Scarecrow informed me that make-up and effects artist Gary Tunnicliffe recently posted some news about working on Renny Harlins Exorcist: The Beginning reshoot and compares what he has seen with the original cut. Don’t be alarmed; because this news is so good, it’ll have your head spinning.
Gary Tunnicliffe writes, “Well, let me start by saying that obviously due to marketing etc, I will have to be careful what photos we can release and at the moment we are weighing our way through the 350-400 shots that Mike (Regan) blasted while I was up to my arms in blood and prosthetics.
What I would like to say for the record is this; there has been a lot of rumor mongering on the internet about the Paul Schroeder movie, and the Renny Harlin re-shoot etc. Let me just give you my ‘humble – fx guy’ opinion. I saw the Schroeder movie, the whole thing and it wasn’t very good, now I don’t mean it wasn’t very gory or it wasn’t very scary or creepy.. it just wasn’t very good and it certainly wasn’t gory, creepy or scary. I like many other people am a fan of ‘Schrader’s work’..I love ‘Auto Focus’ but I can only assume that HE was abducted by aliens and someone else put in his place to direct ‘Exorcist:The Beginning’.. If you think that Morgan Creek just want a ‘gore-fest’ and wanted to ‘up the horror’ as I have read online, do you really think they would have shot for nine weeks at a great deal of expense..when a two week ‘blood flinging’ would have easily done that? Put simply, in my opinion, Morgan Creek chose to (very wisely) ‘protect’ their franchise and to bring ‘Renny Harlin’ into what is for him I am sure a pretty low budget arena with some pretty insane time constraints was a strong move on their part.
Now regarding Renny Harlin, as a fan I am like the rest of the world, Renny has done some great stuff and some not so great stuff, ‘Long Kiss Goodnight’ in my mind is one of the best action flicks ever made, but before we all start blasting our opinions all over the place, let me just say one thing as someone who has sat in the directors chair. The movie that is released isn’t always the movie THE DIRECTOR made (producers do tend to get their way you know) and even if it is, it doesn’t always turn out the way the director might have hoped.
Renny Harlin IS a very talented guy, I have spent enough time on enough sets to know the ‘real deal’ and Renny is. He takes charge, makes decisions, has ‘cool’ ideas, shoots the hell out his scenes AND, and this a big and..gives praise. Now, he may or may not have done this on other movies in the past, I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t there but on this one he did all of the above and I applaud him for doing so..even if he did shoot my make-up’s in close up at the end of the day, make me hack up my silicon body with a leatherman on set and take my car to the airport (hey but they ALL shoot the make-ups close up at the end of the day (except the excellent Mr.Lussier)..and I told Renny to take my car)
On the last day of shooting when we had a second and third unit doing ‘battle sequence’ and ‘insert’ pieces I had the pleasure of watching some rough cut scenes over Renny’s shoulder and on several occasions we were grinning at each other, because those rough scenes looked excellent, in style, tone, performance, angles and sheer denial of the insane budget and time schedule that they had been created under.
I say again for the record ‘I saw the Schroeder movie and I have seen some cuts scenes from the ‘Harlin’ movie, don’t trouble yourself over what you ‘imagine’ Schroeder did..just look forward to seeing what Renny has done. If those cut scenes and what I saw filmed are anything to go by I think you wont be disappointed.”