The highly-anticipated Ghostbusters: Afterlife is recruiting notable special-effects designer and fabricator Adam Savage to give audiences a glimpse into how the production brought ghosts and technology from the beloved ’80s franchise into the modern-day.
Director Jason Reitman‘s Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the fourth installment of the Ghostbusters franchise and will be a follow-up to 1989’s Ghostbusters II. Fans have been anxiously tuning in for updates on the film since its delayed production and release as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Adam Savage has stepped in to give fans a glimpse into all of the behind-the-scenes action about how the art department, special effects department, and graphic design team bring the magic to life.
If you aren’t familiar with Adam Savage, this will be a fun introduction. This guy is a one-man show in a lot of artistic ways. He’s worked as an animator, carpenter, graphic designer, set designer, toy designer, and model maker. However, y’all are probably most familiar with his time hosting a little show called Mythbusters. Savage’s model work has also been featured in films such as Galaxy Quest, Bicentennial Man, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, The Mummy, The Matrix Reloaded, and Space Cowboys.
Now, that history is established, let’s check out Savage’s first video teaser from his time on set.
Ghostbusters Afterlife Behind the Scenes
Doesn’t this look badass? The video dropped today on Savage’s YouTube channel, Tested. The rural production looks gloriously decrepit and the fact that they purchased a barn and moved it onto location is pretty interesting. Just the design of the barn’s concave roof alone makes it stand out. The drone and crane cameras give viewers a glimpse into the scale of just how big and isolated this production is. Savage himself is a big fan of the Ghostbusters franchise and emphasizes in the teaser that everyone on set is equally excited to be a part of the film.
There’s also a cute cameo from actor McKenna Grace who plays Phoebe. However, Grace is no stranger to elaborate and spooky set designs after working on The Haunting of Hill House, Annabelle Comes Home, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
The part I love the most aside from set design is probably the film’s props. Who doesn’t love the Proton Pack? And we all remember not to cross the streams, right? Anyway, it will be great to see classic props have a vintage feel since they will most likely be discovered by the kids in the movie. I’m also crossing my fingers for new Ghostbuster gadgets to be introduced into the film, but we’ll see.
Special Effects and Props Galore
One of the best parts of the Ghostbusters franchise is the special effects. How did the team create a giant marshmallow man that stormed through New York City? Or how did they build a transparent gluttonous ghost that flies around the hallways of a hotel after sliming one of the Ghostbusters? And there’s always that really creepy librarian but I won’t go into detail on her here; she’s scarred us ’80s kids enough.
Before digital effects, the majority of the ghosts in the franchise were actually fabricated costumes. The Marshmallow Man was a guy in a suit walking through a miniature set. Slimer was played by a guy in a suit against a black background. Visual effects art director John Bruno had to work in-camera as much as possible those days. Methyl cellulose was used as part of the goo after characters were slimed and puppets were also utilized to make the ghosts come to life.
These days, we have CGI, and technology is far more advanced. However, those in the field of special effects and props grew up on the real deal. I hope that we see a lot of practical effects in this film that pay homage to the originals as opposed to heavy use of digital effects. It seems like the budget would be there to do so, but only time will tell.
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