Prey is the next installment in the Predator franchise and serves as a prequel to the previous four films.
Disney recently hosted a virtual press conference for the film, which The Illuminerdi was fortunate enough to attend.
The press conference, hosted by Collider’s Perri Nemiroff, included director Dan Trachtenberg, producer Jhane Myers, and actors Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers.
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Trachtenberg revealed how much of the Predator was created with practical effects versus CGI during the event.
Prey Features a Mostly Practical Predator
Most of it is practical. Some of it is CG… I have a different point of view than I think most horror filmmakers or people that have worked, you know, and even fans. I’m not someone who thinks that CG is awful, and I fetishize practical visual effects and all those and suit work and all those things. I oftentimes feel just as pulled out of a movie by feeling like I see the man in the suit as much as I’ve been pulled out of a movie they’re feeling like I feel the artifice in the digitally recreated creature or visual effect.
While Trachtenberg wanted to use a blend of CGI and practical visual effects, he tried to primarily rely on the practical suit when bringing the Predator to life for the film. He mainly used CGI to accentuate it by enhancing specific muscles like the calves and throat.
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Trachtenberg did whatever would best bring his concept of a “Feral” Predator to life. The priority was for Prey’s Predator to feel like a ferocious alien and not a person walking around in a suit, a problem that the director thinks plagues other moments of the franchise.
Before Prey, most on-screen Predators solely went the “man in a suit” route, with 2018’s The Predator being the only fully-CG version. Trachtenberg, from the beginning, set out to combine both to bring his best version of the alien to the film.
Amalgamated Dynamics (ADI) made the Predator suit for Prey, the same team that made different versions of the suit for previous films. Trachtenberg shouted out the company, whose founders Tom Woodruff Jr and Alec Gillis worked on the original movies, for their incredible work in creating exceptionally terrifying practical effects.
When asked how the practical effects influenced his performance, Beavers said:
There’s a scene, the first time Taabe sees the Predator. And he just leans in. And he goes [SPEAKS FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. Which basically means that some crazy doo-doo you know. And that’s like. how it felt personally for me the first time because you see this six-eight, dude, you know, in this suit. And he’s all decked out. And thy got stuff sprayed all over him so it looks real. And he’s walking through the fog. And you’re just like, holy crap, this is good.
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Midthunder shared her slightly different first reaction to seeing the Predator:
It was very cool. The first time I saw it, it was like, there were, like, whispers of, like, what was happening… And I like, you know, like, amongst the trees. And I, like, saw just, like, little pieces and then kind of the whole thing. And it was just like you see it so much in the movies. They’re like I know what the Predator looks like. And then you see it in front of you. And I was like… But also I think I immediately said to somebody, I could take that. Like it was like some weird, like, visceral responses. I was like I can kill it.
Prey hits Hulu in the United States and Disney+ internationally on August 5.
Are you excited to see Prey? What do you think about the new Feral Predator? How do you think this version of Predator will differ from previous versions? Let us know in the comments, and follow us on Twitter!
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