Category Archives: Monster Legacy

General posts about the Blog itself.

Exclusive: Interview with Paul Taglianetti!

Following our brief conversations, filmmaker Paul Taglianetti agreed to do an interview with me! Paul has worked on many famous films, but of course in this interview we focus on the creature effects he collaborated on over the years.

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Special: Of Dragons and Wyverns – Part 2

 

The Hungarian Horntail in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

The overall idea we now have of the so-called “Western” dragon is the result of a stratified conflation of different traditions, and this process culminated in the Middle Ages, wherein traditional dragons, due to their innate serpentine quality, as well as common traits with the Leviathan of the Book of Job, began to be associated with the Biblical serpent — the one that tempted Eve to engage in the Original Sin.

Lo and Behold, dragons acquired some traits we now recognize them for, all associated with the iconography of the Devil: horns and bat-like wings, as well as the infamous dragon-fire, which is both an association to hell itself and an inheritance from the Biblical Leviathan.

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Special: Of Dragons and Wyverns – Part 1

Here be Dragons.

When a dragon in a fantasy work — be it a novel, a film, or a videogame — is depicted as having just two wings (often also locomotory limbs) and two legs, the argument is often made that “it is not a dragon; it has two wings and two legs, therefore it is a wyvern, and should not be called a dragon“. This belief of an absolute dragon-wyvern dichotomy is held by surprisingly many as a sort of dogmatic truth — one that is radically false, in the face of actual data, history, literature and classical art saying otherwise. Of course, in no way a completely arbitrary classification reflects the plasticity of the word dragon, as well as the concept(s) of dragon.

Allow me thus to take you readers into a flying journey through the fantastic and languages, and explain why dragons can have as many limbs and wings as they please and still be called dragons.

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Special: Monster Legacy’s Monstrous Hundred – Part 3

The Monstrous Hundred continues with the 90s, a turning point in effects-making with the advent of CGI.

Tremors (1990)
Kicking off the 90s roster of creature features on a fabulous note, Tremors is one of the most brilliant, all-around engaging monster movies of all time. From the witty dialogue penned by S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock, to the colourful performances of the cast, to the absolutely brilliant creature designs and effects by none other than the team at Amalgamated Dynamics in their first solo outing, Tremors never once gets boring. A real classic.

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Special: Monster Legacy’s Monstrous Hundred — Part 1

Back in 2002, I was a small kid watching Free Willie on a local channel. During an ad intermission, a trailer was broadcast for what was coming afterwards. It didn’t have a hard time selling it to my young eyes — “monsters from beneath the Earth! Now they’re back, badder and hungrier!” were all the words I needed to hear. The film was Tremors 2: Aftershocks and it may very well be the reason Monster Legacy has been and continues to be a thing since 2011.

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Exclusive: “The Mechanics of Monsters: From Carlo Rambaldi to Makinarium”

“Three years ago, when I was here for King Kong,” humbly said Carlo Rambaldi at the 1980 Academy Awards, “I don’t know English, and I said ‘Thank you’. Now I learn very well English, and I say, ‘Thank you very much!'”. Carlo Rambaldi (September 15, 1925 – August 10, 2012) was an Italian special effects artist, and in many ways, a pioneer of the craft. In his 30-year-long career, Rambaldi collaborated on a great many films, some more well-known and others more obscure, with directors such as Mario Bava, Federico Fellini, Dario Argento, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg.

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5 years of Monster Legacy

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This month Monster Legacy celebrates 5 years of successful publication! Did not believe I could get this far, and I look forward to writing more in the following years! Heartfelt thanks to all my collaborators and followers. Thank you everyone.

Monster Gallery: The Host (2006)

Support Sandy Collora’s “Shallow Water”!

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Sandy Collora’s Kickstarter project, Shallow Water, has gone live today! The filmmaker and special effects artist has worked on various films, including Leviathan, Predator 2, and Men in Black. He has also directed the popular short film Batman: Dead End. With Shallow Water, Collora proposes to go back to the creature features of the 1950s, such as The Creature from the Black Lagoon, while at the same time trying to create a new iconic Movie Monster.

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Sandy Collora with props from the project.

“I hear so many people complaining about all the sequels and reboots the Hollywood machine is cranking out lately,” Collora said. “I grew up on the Alien and Predator films… I love them and watch them all the time; but where are the new iconic creatures? How long has it been since we’ve seen a creature truly unique and powerful in a genre film? Too long. If Hollywood won’t do it, I will.”

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The Tiburonera. “He who hunts sharks”. Personal opinion incoming: it looks badass.

Shallow Water‘s predatory Monster — whose design was based on various species of reptiles, including snapping turtles — is linked with humanity’s impact on our oceans. “With all the time I’ve spent in and on the water over the past 40 years,” Collora said, “I’ve seen the impact man has made on the ocean environment firsthand. I’ve dedicated a lot of my time to helping preserve our ocean resources and manage our fisheries, in the hopes of keeping them sustainable for generations to come. Shallow Water embodies all this and is a perfect fit for me as a filmmaker.” He further elaborated: “so much of the unique and odd life — that we see come out of the ocean — dwells in the darkness of the deep. The abyssal plain. Depths of 500 feet or more. There’s life in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of our seas, that is yet undiscovered. Hydrothermal vents over a mile deep contain life almost alien to our human eyes, but what about the shallows? How hard would it be for something that lives in the deep to swim up into the shallow water? Especially if it was hungry. It’s a chilling thought what dangers lurk right under our feet in the murky shallow waters of our shores.”

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Another goal of the project is, of course, using as many practical effects as possible. “These effects involve the use of sculpture, prosthetic makeup, animatronics, puppetry, body suits and other techniques,” Collora commented, “that most realistically create the appearance of organic, living creatures. Especially for a film that has a creature with a human form, this is the best and most realistic way to achieve the desired effect.” Shallow Water‘s crew includes Clark Bartram, Eric S. Dow, Dale Pearson, and Felipe Perez Burchard.

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Making a film is, by its nature, an incredibly complex and challenging endeavor. But this isn’t my first barbecue. I’ve been in and around the industry almost 30 years and learned from some of the best in the business.

We’ve got a great story, and an excellent script, and I’ve already created the primary creature. A significant portion of the crew is already aboard and they are accomplished veterans, many of whom have worked with me before on my previous films and commercials. The locations for the shoot have been determined and negotiated, and there are a limited number of sets. All these variables increase efficiency and ensure that upon funding, everything promised will be delivered.

I understand the film making process; developing a realistic schedule, a scope of work, and a budget. I know how to adhere staunchly, and when to adjust. And I’ve asked for the amount of money needed to deliver a supremely high quality product, on schedule.

Finally, I am a veteran project creator on Kickstarter. Backer rewards from my earlier campaigns were not just delivered on time… many were delivered early.

For all these reasons, if this Kickstarter campaign succeeds, the film Shallow Water will be made, all rewards will be delivered fully and on a timely basis, and I believe you will be proud to have backed it.

Thank you.

— Sandy Collora

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Click here to support Shallow Water!

 

Monster Legacy on Facebook!

Awaiting the next article — which should be here by the end of June or the beginning of July — Monster Legacy announces the opening of a companion page on Facebook.

Future news will be posted there! Like and share to support the project.

EDIT: to be clear, the Monster articles will continue to be posted here — the FB companion will serve as news provider, and will post links to the newest Blog articles (as well as highlight old gems).