Change of Heart
Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. is one of the premiere creature effects companies in the world. And if you can spell Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated, you should get a trophy. Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. designed a gorilla for Zookeeper with Kevin James. The gorilla suit is but one of Tom’s characters as he has been a suit performer in Alien 3, The Monster Squad, Mortal Kombat, and Pumpkinhead to name a few.
This gorilla suit has been used in many productions due to its incredible detail and realistic appearance. While Tom is inside the suit, it takes 5 puppeteers to control the rest of the head, e.g. eyes, eyebrows, lips, mouth, jaw, including 35 radio controlled servos.
We wanted to get a video of the gorilla interacting with a girl, Ariella Hershey. Unlike CG, the practical nature of the suit lets Tom have direct contact and the ability to react with each other. We found Stickle Back River Ranch outside of Santa Clarita, CA to give us the look of a lowland area. It is also the same location that The Last Starfighter was filmed. We used natural light for the entire shoot with a small crew and did the entire shoot in one day.
Would like to thank Ariella Hershey and her entourage for their talents and work. Also, thank you to Tor Johansen for attending and getting stills of the shoot.
Feel free to ask any questions about this project.