Five Fun Things You Might Not Know About Cloverfield - Dread Central
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Five Fun Things You Might Not Know About Cloverfield

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At the time of writing this post, all of us here on Dread are beyond excited to check out 10 Cloverfield Lane this weekend. A large source of the excitement comes from the fact that we have no idea what to expect from the film, and in fact we didn’t even know it was a thing until a couple months back. In a world where we know everything before it happens, that’s quite a treat.

The secretive marketing campaign is very similar to the one that got us all excited about Cloverfield back in 2008 – another film, connected to the new one, that remained somewhat of a mystery until the day it was unleashed on the big screen. That made the theatrical experience so very exciting, and it didn’t hurt that the movie lived up to every ounce of hype we all put into it.

Of course, now that it’s been nearly a decade since Cloverfield was released, hardcore fans pretty much know everything there is to know. But on the off chance that you maybe haven’t delved as deeply into the movie as we have, we wanted to regale you with five little factoids you might have missed. If you already know these things, don’t blame us for your rabid fanaticism!

Oh and don’t miss 10 Cloverfield Lane, in theaters March 11th.

cloverfield king kong

King Kong

beast from 20,000

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

cloverfield them

Them!

1) HIDDEN MONSTER MOVIE TRIBUTES

One thing we can almost guarantee you didn’t notice while watching Cloverfield for the first time is that director Matt Reeves worked in loving tributes to three giant monster movies from the past, and they flash on the screen so quickly that you need to ride the pause button to even find them. At three different points, the camera filming the action cuts out and brief snippets of Them! (1954), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), and King Kong (1933) are cleverly spliced in. You’ll find them at 24:06, 45.27, and 1:06:55.

escape from ny

2) INSPIRED BY ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

The poster art for John Carpenter’s Escape from New York famously featured the head of the Statue of Liberty lying in the streets of New York. The provocative image caught the eye of a young J.J. Abrams, though he was disappointed to discover that the scene didn’t actually appear in the movie. As Abrams noted in Cloverfield‘s production notes, which leaked before the film came out, he always wanted to see that image come to life on the big screen, and that desire proved to be a large source of inspiration for the 2008 monster movie.

cloverfield

3) A VOMIT-INDUCING EXPERIENCE

To the best of my knowledge, Cloverfield was the first giant monster movie to utilize the “found footage” style, and the technique made the film so immersive that the theatrical experience has been compared to an amusement park ride. Several theater chains, including AMC, had both posted and verbal warnings on the weekend of release for potential-ticket buyers, letting them know that they “may experience side effects associated with motion sickness similar to riding a rollercoaster.” And yes, many theater-goers did indeed experience migraines, motion sickness, and a temporary loss of balance while watching Cloverfield on the big screen. Proof that found footage, in the right hands, can take a movie to a whole different level.

cloverfield sequel

4) MOVIE WITHIN THE MOVIE?

In interviews around the time of Cloverfield‘s release, director Matt Reeves teased the film’s sequel potential, noting that Hud and friends weren’t the only ones who made a “home video” on the night the monster attacked New York City. Reeves hinted that a future sequel could tell an entirely different story from another point of view, and there’s one moment in the film (seen above) where he consciously gave us a brief glimpse of another one of those stories.

There’s a moment on the Brooklyn Bridge, and there was a guy filming something on the side of the bridge, and Hud sees him filming and he turns over and he sees the ship that’s been capsized and sees the headless Statue of Liberty, and then he turns back and this guy’s briefly filming him,” Reeves told Coming Soon back in ’08. “In my mind that was two movies intersecting for a brief moment, and I thought there was something interesting in the idea that this incident happened and there are so many different points of view, and there are several different movies at least happening that evening and we just saw one piece of another.”

Now THAT is a fun idea.

clover

5) “IT’S STILL ALIVE”

Speaking of sequel teasers, there’s another one at the very end of Cloverfield – and it was hidden in such a way that it required a little deciphering. In the final moments of the film, Rob and Beth take shelter under an arch in Central Park while the monster is being bombed by the military, and the fate of the beast is left unknown as the credits roll across the screen. But if you continue watching through the credits, you’ll hear somebody whisper “evila llits sti.” When played backwards, the man is clearly saying “It’s still alive.”

