×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How Practical Puppeteering Aided in Pivotal ‘Twilight Zone’ Reveal

In this installment of Jordan Peele’s reimagined anthology, a mysterious visitor (Steven Yeun) crashes a Christmas party at a small Alaskan town’s police station. His presence is resented when he seemingly reveals the secrets of everyone in the room. But the traveler carries a secret of his own: He’s part of an alien species bent on taking over Earth. In the final moments of the episode, piercing lights fill the night sky, signifying the impending invasion. The visually expansive moment is immediately contrasted by an intimate, close-up shot in the jail cell as the traveler, now in his true form, caps off his successful journey with a bite of pie.

Bill Terezakis
Makeup FX supervisor
“We see the hand of the alien, which is played by Sandy DaCosta, and which is separate of Keith Arbuthnot, who played the head. We took a mold of Keith and then did a sculpture over the top of Keith’s head to make the profile as non-human as possible. And then the prosthetic blended into his mouth so we had full mobility in the mouth so that he can eat the pie. We wanted the hand to go in low, scoop up the piece of pie, and then bring the pie and the fork up, up, up to the point where we no longer see the actor that’s sitting next to the alien, just to imply that the alien’s quite tall. As the hand comes up, Keith opens up his mouth, the pie is fed to him.”

Mathias Herndl
Director of photography
“Bill built really, really amazing puppets for our alien, and we also had the luxury of having Jordan Peele in town right at the time we were shooting that particular moment, so we actually were able to shoot it all live action in-camera. It took us seven or eight takes to get it perfect, but we had the chance because we were shooting it on a set that was built for us, so we were able to remove some walls. The lighting in that jail cell was very moody and they kept the whole thing very dark because we were able to create an atmosphere where there was some curiosity about Steven’s character and who he is and what he’s eventually going to become. It’s like the shark in ‘Jaws’: the less you see, the more effective it is, and we just tried to keep it very minimal and give a lot of opportunities for our audience to use their imagination to fill in the blanks.”

Pictured: Jordan Peele as the Narrator of the CBS All Access series THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Photo Cr: Robert Falconer/CBS © 2018 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
CREDIT: Courtesy of CBS

Ana Lily Amirpour
Director
“Leading up into the transformation into this creature, the main thing for me was doing it all in-camera. I’m a big fan of practical effects, like [in] ‘American Werewolf in London’ and ‘The Neverending Story’ [in which] real magical beings and creatures, monsters come to life. And then to also do it in a way where we could do everything in one shot, with no cuts from Patrick Gallagher to the creature, and then over to Jordan, because that would be really looking sexy and fun. So we had a place where we could hide the puppeteer, because this is a man wearing that alien prosthetic. And then there’s another puppeteer puppeting his hands, and she was wedged down in between Patrick and the alien. So there were technically several balls in the air.”

The Twilight Zone: A Traveler
CREDIT: Courtesy of CBS

Robert Habros
Visual-effects supervisor
“What they asked our department to do was to help out just a little bit on top of the prosthetic makeup, so we were able to make the eye blink; we were able to take the nostrils and swell them a little bit as if the creature was breathing. We just did some blending and stretching on the skin in a more natural way while he was eating. Because Bill did such a terrific job with the prosthetic, you’re able to just touch it up just a little bit in a digital fashion.”

More TV

  • Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime

    'Delhi Crime’ Wins big at Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Richie Mehta’s harrowing Netflix series “Delhi Crime” was the big winner at the 2nd annual Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore on Friday. Representing the show, lead actress Shefali Shah was rushed off her feet as she repeatedly had to return to the stage. “Delhi Crime” earned her best actress in a leading role, best [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • Robert Walker Jr.

    'Star Trek' Actor Robert Walker Jr. Dies at 79

    Robert Walker Jr., son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, died Thursday, his family confirmed to the official website for the television show “Star Trek.” He was 79. Walker Jr. is best remembered for playing the titular Charlie Evans in the “Star Trek” episode “Charlie X” from the show’s first season in 1966. His [...]

  • Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right,

    TV Ratings: Why Is the NBA Shooting Air Balls?

    The NBA’s TV ratings so far this season have been far from all-star level. Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The [...]

  • Claire Danes, Homeland

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Releases 'Homeland' Final Season Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Showtime drops the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,” and National Geographic reveals the first look at Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in “Genius: Aretha.” FIRST LOOKS Showtime released the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,“ premiering Feb. 9. The eighth and final season, starring Claire Danes and [...]

  • 700700 + Ted Turner Dedication. December

    Ted Turner Tributes Established With WarnerMedia Gift to University of Georgia

    WarnerMedia has established a scholarship, internship program and exhibition hall at the University of Georgia to be named after maverick media mogul Ted Turner. The company has gifted $550,000 to the university to create the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund, for students attending the school’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is also the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content