Bringing the Elder Predator to Life Pt 2

what have i done what have i done what have i done

The Elder Predator on set between takes

Complications with the star arose quickly. On the first day of filming it became apparent that, despite their best efforts, the production team had not properly accounted for all of the factors necessary to bring the Elder Predator to life. From the cinematography down to the actor’s performance, it was clear the production had bitten off more than it could chew.

On the first day of filming, Cinematographer Alan Smithee got into a fight with Director Alan Smithee over the lighting of the Elder Predator’s first scene. With artificial lighting being deemed “needlessly time-consuming” by Producer Alan Smithee, Cinematographer Alan Smithee was forced to use available, natural light for all of the Elder Predator’s scenes.

I thought I should have some lights, they didn’t. I could’a jacked up the ISO, I guess. Or I could’a got up early in the morning to get the sunlight comin’ through the window, yeah? But I didn’t want grainy footage and I couldn’t be [bothered] gettin’ up before 10, so I had to throw the aperture wide open to get light in, yeah? And when we looked at the dailies, we had one’a the Elder Predator’s tusks in focus, and everything else looked like my weddin’ reception after I started the second bottle of vodka.

Cinematographer Alan Smithee

With no time to correct the out-of-focus footage, and no hope of ever receiving the lighting equipment needed to properly expose the scenes, Cinematographer Alan Smithee left the production, demanding his name be removed from the credits. He was replaced within a matter of hours by up-and-coming French Cinematographer Alain Smité.

He was great. Didn’t speak a word of English. Sometimes he’d start screaming at us in French about something, equipment or whatever, and we’d give him a croissant and a philosophy textbook and he’d quiet down, go into a corner for an hour or so.

Producer Alan Smithee

However, it turned out that camera equipment was the least of their problems. What no-one had remembered to take into account was the Elder Predator’s extensive dialogue throughout the film. When it came time to deliver his opening lines for the film, the production team were terrified to discover the inanimate plastic Predator figure could not, in fact, talk.

Well, there was a cock-up. We went through all this trouble to find the guy, and he’s mute. Great. Of course.

Director Alan Smithee

You’d think I would’ve checked for something like that.

Casting Director Alan Smithee

A mad scramble was made to find a suitable voice actor to perform the lines. The first actor hired developed an acute case of throat cancer the day before recording, and his lines were deemed unusable even by the production’s meager standards.

It was just noise. The levels went into the red so hard I think we actually broke a few speakers. I looked over at the sound engineer and he was curled in a foetal position, sobbing, saying “It’s not right, it’s not right”. I personally didn’t think it was that bad.

Director Alan Smithee

With time running desperately short, Producer Alan Smithee searched through his contacts late one Friday night and struck gold. Renowned actor Tom Hardy, who’d accidentally given the producer his number  after having confused him for someone important, was in a drunken stupor. He answered the call and immediately agreed to do a line reading over the phone that instant.

It was great. Brilliant. He was totally out of it, but it was perfect. We wanted him to sound guttural and imposing, but he kept doing his Bane voice and slurring. It was exactly what the character needed.

Producer Alan Smithee

I don’t remember any of that. I have no idea what you’re talking about. How did you get this number?

Actor Tom Hardy

After many trials and tribulations, the production could finally get into full swing. With the lines recorded and the cinematography worked out, the film’s star was finally brought to life in the performance of a lifetime.

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