Will the monster appear in 10 Cloverfield Lane? We can’t wait to find out.

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Graham Humphreys Reveals His Poster For An American Werewolf In London

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Graham Humphreys continues to cement his position as one of the top horror artists in the business with his stunning new poster for An American Werewolf in London. This piece was created as a private commission, and fans of John Landis’ 1981 classic are going to love it. You can view the final design of this incredible poster below.

Final design with text.

Graham also provided us with a detailed statement about the creation of the piece, along with a bunch of screen grabs taken throughout the process. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can see how the final image looks before the text was added. In case you missed it earlier, you can also check out our extended interview with Graham here.

Exclusive Statement from Graham Humphreys
As a commercial artist and illustrator, there is only limited scope to make a job entirely your own – so with each project you are answering a brief in order to fulfill the needs of a client. Of course, the client may choose to give you free reign, though this is with the understanding that you are acknowledging their needs and thus expected to work within certain unspoken parameters. Mostly, these confines are defined by how a product is to be sold, licensing instructions and an understanding a market. With this in mind, the client is paying and thus nominally always right… though it would be unprofessional not to make them aware that other options might work better for them!

Without these commercial constraints, a private commission can remove the barriers because no market is to be met and there is only the artist and the private client to answer to. Creating a poster for a familiar and heavily licensed title is an entirely different prospect if it is not going to be generating money in the public domain and is thus essentially ‘fan art’. Unlike say, a T-shirt company ripping off someone elses art and charging money for the printed image, or perhaps a poster reproduced without permission by either the license owner or artist, then sold for profit.

Here, Dread Central have asked me to talk through one such commission, ‘An American Werewolf in London’, painted as a private commission for an individual that wishes to own a unique image that they themselves have made happen. NB: All likenesses and specific imagery (including the title and names etc) are subject to license and copyright and not for any use other than as examples of a work in progress (and of course, all rights are reserved!). Just need to make sure that it absolutely clear!

The client had commissioned two previous posters from me (as well as numerous poster designs from fellow artists), so a basic understanding of expectations had already been established.

My work begins by watching the film from beginning to end – to re-establish my own connection to the film (if one already exists). I saw ‘An American Werewolf in London’ (in London!) on it’s first run and the proximity to many of the locations (Tottenham Court Road tube station, Piccadilly Circus, being the obvious ones) made it instantly impressionable for me. Existing posters, in particular the official theatrical versions and various home-entertainment sleeves, focused on a limited image pool. My job was to find new ways of representing the film, free of the past baggage, but also to listen to my clients requirements.

Looking for a fresh perspective means avoiding the familiar stills that have defined the past marketing, this is achieved by making screen grabs from the DVD or blu-ray. As with most commercial jobs, I generally make a selection of about 40 images, then review these reducing the number to about 15 that have the best narrative potential, including a good visual range of actor expressions and reactions. My client required the Werewolf, London references, the moors, David and Jack, a full moon and the ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ pub sign… then whatever else I chose to include.

On the basis of the selected screen grabs, I make necessary light and contrast adjustments in photoshop, make them greyscale (removing the distraction of colour) and print them out at a size I can easily trace in pencil onto paper. All the pencil sketches are then scanned into photoshop, so that I can rearrange, resize and move around in order to determine the best layout, one which tells a story and has a visual impact. (I find it’s better to present sketched layouts rather than a photocomp’s, partly because the photographic material is usually of varying quality, but also because a pencil rough is more fluid and does not dictate the final impression).

Selected screen grabs.

Selected screen grabs 2.

