What drew me to the Skyline panel today at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con was curiosity out of the sheer lack of information about this film beforehand. Press had been notoriously tight-lipped on it up until now, which may have been an (effective, in my case) hype-building tactic.
The rough gist of the film is it’s an attempt to create a large-scale alien invasion film on a completely independent budget. From the footage I saw, which included many generic shots of glowing lights descending upon the oft-abused Los Angeles, the execution is similar to Cloverfield or the upcoming Battle: Los Angeles (which the Strouse Brothers’ FX house Hydraulx is also producing effects for).
HitFix’s Drew McWeeney moderated the panel which included directors Colin & Greg Strouse, and actors Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel, and David Zayas. The Strouse Brothers (who produced the film entirely with a crew of about 20) praised the capabilities of modern digital camera packages for allowing them the freedom to make films like this possible.
The film was an easy sell to Relativity, according to the Strouses, once they saw the footage (which contains over 800 FX shots). They were happy to produce the film with no studio intervention. Donald Faison was pleased to finally shed his Scrubs persona, and spread his action wings. He mentioned that it was hard to be involved in an end-of-the-world blockbuster and have to keep quiet so as not to wake the neighbors.
The Strouses noted that what sets this film apart from a film like Cloverfield, for example, was a mass-invasion aspect, where abductees are drawn to the aliens in an organic way, in the same manner that people are drawn to looking at a car accident on the side of the road.
Colin Strouse credited the long load times of digital acquisition such as the RED camera for getting such great helicopter shots without needing to fly the helicopter back to reload.
Skyline releases November 12, 2010.
Andrew Sorcini is a film editor and social networking enthusiast who produces and hosts the technology podcast The Drill Down.