Comic-Con 2010: Impressive First Look at Universal's Skyline
by Ethan Anderton
July 23, 2010
Sure, the thousands of Comic-Con attendees are familiar with movies like Tron Legacy, Green Hornet and Marvel's Thor. We've even featured the alien invasion movie Battle: Los Angeles, which premiered its first trailer and footage yesterday, along with the start of a viral campaign. On the opposite end of the spectrum is another alien invasion fueled flick that we haven't heard or seen much about aside from a building-size ad outside the convention center. That movie is Skyline and filmmakers/visual effects wizards Greg and Colin Strause (of Alien vs Predator: Requiem) brought one hell of a first look with a trailer that gave me chills.
Skyline is without a doubt the film you haven't heard about, but will be looking forward to when it's released later this year. This sci-fi project hasn't received too much pomp and circumstance yet, but that might just be working in their favor, as the crowd was more than receptive to the events unfolding on screen. We've seen alien invasions, extraterrestrial technology and weapons rip apart our planet and even close encounters and abductions with visitors from outer space. But this feels like something different. It's easy to say that the film feels like a combination of Cloverfield, War of the Worlds and maybe even Independence Day, but with Skyline it feels like there's still a unique story here.
Actors Eric Balfour (Hell Ride) and Donald Faison ("Scrubs") are partying it up in a fancy high rise with some choice lovely ladies when some strange activity outside across the cityscape of Los Angeles catches their eye. Strange clouds are moving in when out of nowhere, blue streams of light shoot out of the sky, stirring up smoke and what seems to be debris. Then from the clouds, hordes of alien ships emerge and it's not until later you realize the debris in the air is actually hundreds, even thousands, of people being sucked towards the ships in a chaotic yet familiar abduction style. It's truly an amazing and spine tingling sight.
And so a small group of people find themsevles trapped inside of this high rise buildings as ships circle the city looking for human stragglers. Even more danger comes from the fact that people looking into the brght light emitted by these hovering alien ships does something to the on-lookers face and eyes, exposing veins and turning eyes electric blue. Outside various aliens are scouring the city in the sky and on the ground varying from small car sized creatures to giant Transformer sized aliens. If all of this sounds epic as if it could only be a studio tentpole, you'd be dead wrong.
The Strause Bros made this movie themselves with a crew of around 20 people and will complete it in the span of 11 months from concept to release, later this year. Amazingly, it looks as good as, and in some cases even better, than plenty of studio films with A-List casts. Greg and Colin own every inch of this movie and only relied on Universal and Relativity Media for distribution. Greg Strause said "risky ideas are the ones fans respond to the most," and they didn't want to have to answer to anybody but themselves with all of the decisions they have and will make. That could come back to bite them in the ass since no one can be blamed for any shortcomings but themselves, however, if the trailer is any indicator, this movie is going to bring it.
You may be thinking that Los Angeles is getting invaded by aliens a little too often, with a plethora of films from the past and the presence of both Skyline and Battle: Los Angeles here at the convention. I admit that I thought the same thing during parts of Skyline, but there's a world of difference between this and Battle: LA. First of all, I have confidence in the differences because both Colin and Greg are working on the special effects for Battle: LA, so will have a pretty good idea of how to make their film different. Second, something Eric Balfour said really interested me. He said the film deals with the alien invasion on a very human level where it's about survival and dealing with it the way we deal with any major natural disaster.
It's like the difference between military aggression and protecting our planet/people and just the instinct to survive. Keep an eye out for the trailer for Skyline, which should hopefully be arriving online sooner or later.