I’ve been facinated by the Cloverfield monster concept. Since seeing the film I’ve scoured some other sites and blogs to put together other peoples impressions of the film and monster. PLEASE ONLY READ ON IF YOU WANT THE FILM SPOILER!!! You’ve been WARNED! Thanks!
Cloverfield Monster Details Revealed
I just got my hands on the production notes for Cloverfield.
Below I have pasted an excerpt, where JJ Abrams, director Matt Reeves, and writer Drew Goddard talk about the monster like we’ve never heard before, in exteme detail. They also talk about the “parasites” and explain the long rumored flashback sequences (the way they constructed it actually makes a hell of a lot of sense). Those weary of spoilers, please continue no further.
Reeves also skillfully interweaves an important storyline throughout the film, that of Rob and Beth’s (Odette Yustman) earlier relationship. Hud is unknowingly taping over an earlier recording Rob had made with the camera of intimate, quiet time spent with his mate. “You see their loving gaze. It’s this small love story,” says Reeves.
“So I began thinking, ‘Isn’t there some way to make that kind of a parallel story?’” The film actually begins with some of this footage – much of it shot by Michael Stahl-David himself using a small video camera. But additional portions also appear interspersed throughout the movie, typically after some shocking event has caused Hud to briefly shut off the camera, allowing a brief portion of Rob’s original recording to play for the audience before Hud picks up the current action again.
“We’re seeing the aftermath of two people who have longed to be together, and somehow finally come together, crosscut with this other event,” the director explains. “By going back and forth between these two pieces, you end up heightening the drama. By looking back at this relationship and what it could have been, the audience starts to put the pieces together as to why Rob is so eager to rescue her.”
Building a Better Monster
The visual effects for “Cloverfield” were produced under the direction of visual effects supervisors Kevin Blank, Eric Leven of Tippett Studio and Michael Ellis of London-based Double Negative. Tippett created all the shots that include the monsters, while Double Negative was responsible for all of the other destruction and sequences which did not include the monster.
The concept for the monster (affectionately known simply as “Clover” in-house) is simple, says Abrams. “He’s a baby. He’s brand-new. He’s confused, disoriented and irritable. And he’s been down there in the water for thousands and thousands of years.”
And where is he from? “We don’t say – deliberately,” notes Goddard. “Our movie doesn’t have the scientist in the white lab coat who shows up and explains things like that. We don’t have that scene.”
Not only is the creature disoriented – he’s downright angry. “There are a bunch of smaller things – humans – that are annoying him and shooting at him like a swarm of bees,” observes Reeves. “None of these things are going to kill the monster, but they hurt it and it doesn’t understand. It’s this new environment that it finds frightening.”
For the monster’s design, Abrams engaged veteran creature designer Neville Page, who had just finished creating characters for James Cameron’s upcoming “Avatar” (and is currently working on Abrams’ “Star Trek”).
“So much has been done in so many different movies with large creatures that the trick was to find a way to create a unique character,” explains Abrams. The producer had first become familiar with Page’s work through the designer’s series of instructional DVDs for The Gnoman Workshop. “One of the things that struck me about Neville’s instructional videos was the way he approaches everything from a realistic point of view. He develops non-existing creatures, but can explain to you their physical makeup, musculature and skeletal structure.”
Adds producer Burk, “Neville was the first person we met with. And he’s amazing. He doesn’t just think about designing the creature, he thinks in terms of how it would walk, how it would breathe, what its skin would be like, how it lives – everything.”
Once Page’s designs were complete, it was up to Tippett Studio to implement and refine the monster for inclusion in the few – but crucial – shots in which he appears. “We did a test, where we inserted him into some background plate shot in downtown ,” explains Leven. “We experimented with different looks, in terms of not only the creature itself, but how it would interact with the camera and with light.”
Another facet of the design was added at director Reeves’ suggestion. “I wanted him to have that sort of spooked feeling, the way, when a horse is spooked, you can see the white of its eyes along the bottom. And you see that when the military is firing on him, where he becomes completely agitated and confused.”
As part of a “post-birth ritual,” as Abrams describes it, the monster is seen early on scratching his back on a building (destroying it in the process), to remove a layer of parasites that are set loose to wreak their own havoc on the city.
