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DEEP RISING

Development of the Creatures
Some of the film industry's most accomplished special effects designers came aboard "Deep Rising" to bring to the screen their horrific vision of the incredible mutant creatures lurking at the very bottom of the black sea

Some of the film industry's most accomplished special effects designers came aboard "Deep Rising" to bring to the screen their horrific vision of the incredible mutant creatures lurking at the very bottom of the black sea. Among this team of top­drawer design artists are special make­up and creature designer Rob Bottin (Academy Awards winner for "Total Recall" and Academy Awards nominee for "Mission: Impossible"), production designer Holger Gross ("Broken Arrow," "Stargate"), and mechanical effects coordinator Darrell Pritchett ("Space Jam").

As "Deep Rising" writer/director Stephen Sommers notes, "The creatures in this film are relentless, ferocious and nearly unbeatable. They can get into pipes, down passageways, anywhere that a snake could get. But with much deadlier and immediate consequences. They're under water. They're everywhere. And they strike without a moment's noticed."

Sommers recalls his creating the storyline of "Deep Rising" after reading a National Geographic article. "I was perusing a story about the Bell jellyfish-the most venomous creatures on the planet. About a week later, I saw something on television about a vampire squid-a really nasty­looking thing. I took the Bell jellyfish and the vampire squid and did some research on giant sea anemones. And then decided to write a big thriller action movie."

Producer Laurence Mark notes that "Stephen is an ideal director for this movie because he took Huck Finn and Mowgli on rollicking adventures-and now he gets to display a darker, scarier side, still imbuing it all with a sense of fun."

In "Deep Rising," Sommers had an admittedly delightful time hatching his plot of sea monsters who invade a cruise ship. "The boat is swarming with these creatures," he says with a smile. "Whole bunches of them. They're very ugly, and very large. And they keep getting larger."

Although the creatures in "Deep Rising" live only in the imagination of Sommers, the writer/director says, "We've done everything we can to make them as real and organic as possible, so in other words, they could exist. They are a combination of several real creatures. Just bigger and nastier," he says.

Even as Sommers continued to refine and add dimension to the already terrifying aquatic vortex he was creating, two construction shops began building production designer Holger Gross' elaborate set designs, while Michael Shea at Dream Quest assembled an enormous team of ace computer wizards to animate Rob Bottin's ghastly, tentacled creatures.

At the same time, special effects coordinator Darrell Pritchett and stunt coordinator Gary Combs worked in tandem to orchestrate some of the film's most frightening pyrotechnic effects and stunt sequences.

To help realize the creatures as Sommers' imagined them for "Deep Rising," the producers felt lucky to have secured the inestimable talents of Rob Bottin, one of the industry's most acclaimed creature designers and special effects make­up artists.

"Zis eez definitely not a feesh!" says Bottin in his best Jacques Cousteau accent. "We all decided the creature was not going to look like something you might order in a restaurant, dipped in tempura and served up with rice on the sided he says with a sm

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