Bringing "Hellboy" to life, Part 2: More from Spectral Motion

Mon, April 5th, 2004 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

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As we promised on Friday, here's another batch of photos bringing you a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the creatures for "Hellboy."

Director Guillermo del Toro talks to John Hurt about the autopsy scene, deep in the bowels of the BPRD headquarters ... or a soundstage in Prague, depending on your point of view. Artist Jose Fernandez carefully crafts a statuette of Baby Hellboy, one of literally scores of concept pieces used to cement the ideas of the film for their workshop to create. Ron Perlman mugs for the camera on the Prague set, seemingly not fatigued by the four hours of makeup work required to get such an amazing visual presentation.
This photo shows the skull of The Corpse, before skin and paint were applied. The numerous servos under the surface allowed the creature to show a wide range of emotions. Creature artist Norman Cabreras applies some intermediary touches to Abe Sapien. The process to create the magic on screen is time consuming and requires numerous Norman Cabrera is shown here, applying finishing touches to one of the numerous Corpse creatures done for the film, including a fully fuctioning one to be worn over the shoulder and several less-labor intensive versions for shots that weren't as close up.
Actor Ladislav Beran posed in costume as the undead Nazi Kroenen during the first day of shooting at the "Abbey Ruins" set in Prague. Last minute adjustments on Doug Jones before he goes on camera as Abe Sapien. Most of the people who helped Spectral Motion get the job done were hired in Prague. The animatronic Baby Hellboy was pulled from the movie at the last possible moment, to be replaced by a CGI creature, because director Guillermo del Toro felt that it just wasn't emotive enough.
The completed maquette of the Behemoth, the final conflict for Hellboy, showed the creature in a perfect miniature. One Abe Sapien suit was simply not sufficient -- Spectral Motion had to create numerous copies, and here you can see them hard at work. Mike Elizalde (shown on right) takes a photo with the complete Sammael and Mark Setrakian (left)
Elizalde wasn't some abstract thinker -- in addition to all the planning and supervision, he got down in the trenches to help keep Sammael and the other effects working. A close up on the fully functioning Sammael head, later left on a table at the Spectral Motion offices. Sammael, in his full glory.
Working on the less-than-fully functioning Sammael suits still required many hands. Once completed, the Sammael suits were difficult to distinguish from the original. Mark Setrakian and Mike Elizalde looked on while Ron Perlman waited for another chance to get into the action.

 
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