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
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
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,
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
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
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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