Monday, June 20, 2011

Did Falling Skies Skitters Escape from Super 8 Movie?

I watched the premiere of the new TNT series Falling Skies last night and enjoyed it. The characters drive the storyline more than its aliens and special effects, and that's always a good thing. So far, thumbs up! (Visit the microsite.)

Nevertheless, I could not help but notice the Super 8 clone running around in Falling Skies. "Skitters," as the TNT series characters call one class of aliens in the story, look a lot like a scaled-down version of the giant alien in the latest J.J. Abrams movie, Super 8. The human characters are currently battling these insect-like skitters and also "mechs," giant metal robots. The dialogue last night, however, foreshadowed that the aliens ultimately invading Earth may be humanoid.

Steven Spielberg is connected to both Falling Skies and Super 8 as a producer; so, is the resemblance of the two creatures a coincidence or did the series and the movie use the same special effects house?

The houses are not the same. MastersFX, Todd Masters, CEO, co-designed the Skitter creature featured in Falling Skies "working with Steven Spielberg’s designers and the CG house Zoic," according to SciFiAndTVTalk. However Neville Page, also the man behind the Cloverfield creature, designed the alien for Super 8, and it seems Abrams wooed him to the project.

I'm not saying these two gifted special effects artists copied each other because really, when it comes to creature design, the movie industry seems to be running out of ideas. There seems to be a rise in a ET-meets-Alien-meets-Starship Troopers hybrid. But as far as these two productions go, it's possible the person connected to both had some influence. Does Spielberg have a soft spot in his heart for multi-legged aliens? Only his creature creators know for sure.


Anonymous said...

I thought exactly the same thing. That is why I searched for a string like this. I actually think spielberg did it on purpose. Super 8 was based in the mid 70's. The movie did say the alien was pissed and that mankind would pay for how they treated it. Welcome to the payback, falling skies!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I DVR'd "Falling Skies" and was thinking the exact same thing. Even if the two productions are not connected, I certainly enjoy thinking that they are. In fact, my last thought at the end of "Super 8" was "He'll be back--with friends."

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

I had not even thought of that, Fitninja and Anon. But I think you're onto something because the alien in Super 8 was definitely not ready to love the earthlings.

Anonymous said...

Wow... that an excellent conjecture. I really do hope that is what it is, I would hate to learn, they did it to save money. Especially because Spielberg is producing everything thesedays.

Anonymous said...

You all really think this is related?

First of all, the aliens look nothing alike. Yes, features are very similar, style is very similar, but go into details and it's completely different.

Also the fact that one is very large and the others are not.

And then you look at behavior, and weaponry available to each alien. Again, completely different.

Comparing these two productions is very silly...

All in my opinion, of course.

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

Thank you, Anonymous@July 20. The aliens are similar in my opinion, but they also have some differences.

Difference in size is not enough to discount similarity otherwise we'd claim Chihuahuas and Great Danes could not both be dogs. Also, in one of the Falling Skies episodes it was revealed that these Falling Skies aliens are collecting toasters and other small appliances. Didn't the alien in Super 8 do the same? There's nothing odd about them possibly being connected. Of course, it could also turn out that they are not and any likeness is coincidence.

Nevertheless, they are dissimilar in terms of habitat it seems, and that's a biggie. The Super 8 alien is subterranean. The Falling Skies aliens have been seen sleeping upside down like bats but under a bridge, not underground.