Saturday, 27 August 2016

Star Trek Beyond's alien prosthetics

Star Trek Beyond makeup designer Joel Harlow boasts there are no less than fifty aliens in the movie, packing in dozens of new species as a nod to the fiftieth anniversary. In fact by the time his team were done there were some fifty-six different species featured in the film, many represented by multiple unique character designs!

A team of about seventy makeup artists and designers worked throughout the shoot to bring the aliens of the film to life, and now many of those artists, as well as the actors they transformed, have been sharing their amazing creations. Continue below for a look at some of the many new aliens from the film.

One of my favourite images to appear so far is a fantastic split screen photo posted by actor Joe Taslim, showing his character Manas as both the alien we saw throughout the film, and his original Human form as Anderson Le of the USS Franklin:

The latest issue of Prosthetics magazine headlines a feature on the aliens from the film, highlighting several of the designs, and the artists who created them. The next issue of Prosthetics in a few months time promises a second chapter of this coverage too, looking at even more of the aliens.

It appears Star Trek Beyond was a bit of talent whirlpool, as designer Don Lanning describes in the article:
The years of skill and experience in that room was amazing. Within a few weeks, it had turned into a who's who of Hollywood's best, each bringing their contributions. Unique and wild creatures were suddenly popping up all over the place, and I think everybody's excitement was contagious.
The article is illustrated with various behind the scenes images and great photos of several of the final alien designs. Among my favourite images is a look at Jaylah's head sculpt before the distinctive black markings are applied, revealing how deceptively alien her features really are.

Here are a couple more snippets from the article. The alien below is called Tyvanna.

Chekov's friend with the curly head is called Natalia, and is notable not just for her impressive head, but also the highly ambitious prosthetics applied to the upper torso and arms too, making her so much more than your average nobbly forehead alien!

And here's another image of Natalia under construction, via IMATS:

Among the team recruited was creature designer Carlos Huante, whose designs includes these drawings which he posted on Instagram:

Another of his designs from earlier in production didn't make it, as he notes, the early bumpy production ride the film had kept stalling work in the art department:
Understand, the movie started and stopped two to 3 times I believe.. It was a rough start and then it was full steam ahead with no compensation for the time lag in getting started.. The schedule remained the same.. During one of those start and stops this image was almost done but didn't make it to the door before the project went on hold the first time..So when we started up again the character was no longer relevant to the new direction...

Of course eventually the film did get going, and once the design work was done, the aliens began to become real. YOMYOMF have posted an article looking at one alien in particular, Fi'Ja, which was one of the little gang Jaylah fights off when she finds Scotty. He was played by Danny Pudi (aka Abed from Community), and the article details his transformation from Human to alien at the hands of Joel Harlow and Camille Benton.

The article also discusses how Pudi was trained for the fight scene, and to learn his alien language. He seems to have enjoyed the whole experience:
Watching all the pieces come together was incredible and so was the amount of sweat under my fake face. As I lied there on the ground getting kicked by Sofia (spoiler), completely unrecognizable as a space reptile, I couldn’t be happier. My brother and I spent many nights as kids watching STAR TREK and THE NEXT GENERATION, and now I was living in that world.
Similar sentiments were given by the actor who played another member of that gang, Aitcheson Hider, who posted this photo on Instagram:

Artist Erin Peters has also been posting on Instagram, including this very alien creation:

Peter's also worked on the prosthetics for Idris Elba's Krall. This first image shows two different face designs, with one a bit more human after some soul-vampiring.

And also from Peters is a look at the crew T-shirt, which cutely turns the Enterprise's nacelles into an airbrush.

Here's one more shot of the best alien in the film, the delightful Jaylah, played by Sofia Boutella. This image was tweeted by Simon Pegg:

Finally, a collection of some of the previously released alien images to enjoy. Hopefully we will get an art of... book down the line, because just from the aliens designs we've barely scratched the surface of those fifty-six species in what we've seen up close so far.

To keep track of all the latest information on Star Trek Beyond, including more behind the scenes coverage, visit my Star Trek Beyond guide page.


Farzad Jalali-Yazdi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rocketdave said...

Huh, I didn't realize that Manas, like Krall, had started off as human. I guess that makes more sense than Krall somehow going out and actively recruiting an alien sidekick for his personal vendetta.

It's kind of cool that they created so many new alien species for the film and I've been hoping we'll be afforded a clear look at all of them, though I can't help wishing that there were more familiar races on screen, such as Andorians, Tellarites, etc.

Darrell said...

Kalara, the alien female who needed help from the Enterprise, also started out as human Starfleet officer Jessica Wolff.

rocketdave said...

Oops, I probably should have figured that out on my own. I saw Wolff's name when I glanced at Manas' entry on Memory Alpha earlier today and didn't even make the connection. Thanks, Darrell.

zillabeast said...

If I were writing th next movie, I'd write Chekov off by revealing that he ran off and married that seashell girl, who turned out to be the crown princess of a beautiful aquatic world. He lives out the rest of his days as a king in paradise, happily ever after.

Jaylah would be a perfect replacement for him on the bridge.