Skitters and crawlies and fishheads, oh my! The making of the 'Falling Skies' aliens

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Image Credit: TNT

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The overlord

How it’s done: Three creatures, three different ways to create them. The overlord isn’t puppet/CG, nor is it purely animation. Zoic uses motion capture, with an actor portraying the overlord in their studio, matched up against shots of the actors on-set.

Design: The smooth, gray, blubber-like flesh of the overlords have earned them the nickname “fishhead” among the 2nd Mass. The overlord’s body is similar to a human’s, but much taller with elongated limbs, as one towers over Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) when he is taken aboard their ship.

Movement: Though the overlord is tall and lanky with long arms, “he never just stands there with his feet square and his arms hanging at his side,” Orloff said. “He stands chest out shoulders back standing up straight and tall usually with one leg postured forward to make it look like there’s an energy and an authority.” So Tom has to face a creature that looks like it’s always ready to lunge at him.

Fun fact: The overlord is authoritative and also a warrior. So Orloff and his effects team turned to other TV shows and movies during their research of regal and soldier movements, including Game of Thrones and samurai films by Akira Kurosawa.

NEXT PAGE: How the Falling Skies team created that creepy harness factory


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