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PANDORUM

The Evil
There's a negative force that looms over the story and provides Pandorum with its terror, and that evil manifests itself in a variety of ways throughout the film, physically as well as psychologically. The force is evident even in the film's apocalyptic pre-story, as mankind has destroyed Earth and needs a new place to live. Ben Foster relates to that premise: "The way we're heading and the way we're treating our environment is certainly frightening. Pandorum is just one potential fantasy of what could happen if we go on behaving the way we are.”

In the film, the word "pandorum” actually means Orbital Dysfunctional Syndrome, a sort of disease caused by the vastness, deep loneliness and isolation of space. "The dysfunction manifests itself in a kind of God-complex,” producer Bolt explains, "a disability to discern right from wrong, hallucinations, bleeding noses and trembling.”

The SFX costume and makeup departments created a very clear vision of how these psychological effects ultimately take their toll, becoming the story's true evil: the Hunters. Originally humans meant to be resettled and establish a new civilization, they've mutated and proliferated into terrifying monsters during the 125 years the failed space journey has lasted. 

Unlike zombies or aliens, the filmmakers wanted a more mysterious embodiment of evil for Pandorum's creatures so audiences at first wouldn't understand what they were. "The plan was to have kind of a shape-shifting creature,” says Kulzer. "The audience is trying to figure out what they are. Are they aliens? Are they supernatural? When they finally identify them, it's ‘WOW.'”

To bolster the "wow effect” and increase the threat emanating from the Hunters, the filmmakers wanted them to be as real as possible and to again reduce CGI to a minimum. In a lengthy casting process, four actors were chosen to embody the four main Hunters: Heflin, Weasel, Hunter Shape and Hunter Brute. In total, 17 permanent Hunter actors were cast, and for four days of shooting in the Hunters' hatchery approximately 70 extras were turned into mutants.

For creature makeup, the filmmakers turned to the famous Stan Winston Studio. With 30 years of experience on movies like Terminator, Aliens, Jurassic Park, and Iron Man, Stan Winston Studio ranks among the best special effects companies and creature designers in the world.

"The biggest challenge is to find something that hasn't been done yet,” says Lindsay McGowan, SFX Chief Makeup. "But that's the fun of it. You have to work the story and find the type of creature that fits.” 

On the basis of storyboard scribbles by Alvart and first concept art by Stan Winston Studio, Ivana Milos designed the look of the Hunter garb, and Niels Müller transferred her drawings into actual costumes. The Hunters' clothing/armor mainly consists of scrap metal taken from the ship, wrapped with leather straps and lined with skins to protect sensitive body parts and form mountings for their huge weapons…or trophies. 

The looks were elaborate, and McGowan says, "We needed about three hours for the makeup process. Costume needed approximately two more.” The everyday makeup process included body painting; masks for the head, the hands and the feet; and fake teeth and lenses for the eyes. "It was a little torture for the guys, but they were all very patient and cooperative,” adds McGowan.

Particular attention with the makeup procedure was required to transform the child-age Hunter, played by a young girl named Luna – actually Alvart's 8-year-old daughter. "Actually, I was looking at her brother to play the child Hunter,” Alvart says, "but she went along with him to the casting…and she won the role.” As the working hours of child actors are legally limited, makeup and costume had to find compromises to complete their work most efficient

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