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Monster Gallery: Men in Black (1997)

Scum of the Universe – Men In Black, Part 1

“When I first went in and talked to Barry Sonnenfeld about Men in Black,” said special effects wizard Rick Baker, “I said it would really be hard to do an alien that does not look like something you’ve seen 40,000 times on TV. That was one of the challenges — to do something that doesn’t look like something which has been done before. I don’t know if we totally succeeded in that, but some of them are original-looking.”

Bringing to life the fair of the bizarre to be at display in Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black was a long process that involved a wide diversity of artists. Before Rick Baker’s Cinovation Studio became attached to the project, various concept artists and illustrators had begun devising creature designs based on Ed Solomon’s script — which also changed its plot and story beats as production progressed. Artists involved in this early phase included Yasushi Nirasawa and Ricardo Delgado, as well as Carlos Huante — who would eventually have the most influence on the design and aesthetic of the aliens. The Men in Black creatures would go on to become characterized by their whimsical, bizarre aesthetic combined with organic, life-like texture.

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