My first idea involved a portrait of David looking lost and frightened (I felt this was essential to the story), the Werewolf with it’s head bursting through the cinema shutters/signage (the idea of breaking the fourth wall), the decomposing Jack (a perfect metaphor for David’ s own life falling apart), his nightmare of the home invasion (one of the most effective and horrific moments in the film, I felt), plus Brian Glover’s ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ local – a look that defines rednecks and racists the word over when confronted by ‘other’!). I also wanted to add the tube attack victim to open up the carnage. Although Jenny Agutter’s nurse added the romantic dimension for an audience that expects the convention, I wanted to concentrate on David’s story, so chose to only include her face as if she were painted on the shutters, ie. a film poster element.

I was surprised that the client didn’t want the home invasion creatures, nor the reference to the sleazy cinema hordings (which I thought made a good location gag – obviously not!), they also did not want the rotting Jack. It was disappointing to lose these great horror elements, especially as they’d particularly wanted ‘horror’! But a compromise was reached by including the transformation scene at the bottom, and reinstating the moors (which I’d thought unnecessary).

Fortunately, my second sketch was well received and the painting could commence.

On the basis of the selected screen grabs, I make necessary light and contrast adjustments in photoshop, make them greyscale (removing the distraction of colour) and print them out at a size I can easily trace in pencil onto paper. All the pencil sketches are then scanned into photoshop, so that I can rearrange, resize and move around in order to determine the best layout, one which tells a story and has a visual impact. (I find it’s better to present sketched layouts rather than a photocomp’s, partly because the photographic material is usually of varying quality, but also because a pencil rough is more fluid and does not dictate the final impression).

Once I have my sketch approved I reintroduced the photographic source material over the sketched parts, so that my layout remains exactly as approved and so that I’ll have the best possible likenesses to trace onto the watercolour paper.

Early sketched elements.

I usually have a basic idea of what colours I’m going to use. In this instance I knew that I wanted a silvery blue moonlight to bathe the entire image, but also the contrast of the orange glow of artificial lighting, the pub and cinema foyer. I knew the big splash of red in the wolf’s jaw would jump out, becoming the focal point. This painting took about three days to complete, the sketch process (including the grabs) about a day upfront.

Composition design.

The final painting was scanned and all the text added in photoshop.

My client will now make a full size poster print, to be framed, from the file I send him. Next up, ‘The Thing’!

Final painting before text was added.

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Syfy Renews Z Nation for a 5th Season; Season 4 Finale Airs Tonight!

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Syfy’s popular zombie series “Z Nation” just keeps shambling on, and tonight the two-episode Season 4 finale, “Mt. Weather/The Black Rainbow,” airs. If you’re a fan of the show, we have good news for you… it’s not over yet as David Latt of The Asylum has announced on Twitter the pickup of “Z Nation” for a 5th season! So you can expect lots more adventures with the gang in 2018.

Below is the official word from David along with a brief synopsis of what’s ahead tonight in the finale, which kicks off at 9/8c.

Synopsis:
In the mind-bending two-hour Season 4 finale, Warren and the team must stop Zona from launching operation Black Rainbow, which will cleanse the landscape of both zombies and humans. In Part 2 the secret of Warren’s Black Rainbow dream is unlocked when they reach their final destination. The cast includes Kellita Smith as Roberta Warren, Keith Allan as Murphy, Russell Hodgkinson as Doc, Nat Zang as 10K, Gracie Gillam as Sgt. Lilley, DJ Qualls as Citizen Z, Ramona Young as Kaya, Justin Torrence as President Donald Trump, Michael Berryman as The Founder, Micheal Daks as Mr. Sunshine, Anastasia Baranova as Addy, Sydney Viengluang as Sun Mei, Joseph Gatt as The Man, and Natalie Jongjaroenlarp as Red.

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First Look at Chris Alexander’s Space Vampire

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Who says all vampires have to be all extra-broody or sparkly or take up residence in Transylvania? Certainly not indie filmmaker Chris Alexander, who has just unveiled the first images and posters for his latest foray into film, Space Vampire!

The movie stars Ali Chappell as a beautiful female alien parasite who falls to earth with an intent to drain women of their life forces. As if women don’t have enough problems in this day and age!

Alexander wrote, directed, edited, filmed, and even provided the score for this intergalactic terror tale. Talk about a jack of all trades, eh?

Enough talk! Dig in!

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