“Drew and I were struggling with, ‘When you have a monster that size how do you keep the characters from seeming totally irrelevant?’” says Abrams. “How do you have any one-on-one struggle?” Explains Goddard, “Because he’s so big, we knew it was going to be difficult to have intimate sequences. It’s not like any of the characters could fight him or that anyone could even figure out a way to hurt him.”
And because of that, the idea of the parasites was born. “They’re these horrifying, dog-sized creatures that just scatter around the city and add to the nightmare of the evening,” Abrams says.
“The parasites have a voracious, rabid, bounding nature, but they also have a crab-like crawl,” Reeves explains. “They have the viciousness of a dog, but with the ability to climb walls and stick to things.”
In addition, the parasites also move more rapidly than their giant host counterpart. “Tippett Studio has a lot of expertise with these kinds of fast-moving creatures that can destroy people and rip them to shreds, which is always a lot of fun to work on,” says Leven. “They’re like little whirling dervishes that just destroy anything in their path. They’re totally deadly.”
Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 at 9:16 pm by: Peter Sciretta
1. That looks NOTHING like the TWO giant monsters in the film (not including the tinier parasitic monsters that fell off one of them).
The first giant monster stands upright and has what looked like four to six arms the bottom four are like whale flippers — and its face is flat and has a mouth like the alien in the movie Predator. It also has these red balloon things on the side of its head.
The second giant monster…hard to describe. It walks on four legs — It’s greyish white in color and has super long forearms like an orangatan, legs that are sort of like a frogs — and a long tail that’s shaped like a tadpole’s tail. Really unique and scary looking. It’s face is harder to describe…kind of like a turtle’s beak?
Posted at: 1/17/08 12:29 AM
EVIL LEVEL 31
I just saw cloverfield with my brother, who just made a smaller shitty thread.
That’s right, I got to see it before you Americans do.
Now, what went on:
Starts out like it does in the trailer, they’re all getting ready for the main guy’s going away party
and his friend is filming everything so he can watch it when he gets to japan. The main character turns up and it’s all party and laughs for about 10 minutes. Then everything goes abit emo when
his girlfriend/old friend/whatever comes in with another guy beacuse he never rang her or whatever…anyways.
He, his brother and the filmer are in his room being emo and suddenly BANG!
There’s an earthquake like thing and all the lights flicker on and off. Everyone is screaming and
saying stupid shit. They turn on the news just to see some crap about earthquake reports and a big oil tanker that just blew up in the harbour. They decide to go up to the roof beacuse some dork goes
“oh hey, that’s close, lets go look”
So the fucktards go up to the roof and shit is exploding and fireballs are fucking everything up.
They freak out and run out to the street and the statue of libertie’s head flys past, building fall over, they run around like idiots.
Then you see your first glimpse of the monster.
The face actually looks like it does when you mirror the poster, so I guess that wasn’t bullshit.
So they freak out some more and run around. Just remember all of this is filmed with
a small handycam, so think blair witch but actually good.
They decide to try and cross the bridge to safety, half way across the monster destroys it and the main character’s brother dies, infact, he’s the first to die straigt up out of all the poeple on the bridge.
The camera guy throws out one liners and alot of actual funny lines. They meet the military, they’re
geting fucking destroyed and nothing is even scratching the monster, at this point they’re using tanks and rocket launhers.
So our gang runs down into the subway and everyone freaks out for abit beacuse people are dying and his mum rings and he has to tell her his brother died, ich is actually pretty sad.
They decide to walk the lines out of the city. Bad idea.
Earlier there was a news report of things dropping off the monster and then attacking people. They look like little star-ship troopers bugs with more legs. So they’re in the subway and they start to hear wierd noises and see rat running away so one of the girls goes “Hey! turn on the night vision!”.
Aso soon as it’s flicked on you see the little things al over the roof, so… “Run, RUN!!”
They get attacked, the camera man’s love intrest gets bitten, they escape all alvive.
They escape to a little side room and are just freaking out, making jokes and looking out bad the bite is. Then the gang decides to go outside and they come up in a shopping center of ome sort, meet the military and are fine for about five minutes. People are screaming and hurt and some soldier gets wheeled past witha burst open chest.
