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credit, before we went
into production we got together,
and he wanted to know who this
character was. We described that.
Visual Effects Coordinator Joel Hynek
returned to the "Predator"production
after the shutdown.
Whereas before, he was one of four or
five crew members from R/Greenberg,
now he was the only one.
(Hynek) The hiatus was valuable.
We tested what we shot
and we didn't need red lights.
The additional red lights
had slowed down the crew,
so McTiernan was relieved
when Hynek told him
that they could generate mattes
using natural light.
(Hynek) During the hiatus,
we also came up with a manual repeat pass.
I believe the first shoot was the first time
motion control had been used in the jungle,
but setting the motion control camera up
in the jungle was a nightmare.
We would get to the location at 4am.
We were determined
not to slow production down.
Now we could do shots in
half the time, if not one-third.
Don Poynter was an animator who did
rotoscoping for mattes and animated sparks.
Don spelled his name out
on the Predator's arm, here.
Animators do that all the time.
Film Journalist/Historian Eric Lichtenfeld:
As is usual for several of "Predator's" genre,
the movie did not receive
overwhelming critical support.
Many critics could not- or would not-
see the artistry for the gore,
the precise, fresh details for the conventional
backdrops which they shape.
Writing for the LA Times, however,
Michael Wilmington
saw McTiernan's strengths -
strengths the director would
continue to develop and capitalise upon
in his subsequent films.
In his June 12, 1987 review,
Wilmington wrote:
"Like many directors schooled
in TVcommercials
McTiernan has an interesting visual flair
and he creates a mood here
out of almost nothing:
Crawling, belly-level tracking shots,
heroic or statuesque angles,
a bleak approach to violence,
picturesque deep-foliage landscapes
streaked with weird harsh light.
The whole movie often jells
on an almost abstract level,
unrelated to its own story. "
Wilmington qualifies Predator's
style in an interesting way.
What he calls "abstract"
might also be called "mythic".
One of Predator's most
unique aspects is its simplicity.
Most movies - even, or rather,
especially, action movies -
get more complicated
as they near the climax of the story,
as all the elements start coming together.
For McTiernan's movies,
this is true for "Die Hard",
"The Hunt for Red October" and
"Die Hard with a Vengeance", among others,
whose third acts are each
a much more complicated juggling act
for the director,
the screenwriters, the editor, etc.
The opposite is true of this movie.
Like a horror film, all has been stripped away:
The complexity of the mission,
Dutch's manpower and fire power,
until he and the Predator
must face each other,
both seeming like forces of nature.
Given Jim and John Thomas'influences,
the confrontation between
Dutch and the Predator
resembles something like
Hercules and the Hydra.
The mud and improvised weaponry
enhance the primal aspect of the story.
Complimenting this is the sound design.
In this last act, it is dominated by
music and very precise sound effects.
There is little dialogue.
After all, what's there to say?
Screenwriters Jim and John Thomas:
( John) Our intent was to strip away elements
of the modern, organised, socialised world
to where itjust came down to primal instinct.
( Jim) Here's a guy who has
the most technological weaponry
and he's reduced
to covering himself with mud
and making bows and arrows to fight

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