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A combination of stop-frame animation, live action location shots and prosthetic puppeteering matted onto a model background in post-production produced a stunning commercial in the 1950's sci-fi genre.

A life-sized alien was sculpted in clay from which a latex moulding was formed to produce a fan-assisted body-suit fitting an actress willing to sit under the studio lights for many hours at a time operating controls. Thrashing tendrills, blinking eyes and knashing mandibles linked to compressed-air and cables were operated remotely by a five-man team as the alien negotiated the space craft towards Earth's atmosphere. Two other creatures were replicated in post-production as crew members sitting within a model interior. This was constructed to extremely fine tolerances giving the illusion of grand proportion.

The space craft or "Flying saucer" was constructed in fibreglass and polycarbonate, lit by low voltage halogen bulbs and rigged to blast CO2 gas from its core. Mounted from the side and connected to a motion control model-mover, this sequence was shot stop-frame as the landing legs came down and the undercarriage rotated.

swcfx, awards, special effects, mtv, steve wilsher, model maker

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