the actors are very lean but not muscular, so their transformation into the bodybuildihg Engineers is pretty amazing.

Director Ridley Scott wanted the Engineers to resemble Greco-Roman gods.

Creature designer Neville Page designed and then sculpted the look of the Engineers. He referenced the Statue of Liberty, Michelangelo's David, and Elvis Presley.

Here are images of Page's final mock-up for the Engineers. Casts of this mock-up were taken, and a form made. The form was then applied as a body-cast to the actual actor. The final prosthetic, therefore, had an inside that matched the actor's face and body and an exterior that looked like the mock-up.

Creating the Engineers for the movie Prometheus: The body molds.

Here are shots of actor Daniel Twiss (stage name: Daniel James) undergoing body casting for the movie. The producers DID NOT want bodybuilders for the roles. They want very lean actors, so that the designers could build up or reduce the body models as necessary. If an actor has big muscles, you can't reduce very much.

In the third image, you see actor Ian Whyte completely encased in his body mold, waiting for the silicon to set so he can be taken out again.

Creating the Engineers for the movie Prometheus: Applying the prosthetics.

Production designer Max Arthur and prosthetics supervisor Conor O'Sullivan said the actual prosthetics for the "naked Engineer" were made of silicon. There were 27 separate pieces to be applied to an actor's naked body. They had to be applied IN ORDER, so that no seams or breaks appeared in it. The non-reuseable pieces were then painted. The process took 10 hours.

The opaque biomechanical suit was made of latex-foam. It was nicknamed the "Pressure Suit" (fans get it wrong, calling it the "precious suit"). It, too, was applied in sections, and in order, to make seams and breaks disappear. Silicon "elements" (tubes, pipes, armor, etc.) were then glued to the latex-foam. A layer of silicon was sprayed over the encased actor, and then the actor painted.

The prosthetics were designed to look as real as possible on camera. Even so, the filmed actors were still digitally enhanced to create the "godlike" appearance director Ridley Scott wanted.

Twiss said in an interview that he had a diaper-like posing strap fitted about his genitals, and taped with masking tape to his hips. This was removed as the last pieces went on, and then his loincloth costume put on his body. He was the Engineer who "sacrifices himself" (hence the term "Sacrifice Engineer") at the glacial waterfalls. This scene was filmed at Detifoss waterfall in Iceland. Twiss said it was bitter cold there, and worse for him since he was clad in nothing more than silicon prosthetics and a loincloth!! LOL

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