There are lots of little iconic moments in the Liberator script that Director Aaron Pope and I were gung-ho about making sure we got right. One of these involves a prop we affectionately refer to as "the chunk."
Without wanting to give too much away, let's just say that at one point in the story, our hero Al Migliocetti (Lou Ferrigno) carries, and then hurls, an enormous chunk of blacktop ripped right out of the road. Now it's one thing to write this in a script, but to actually shoot it?
When Liberator meetings began last year, we spent a lot of time worrying about this scene. Would we be able to do it at all on our budget? And how? We were advised that the entire thing would have to be done green screen, with the street segment a CGI element digitally rendered and composited in. Hmm... not a huge CGI fan, and if it didn't look perfect, the whole effect would be ruined. Plus that one shot would cost $$$. Another suggestion was to build an enormous prop section of street and use a crane to carry it, and then paint out the wires. Not a bad idea, but again super expensive, maybe a half day setup just for that one effect.
At one point we were close to giving up. The shot just seemed too difficult, and would take too long for our schedule. But Aaron and I stood our ground and demanded this shot happen. Our solution was simple: we get an actual fricking piece of street and have Lou Ferrigno actually lift the damn thing over his head and hurl it. I mean, this is LOU we're talking about here. Crane? Ha!
Okay, well, turns out, even Lou Ferrigno can't lift a 1.5-ton 10' by 13' section of street. Enter our art department. Nancy Mistove began construction of the chunk, which was later finished by sculptor extraordinaire Davis Fandino along with John Cody Fasano and Kyle McCormack. Two weeks of man-hours went into the creation of this thing. It is a massive, ugly, thing of beauty, finished top and bottom, complete with potholes and cracks and road markings.
The end result? Perfection. We got our shot. And it was mighty and iconic and everything we ever wanted. Amazingly, afterwards, none of us wanted to see The Chunk go -- so we divided it into, well, chunks, and everyone took some home. So far, only one person has visited my apartment and stared at this thing and wondered, "What the heck is that"? But I smiled wide... "Well, there's a story there..."
photos by Lucia Fasano
A little behind the scenes action from LIBERATOR, featuring special effects whiz Lee Stone (Terminator 3, CSI: NY) explaining how he's going to help Lou Ferrigno knock the stuffing out of a big ol' heavy bag. Great fun! Featuring music by 9Electric -- visit 9Electric.com for more on this amazing band.
Thanks, everyone who has come aboard so far - and for everyone else, can you spare a buck? Seriously, it may not be much, but literally every dollar helps, and we will be endlessly appreciative. Thank you!
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Jul 11, 2011 - Aug 10, 2011 (30 days)
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We will post your name online at the official Liberator website (www.liberatormovie.com) as "Special Thanks to".
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Digital download of the Liberator screenplay by Jim Cirile and Aaron Pope, featuring cover art by Jesse D'Angelo (SyFy's "Hollywood Treasure") as well as the closing image of the film, a full-page comic art panel by former Marvel Comics Art Director Darren Auck.
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All of the above (except the gravity lance) plus one of three screen-used hero costumes: Volt, Gaia, or Sidewinder. Volt's suit is worn by Jessica Jade Andres; Gaia's by Tara Cardinal, and Sidewinder's by Don "the Dragon" Wilson. Subject to availability!
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All of the above (except the gravity lance and the other hero costumes) plus: the original, screen-worn Liberator armor. Designed by SyFy Channel's "Hollywood Treasure" co-host Jesse D'Angelo and built by Hollywood costume-maker extraordinaire Robert Miller. This iconic suit with the eagle across the chest was constructed of foam with a fabric undersuit and was custom made for Lou Ferrigno and worn by him in the film.