Aliens the size of a mid-sized hotel. Violent blue lights that send tremors into Los Angeles like an earthquake. Intense facial deformity and stampedes from invasion.
The scale of "Skyline
" is quite big, but the budget was small. The alien-invasion film was financed and paid for independently by some famous friends (like Brett Ratner) and its creators, The Brothers Strause, who were on hand along with the film's principals at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con.
"So if you guys hate it, then we can't blame anybody else," Colin Strause quipped.
The pair's visual effects resume includes credits on "2012," "Avatar," "Aliens v Predator," "The Day After Tomorrow," "Terminator 3," "The X Files" and beyond, giving them a leg up on themes of extra-terrestrials, the End Times, destruction of Los Angeles and all combinations therein.
In a panel moderated by HitFix's own Drew McWeeny, Colin and Greg Strause plus Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, David Zayas, Donald Faison
and Brittany Daniel were able to introduce the trailer and a two-minute clips of the flick, which comes out on Nov. 12 this year. Only about 120 people were part of the cast and crew for "Skyline," and the majority of it was shot in, on and around the Strause's apartment building in Los Angeles' Marina neighborhood. One of their screenwriters, for instance, was also a cameraman and the animation supervisor. There were no crew trailers.
"It's been efficient," Greg said. "There were about five people making the decisions."
The result: two couples in the heart of Los Angeles trying to enjoy a vacation, when spaceships roll into town overnight and, naturally, chaos ensues. As vessels hover over the city, what appears to be debris rises into the blue lights; upon closer inspection, however, it appears that it's humans that the aliens are after. "Like moths to flame," says Colin, human beings are drawn to disaster, and the earth's new visitors are taking advantage of it.
The creatures are what the directors and producers call organic, crystalline structures, and gigantic at that. "We wanted Transformer-sized aliens. We've seen an eight-foot alien. We wanted a 55-foot tall one," Colin said, alluding to his former project "Avatar." "I've seen 'Cloverfield,' 'King Kong,'... the premise of the movie is mass abduction on a global scale. [The aliens] don't shoot bullets or laser beams. That's not their MO."
The decision to join up with the movie was an easy one for "Scrubs" star Faison. "It didn't take a lot. I always wanted to fight against a green screen or something that wasn't there."