The special effects gurus at StudioADI helped bring Marvel Comics' The Blob (Frederick J. Dukes) to life in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That was accomplished with the actor, Kevin Durand, donning a practical fat suit. But today, Alec Gillis from StudioADI reveals details and provides a video that showcases the experimentation of a mechanical body suit for The Blob.
If you'd like to view more of their wonderful videos visit their StudioADI YouTube channel by clicking here.
Like any business, ours is a competitive one. On a high profile show like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we weren't the only Character Effects company vying for the job. Sometimes it isn't just the quality of your work, or your price, or your hair style that factors into the decision as to who the job is awarded to. Sometimes it's an idea that grabs the director.
Production was very concerned about Blob. There were two competing camps as to how to accomplish the character. One approach was to put a fat face makeup on actor Kevin Durand, dress him in green spandex with tracking markers on it, and create his entire body digitally. This would allow total control over jiggle and shake, something that can be a challenge in the practical world. The other approach was to create the most mobile, non-restrictive body suit we could, and use digital to embellish the real thing rather than totally create it.
In the end the practical, minimally digital approach was chosen. But getting there required a nudge.
As a hedge against the potential stiffness of a practical body suit, we suggested something we'd wanted to experiment with for years: a mechanical fat suit. Using a vest with cable mechanisms attached to it, we hoped to get the rubber body masses to shift in a way that would look natural. Director Gavin Hood loved our bold thinking as much as the actual idea itself, and we got the gig.
Once production saw that the non-mechanical fat suit was working better than expected, (and that they'd need to pay a few puppeteers to perform the effect) they decided that it wasn't really necessary. We never had the opportunity to really complete the experiment, so perhaps we'll revisit it in the future.
But, it was an idea that tipped the scales in our favor, and though we lost some weight, we gained some too.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) - was directed by Gavin Hood, from a script written by David Benioff and Skip Woods. The film starred: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Lynn Collins, Taylor Kitsch, Kevin Durand and Ryan Reynolds. The movie grossed over $370 million at the worldwide box office.
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