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FX artist Steve Johnson shares I Am Legend practical makeup test video

04.18.2011by: Alex DiVincenzo
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All things considered, Francis Lawrence's I AM LEGEND was a pretty good flick. The one thing that nobody liked, however, was the laughably bad CGI vampires. There was a public outcry from fans when the switch from practical to computer-generated effects was announced, and their fears of cheesy-looking monsters were confirmed upon the film's release in 2007.

Why am I reminiscing about this? Well, makeup effects artist Steve Johnson recently posted footage from a makeup test he did for the movie. Johnson has a ton of credits to his name, including both cult genre films (FRIGHT NIGHT, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III) and Hollywood fare (SPIDER-MAN 2, WAR OF THE WORLDS), so the guy obviously knows what he's doing.

Lawrence was reportedly unable to get the performance he wanted out of those playing the infected, so he opted for CGI. It's a true shame, especially now that we've seen what could have been. There have been talks of a prequel to the film with both Lawrence and star Will Smith returning; if it happens, let's hope they will make the right decision this time.

Extra Tidbit: Will Smith's first choice to direct the film was Guillermo del Toro, who surely would have had cool effects.
Source: AITH

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6:08PM on 04/18/2011

What a waste

I worked as an extra on the Bklyn Bridge seen for 5 days at a cost of $2M for just 2 minutes of film. St. Patricks Cathredal scene cut out of the film. Then the bag CG vampires. Alot of waste and money for a mediocre film. Del Toro would of done it better. Please no prequel.
I worked as an extra on the Bklyn Bridge seen for 5 days at a cost of $2M for just 2 minutes of film. St. Patricks Cathredal scene cut out of the film. Then the bag CG vampires. Alot of waste and money for a mediocre film. Del Toro would of done it better. Please no prequel.
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1:41PM on 04/18/2011

A pretty good flick?

Not sure I can agree at all. The book is above and beyond better than the garbage they put on screen. There was so much more emotion that could of been shown. About the dog, Nevel's alcoholism, the vampires pretending to be human to get close to him, the ending.

Maybe it wouldn't of translated well, especially the non-hollywood ending, but it was one of the biggest book-to-movie conversions that I have ever seen..

And its "I am Legend" so why were there more people still alive?
Not sure I can agree at all. The book is above and beyond better than the garbage they put on screen. There was so much more emotion that could of been shown. About the dog, Nevel's alcoholism, the vampires pretending to be human to get close to him, the ending.

Maybe it wouldn't of translated well, especially the non-hollywood ending, but it was one of the biggest book-to-movie conversions that I have ever seen..

And its "I am Legend" so why were there more people still alive?
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2:41PM on 04/18/2011
Great book. The Vincent Price version almost does it justice. A shame we can't get a modern version that follows the book. It's very moody and creepy...

Still, bummer they didn't use the practical FX. The CG was very distracting. All the vampires pretty much had the same build/body type and looked almost exactly the same...
Great book. The Vincent Price version almost does it justice. A shame we can't get a modern version that follows the book. It's very moody and creepy...

Still, bummer they didn't use the practical FX. The CG was very distracting. All the vampires pretty much had the same build/body type and looked almost exactly the same...
6:29PM on 04/18/2011
You're right about the Vincent Price version, also Omega Man had the names, disease, and some of the books events dead on. With the unhollywood ending.
You're right about the Vincent Price version, also Omega Man had the names, disease, and some of the books events dead on. With the unhollywood ending.
1:13PM on 04/18/2011
Jesus, that was amazing! How could they ditch this for CG?! That was terrifying.
Jesus, that was amazing! How could they ditch this for CG?! That was terrifying.
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12:07PM on 04/18/2011
That blows away the terrible CGI travesties that ended up in the movie.
That blows away the terrible CGI travesties that ended up in the movie.
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9:45AM on 04/18/2011

COOL

WOW! looks kind of like those gray aliens, still very creepy and way better that that crappy CGI stuff they used in the film.
WOW! looks kind of like those gray aliens, still very creepy and way better that that crappy CGI stuff they used in the film.
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