If you want to talk about a movie that went from 0 to 99 on the recognition meter, you want to talk about the Colin and Greg Strause film Skyline. I’m not sure anyone really knew what the film was, or even what it was about, unless they were on the inside or had done some serious research.
There’s a very good reason why none of us had heard of the film until this point – while a normal movie production employs hundreds (if not thousands) of people, Skyline employed about 20. Once the footage is released, you’ll see that this is very impressive. The Strause Brothers talked about the gestation of the idea that started with something along the lines of “if Paranormal Activity can be made on the cheap in someones house, why can’t we do that?” Hearing those words, one may have expected a movie set completely in an apartment, and one would have been wrong. Skyline is a massive alien invasion epic, or at least that’s what it looks like so far.
Check after the jump for more info on this surprising science fiction flick…
Besides directing Alien vs Predator: Requiem, the brothers have long had a very popular and very talented visual effects company in Hydraulx, a company that has worked on very high profile movies including Avatar and Iron Man 2. Needless to say not just any twenty guys could churn out something this grand shooting most of it in their own private home – which the Strauses did.
The plot of the story finds six friends banding together in Los Angeles to survive a mass alien abduction. What starts as a fun time at a hotel pool quickly devolved into at least a half-dozen organic, gigantic alien ships descending on LA. Preying on the human visual and mental sense to stare at something strange (like rubbernecking on the highway or staring at a car accident), the aliens have a sort of electric eye that seems to poison or infect humans before they’re violently sucked up and abducted. If you escape the monstrous ships, there are several smaller threats, from small, nimble flying vessels to a giant 55 foot alien who wants nothing more than to take you home and bed you – or something.
While on the surface somewhat similar to the idea behind Battleground: Los Angeles, Skyline seems to be going in a smaller direction, focusing on the six friends and their plight rather than a battle to defeat the aliens. This seems to be about survival. We did get to see some cool military action, with jets, UAVs, and soldiers trying to bring the pain to the aliens with a limited degree of success. Visually, I was impressed with the look and scope of the action sequences – hopefully they’re plentiful.
Speaking again on terms of production, the Strauses financed themselves and then sought distribution, making what seems to be an impressively large film in a period of only 11 months from first draft to on screens this November. Filming took pace in Strause’s apartment, on his buildings roof, and the directors hired a helicopter for $25,000 and spent a day shooting footage with the Red Camera, an HD digital camera that impressed them with its lowlight ability. Speaking of lowlight, the duo did joke about the darkness of Aliens vs Predator: Requiem by saying, regarding creature design, that this time “you’ll be able to see them.”
A surprising out of left field flick that caught me off guard and has definitely jumped up pretty high on my radar. The film is directed by Colin & Greg Strause from a Liam O’Donnell and Josh Cordes script and stars Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, and Brittany Daniel.