The girl who got bitten then started bleeding from everwhere. The doctors freak out and drag her behind a curtain, you see her expand, then BAM, blood explodsion. Totaly awesome.
So they freak out some more and decide to go try and rescure the main character’s girlfriend, wich is the only reason the stupid fuckers are still in the city.
One of the army guys lets them go and tells them to be back by 0600 to get the chopper out before the city is nuked.
They walk around some more, see the monster some more.
They get there and find her building is destroyed mostly and is leaning onto another so they decide
to climb the good one and find a way over to the girlfriend’s place.
Well, they do and they find her on her floor, with a steel rod through her shoulder. They take her back and on the way the main character takes some time to be awesome and kill one of the bug things with a fire axe.
The monster comes over and hits the building and makes them freak out and run abit more.
They get to the chopper and one of the gang gets to go, the rest have to wait for the next one.
DUN DUN DUH!
So the monster is closing in and the next chopper comes and picks them up, they floy off abit.
You see the monster walking around making sure shit is ruined and a bomber comes and hits it afew times. There’s smoke, celebrations.
Then it jumps out of the smoke, sitll ok and chomps the chopper, screaming, crash.
The three remaiing people survive atill pretty much unhurt appart from a broken leg, the piolots are fucked. I guess the crashed in centeral park.
Then as they’re walking, suddenly the girlfriend screams, camera guy turns around and there it is. You get a really good look at it, up and down. Then he gets mauled and it walks off. The main character picks up the camera and they run abit more. They take shelter under a little bridge and cry, record thier last words, then the bomb goes off.
Ok so afew things:
-The monster is hard to describe. It’s got four arms, two are comming out of it’s chest. A big tail and two legs. It’s head has two expandy looking sacks on it and I guess it breathes through.
The head is kind of a cross between predator and a snapping turtle. You’d have to go see it to get a proper look.
- A TWIST! The only person out of the group to survive is the black girl. I’m not bieng racist at all. It’s a fact that the black people usually die first up untill recently. Though I guess they are the first poeple you see looting….so, they didn’t get out without some 4chan style giggles.
- It’s liek blair witch as in it’s supposed to be a recoverd tape so it switches back between the main movie and kis day with his girlfriend in gaps.
- Beacuse it’s from the perspective of just some randoms you NEVEr find out what the hell it is. You NEVER find out where it came from and the move ends when the bombs go off you you don’t know if it died. I smell a sequal or book…or something.
All in all I give it a 7.5 wins out of 10.
I probably haven’t explained very well so ask questions ad I’ll try to fill in gaps.
Description of the monster from: http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t …
The monster isn’t green, it’s grey.
-It has 4 legs and 2 really small, crab-like legs on it’s torso (the crab legs might’ve been vestigial).
-It’s approx. 30-40 stories tall (Rob/Lil/Hud climb up Beth’s building (59th floor) where she is impaled on some metal thing, after saving her, they see the monster walking down the street, monster is significantly shorter than 50 stories).
-It’s front “arms” are “backwards” (as if you’re elbows protruded in front of you) The arms are pretty long.
-It has 3 LONG fingers on each hand (like, index finger middle finger and thumb.
-Has 2 back legs, walks upright, but it appears that the front “arms” are significantly longer than the back legs.
-Has a long tail.
-Has these 2 red, puffing (possibly lungs) lobes on it’s head. It’s jaw looks like a bulldog (where it’s “fangs” are over it’s lips)
Fans draw the Cloverfield monster:
Cloverfield style guide:
Cloverfield what we know so far
Background of cloverfield monster:
It’s very rare that a sequel does not get drawn into backstory and origins. What do we know there?… The last couple of shots of Cloverfield return to the footage that’s being recorded over – To Rob and Beth at
No, not the monster. J.J. Abrams has said “The concept for the monster is simple. He’s a baby. He’s brand-new. He’s confused, disoriented and irritable. And he’s been down there in the water for thousands and thousands of years.” What you see falling is a satellite, and it’s the recovery of that which awakens the beast…
Pictures about Cloverfield
. In the background, you can just catch a large dark object plummeting through the sky, into the ocean. In other words – the first footage of the monster’s arrival?