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[Kickstart This!] ‘Harbinger Down’ Promises ALL Practical Creature Feature!

We promised to try and bring you guys a few more crowdsourced projects that we thin you’d dig – well, this one promises to deliver the gore on an Academy Award winning scale (see who is involved here)!

In the spirit of sci-fi/horror classics, Alien and The Thing, Harbinger Down promises to be a tense, claustrophobic full-length creature film that will feature only practical Animatronic and Makeup Effects!

The pic, which will will celebrate animatronics and makeup effects, is coming from Creature FX Designer Alec Gillis.

Gillis will write and direct and ADI co-founder Tom Woodruff, Jr. will produce. Their company, Amalgamated Dynamics, will create the kind of Oscar caliber Creature Effects for which they are known.

The pitch?

A group of grad students have booked passage on the fishing trawler Harbinger to study the effects of global warming on a pod of Orcas in the Bering Sea. When the ship’s crew dredges up a recently thawed piece of old Soviet space wreckage, things get downright deadly. It seems that the Russians experimented with tardigrades, tiny resilient animals able to withstand the extremes of space radiation. The creatures survived, but not without mutation.

Now the crew is exposed to aggressively mutating organisms. And after being locked in ice for 3 decades, the creatures aren’t about to give up the warmth of human companionship.

As of this writing they have $65K of their $350K goal. Knowing that the company MAKING the effects are the filmmakers means there will be no false promises. Expect a whirlwind of insane special effects work as they can utilize their entire shop to deliver one hell of a new sci-fi film. You can check out the packages here. What do you guys think?



  • Christopher-Moonlight

    All I can say is that this project needs to happen. This isn’t about making another movie. This is about making art for art’s sake. I’m sure it’ll be an instant classic.

  • djblack1313

    I.FUCKING.LOVE.THIS!!!!!!!!! this is a love letter to all practical fx fans like myself. i know this will sound corny but this brought a tear or 2 to my eyes. many of us for years have been saying what Alec says in this. i’m in.

  • Captain-Amazing

    Can someone loan me $10,000? I take BitCoin.

  • Jerv23325

    I think its a great little initiative but I still have some reservations about projects like this. In the end you are contributing to a project whose revenue will likely be much greater than what you bought into. Essentially you’re budgeting a film for these guys to make a profit from not just from opening weekend, but for years to come. I can’t say I’m not excited about how kickstarter will change how movies are made, but I also have tepidness in it as well.

  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    this is awesome! i love this idea!

  • Evan3

    Here’s the thing.

    I prefer practical effects to most CGI. Things like The Thing and King Kong stand up better fx-wise than even The Matrix does today. That being said, practical effects alone does not make a movie good. You need script, character development, and charm – all more important than practical fx. There are hundreds of awful practical fx movies, just as there are hundreds of great CG films.

  • j.c

    I agree Evan, bad practical effects are just that ..bad effects. However I dont think that would be the case here. These guys are of a pedigree that speaks for itself. They started out with the great Stan Winston and have proven their skill many times over. If this was to happen, these would be the type of guys you would want doing it.

  • Jasonicus

    Awesome. I love practical effects. Need this to happen. The Thing would have been much better if they used those effects.

  • BabyJaneHudson

    Love this initiative and the argument behind it.

  • Darkness69

    I think this is absolutely awesome and hell, Lance Henriksen would be in it! I’ve always had a soft spot for him – I think I’m gonna pledge!

  • strike_77

    Guys, guys, guys! This just reached its goal! And Lance Henriksen is confirmed to star.

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