ADI Q&A – Cinefex 140 Extract

by Graham Edwards

ADI Q&A with Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis, by Joe Fordham - Cinefex 140

This final peek at our latest magazine issue, Cinefex 140, invites you into the company of Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis., co-founders of Amalgamated Dynamics, Incorporated.

Woodruff and Gillis discuss their backgrounds in the burgeoning 1980s creature effects industry, early assignments at Stan Winston Studio, and their creative partnership that has spanned 25 years, encompassing Death Becomes Her, Starship Troopers, Tremors, multiple Alien films, and more recently Fire City: The Interpreter of Signs and Harbinger Down — a pair of independent monster movies, wrought with passion and crowdfunded resources, that mark Woodruff’s and Gillis’ feature directing debuts.

In this extract from Joe Fordham’s Q&A, the guys from ADI describe how their experiences on the 2011 prequel The Thing encouraged them to set up their popular YouTube channel:

Alec Gillis: The Thing director, Matthijs van Heijningen, was very interested in maintaining a practical foundation, but at some point they made the decision to replace the work. People often say, ‘You guys must have been heartbroken,’ and so on. Of course we were disappointed, because we thought we had done very good work, staying true to what Bottin and Carpenter had set up, while acknowledging the director’s and the studio’s needs.

Tom Woodruff Jr.: That was the impetus for going to YouTube. We were seeing a lot of negative comments online saying, ‘ADI screwed up The Thing.’ We felt that we’d done our best work, and so we thought, ‘Let’s put up some YouTube videos.’ We started with a Green Goblin prosthetic makeup test that we had created for Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man. That got 50,000 hits in two weeks. Then we posted tests of our ‘hemocyte’ makeups that we did for Ridley Scott’s unmade I Am Legend. There are now 160 videos online – some effects that got cut from films, some behind the scenes.

Read the complete Q&A in Cinefex 140, which also features Interstellar, The Zero Theorem and Exodus: Gods and Kings.

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