Spectral Motion Monsters

Many of today’s most original and bizarre visions of alternative worlds and landscapes come from the workshops of Hollywood effects studios. Behind the scenes of nondescript San Fernando Valley offices and warehouse spaces lurk the multidisciplinary teams whose job it is to create tomorrow’s monsters.  Spectral Motion (http://www.spectralmotion.com), the effects house responsible for some of the most technically intricate and physically stunning animatronic creatures seen in feature film today, is no exception.  They have developed monsters and other grotesque creatures that have since become household nightmares.

Founded in 1994 by Mike and Mary Elizalde, the firm has worked on such films as Hellboy & Hellboy II:  The Golden Army, Looper, Blade:Trinity, X-men: First Class, The Watch and Pacific Rim.

Spectral Motion staff pose with Sammael from Hellboy film
Spectral Motion staff pose with Sammael from Hellboy film
Wink from Hellboy II created by Spectral Motion
Wink from Hellboy II created by Spectral Motion
Wink's hand - animated by Spectral Motion
Wink’s hand – animated by Spectral Motion
Actor Ron Perlman getting his make-up as Hellboy
Actor Ron Perlman getting his make-up as Hellboy at Spectral Motion studio
Applying make-up to actor Ron Perlman as Hellboy
Applying make-up to actor Ron Perlman as Hellboy
Animatronic head for Edward the Troll from Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters film
Ivan the Corpse from Hellboy created by Spectral Motion
Ivan the Corpse from Hellboy created by Spectral Motion
Mechanical skull under Ivan the Corpse
Mechanical skull under Ivan the Corpse
Scrunt from Lady in the Water Credit:  Spectral Motion
Scrunt from Lady in the Lake Credit: Spectral Motion

Mechanical skull of the scrunt from Lake in the Water
Mechanical skull of the scrunt from Lake in the Water
Technician at Spectral Motion stretching yak hair over mold to create monster fur.
Technician at Spectral Motion stretching yak hair over mold to create monster fur.

What kinds of backgrounds do the people who work at Spectral Motion  tend to have? There’s really no limit to the fields that bring people to this industry—they come from everywhere. The common thread is that they all love movies and creatures. So if you have a technical background in electronics and love making rubber monsters for a living head to Hollywood.

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