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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Arkansas Family Builds Ultimate GODZILLA Suit

Written By: Ken Hulsey
Source: BlueRidgenow.com

When Legendary Pictures goes out to try and find someone to create a Godzilla suit for the upcoming film, they may not have to look in Japan, but in rural Arkansas instead.

Indeed the Baker family, father Rick and his two sons Rock and Kyle, have already created a great looking Godzilla costume that is ready for filming.

The Bakers estimate that they have invested about 200 hours and some $600 on creating what they consider to be the ultimate Godzilla suit, which is an combination of several of the monster's designs from it's 50 plus year film career.

Working day and night in the garage of their Hilltop Upholstery business in St. Joe, Arkansas the Baker boys turned rubber and plastic into a monster movie icon, which for the three men, was a true labor of love. Rick Baker is a self-described old fashioned horror movie buff, while his son Rock is an aspiring comic book artist.

Yet, it was brother Kyle who got the first opportunity to try on the Godzilla suit, which featured a fan in the head and pouches in the back for ice to keep the wearer nice and cool. But the sophistication of this Godzilla costume didn't just stop there, the melting ice from the internal pockets is also circulated throughout the suit via a complex tubing system. This Godzilla also features realistic looking eyes which can be moved by remote control.

As Kyle put the monster through it's paces he turned the head of more than few passers by on US highway 65 that runs adjacent to the makeshift monster studio that also doubles as an upholstery business.

Though the suit weighs some 75 pounds and has a rather lengthy tail attached, Kyle Baker had little trouble taking Godzilla for a test drive.

"I can actually feel it push against me," he said, "but I don't really feel the weight. It's so well balanced."

Though Legendary Pictures is presently developing a new American Godzilla movie, the Bakers believe that their best chance to break into the monster suite business will not come from Hollywood, where CGI effects now have become the standard, but in Japan, where the art of suit acting is still practiced.

To show of their skill, the Baker family packed up their monster and headed to Chicago for the annual "G-Fest" convention. It was their hope that since so many Japanese film industry types would be in attendance, they may get the opportunity to impress them and possibly land an opportunity overseas.

Yet there may still be hope for a job here in America, if Legendary Pictures listens to the Godzilla fan community and opts to combine the classic Godzilla suit acting with computer graphics for their film.

Will it happen? Only time will tell, but with any luck the Baker's will be able to crush miniature cities with their creation here in America rather than overseas.

See Also: Tim Burton On For MONSTERPOCALYPSE - Still In Line For GODZILLA? - More Film Details! / Knowing the President / Illustrating the Choosing Process - Directors / Knowing The Producers / A Reason To Be Optimistic About Godzilla 3D (2012)? / Godzilla 2012 Facebook Group Update - 500 Members And The Thread Of The Week!/ Godzilla 2012 (And Gamera) In The News 05/06/10 - A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Rumors / What Went Wrong With Godzilla 98? - Inside The Mind Of Dean Devlin / Godzilla 2012 In The News 04/15/10 - The Angry Edition! / Godzilla 2012 - A Plot Idea That, I Think, Will Make Everyone Happy / Godzilla 3-D, Godzilla 2012, Rumors And Misinformation Abound / Godzilla 2012 Going To Be In 3D And Screened At IMAX Theaters?

7 comments:

  1. That's friggin awesome! It looks like they were using the GMK Godzilla as a base model. The GMK version was the best looking IMO. The cooling system is genius! More pics?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Look on YouTube for videos and a 'making of' slideshow on the Bakers' Hyper Godzilla. Just do a search for AtomicStickFigure, that's Kyle Baker's YouTube channel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looking at the whole suit now, I think the torso is too skinny. Maybe add a bit more bulk in that area? Other than that I think it looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's a combo of various Godzilla traits. The slim build is based on the suit from Gigantis the Fire Monster. We were all of the opinion that Godzilla had gotten too fat over the years and that his head has been too small for a long time, that's why the head on the suit is larger than it might've been.

    I wanted to say thanks, Ken, for posting the story and the kind words! We were very excited when we saw the post.

    When we started to build the suit, it was roughly the same date that Legendary announced the new Godzilla movie. If anyone from the studio wanted to see the suit, we'd (obviously) be very happy to show it to them!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was there at G-Fest and I assumed that suit had been done by Toho. That's how good it looked.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have yet to hear/see a G-fest in Boston or better yet, just south of Boston...a scifi-convention would be great but it'd have to be 5 days long- better than comic-con or any World of Wheels car show...

    I want a G-suit, with the lengthy tail & proper head,fins,feet,color,etc.
    ( ImmortusONE999 at yahoo.com )

    ReplyDelete

"LEGENDARY PICTURES TO DEVELOP AND PRODUCE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE BASED ON TOHO COMPANY’S ICONIC MONSTER, GODZILLA

Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.