Comic-Con 2010: 'Skyline' Panel and First Look

Skyline movie banner at Comic-Con 2010

At the start of Comic-Con, a lot of people looked up at the gigantic banner pictured above and said "What is 'Skyline'?" Considering it's a Sci-Fi movie and that's a big focus here on Screen Rant, it struck us as odd that not only had we not heard anything about this film, but neither did many of our movie news site brethren.

The plot description from the Comic-Con guide is as follows:

Strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame, where an extraterrestrial force proceeds to swallow the entire human population off the face of the earth.

It was directed by the brothers Strauss, who are the duo who brought us the well-meaning but quite awful Aliens vs Predator: Requiem. Coming from a visual effects background, it was the first major motion picture they had directed. The film was written by first-time screenwriters Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell, who also come from the visual effects industry.

In attendance were directors Colin and Greg Straus and cast members Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Donald Faison, David Zayas and Brittany Daniel. Donald Faison was quite charming, and was caught off-guard by a question about Josie and the Pussycats from a little girl in the audience. :)

The film was not shot by a studio - they did the entire thing with their own funds and visual effects company. It looks like a big budget studio film, but it's an independent film. Movie was shot with 4K digital cameras which were very efficient for helicopter shots.

The trailer debuted and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Had a Roland Emmerich feel (the appearance of the ships reminded me of Independence Day) crossed with a PG-13 horror/suspense film.

There was a ton of green screen work. While it looks "big" the idea came from watching Paranormal Activity and seeing a hit film shot in someone's house, so the brothers thought they could make a movie on their own as well without a monster budget. This explains the heavy involvement of VFX background people all around. It was actually shot in director Greg Strause's home in LA.

Because it was an independent film, they had far more freedom when it came to casting the film, which they said can be a really difficult process in a studio film. Sometimes directors are given a list of half a dozen actors who will be good for overseas box office, and they have to choose from there. Here they had no such restrictions.

The idea was to go organic for the look of not only the aliens but the ships as well - they wanted Transformers-sized aliens.

They showed some additional footage showing massive organic-looking ships. They first sent down beams of light that filled the sky with smoke, and as we zoom in we see hundreds of bodies being levitated into the air and towards the ships. The basic concept is that of a moth drawn to a flame - when people look at the alien light it attracts you long enough to be levitated up to their ships.

Visually, it was impressive and it looks like it might be a good Sci-Fi popcorn movie (here's hoping it's better than AVP:R) and it opens November 12, 2010.

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