An Inside Look: Falling Skies Season 2 – Skitters

The first stop for our visit was the 2nd unit, also known to the production crew as the Skitter unit set. Here, we got to get up close and personal with skitter legs, skitter blood and yes, even the man in the skitter suit! When you talk to everyone on set it was repeatedly mentioned that Keith in the skitter suit is one of the hardest working guys on Falling Skies. The suit is heavy and very hot. In fact, when in full costume they have to bring an air duct to Keith to help him breathe in between takes. Not an easy job, but he does a great job with it! Normally one wouldn’t want to be so friendly with a skitter, but with a face like that, who couldn’t?!

We do not yet know where the 2nd Mass will end up, but there will be blood, skitter blood to be accurate! As we walked around, we noticed a pool of skitter blood on the ground, which could only indicate a fire fight with our 6-legged friends.

A Pool of Skitter Blood

We also got an up close look at some skitter legs. The man in charge of the skitters, Todd Masters, told us about how the CGI worked and when puppets are used. He also explained how the actors interacted with the many different aspects of the skitters.

This may have been called the Skitter unit, but one has to wonder if the correct name wasn’t Skitter abuse unit! After all we did find a pile of Skitter legs on the ground and a pool of blood, so some of our 6-legged friends did not survive the night.

A pile of skitter legs

It wasn’t long until our Skitter for the day Keith came up and was getting very friendly with the kids on set. I made sure to check their backs as they left, but did anyone check mine? I am a bit worried about Ben, he seems to be very happy and friendly with our Skitter here. Should we trust him?

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The Skitters head is a very detailed piece of craftsmanship with so much detail just in the paint on the outside. Skitter Keith was coming to grab his Skitter head as we were leaving, preparing for a scene to be shoot. I have to admit, in full costume, he is pretty scary.

Skitter Keith and a skitter head

 

One thing that is still amazing to this day is the harness itself. We didn’t get a chance to get an up-close look at one but in our previous interview with Concept Designer Robert McCallum, we got an up-close look at just what the concept behind the harness looked like in its stages. When asked about how he was approached to do this design, Rob McCallum had this to say:

 I was working The Thing prequel and got a call from the Art Director on Falling Skies, a friend, who said I should come in and meet Rob the production designer. I had my first day off in months but was in the area so popped in. We got on well and they handed me a pencil and asked if I could do a quick design for them. Rob the designer had some ideas for how he saw it, suggested a few looks. There had been a harness designed for the pilot but they wanted to change that and make it look a bit more alien. I did a bunch of designs then, my last one, I did my own take on how it could look more organic in places with metal etc in it. We had been going for a bone look and I incorporated that into the “jellyfish” idea with stuff in the soft jelly and made a metal spine down the back. Rob liked this and then gave me some visual reference for sea creatures and it went from there. Not much more was done to it and then it was submitted to Spielberg for approval and we got the ok not long after. I was pleased to say the least.

 

Checkout all of our photos with Skitter Keith and our video where a skitter asks us where we are from. Special thanks to Aaron Sagers with Paranormal Pop Culture for some cool close ups of a Skitter body and Tom Gardiner for his photo of the Skitters head. Then stay tuned next week for Part 3 of our trip where we talk with the cast about their favorite moments, and feelings about season 2.

Dont miss our previous posts:

Falling Skies Season 2: Set Design

Falling Skies Season 2: New Faces/Cast for Season 2

Greg Beeman Talks Season 2 Falling Skies

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Be sure to follow all the bloggers who joined in on this trip and keep an eye out for even more Falling Skies exclusives.

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