Syfy's Monster Man is about to get even more monstrous as its first season continues to challenge monster creator Cleve Hall, his daughter Constance and his boss, Roy Knyrim. And the monster makers promise you're going to see creatures you've never seen on the screen before.
"You're going to see hairy ones, slimy ones..." said Knyrim.
"Scaly ones," said Constance Hall.
"Yes, lots of bugs," added Cleve Hall. "And giant Japanese monsters."
"But they're not really Japanese because we're not Japanese," said Constance.
"Giant Los Angeles monsters," said Cleve.
"Giant Japanese style monsters."
"And ice monsters," said Knyrim.
"Yes, those are different," said Cleve.
"Every producer and director that comes in wants to see something they've never seen before," said Knyrim. "What's really cool about this business is you never get the same thing twice. And that's what's really cool is they bring you something one week and you're figuring out how to cut somebody's head off. The next week you're figuring out how to make a giant monster. So it's always different."
"It's about topping your last thing, you know," said Cleve. While it might be hard to top the pilot's two-headed shark, Cleve believes they did. "We've got Richard Elfman's Forbidden Zone. I believe it's going to be on the second episode."
"As well as our werewolf," said Constance. In fact, you'll see the werewolf on tonight's episode, "Forbidden Werewolf."
"It's really disturbing-looking," said Cleve.
"Then, the season finale, we do a music video for the band DEVO," said Knyrim. "I get to direct it, and Cleve makes some giant monsters for it, and then the band are made up like androids, which Constance did a lot of that, so it's going to be pretty cool."
Cleve has been making monster costumes, starting with Godzilla, since he was in high school. Constance has been following her father to work since she was 13. And Knyrim has been making movies and special effects since he borrowed his parent's Super 8 movie camera. Knyrim owns SOTA FX and runs the business end while Cleve and Constance make the special-effects magic happen.
While Hollywood seems to be going digital at a dizzying rate, Cleve and his people have held onto the classic ways of monster making.
"I don't have anything against CGI when it's used to enhance a physical effect, but then when it's used to replace one, that hurts," he said.
"We did Starship Troopers III, and one of the cool things we did is we did a lot of stuff practical and they augmented in CGI, and it came out really, really well. It was a great marriage of the two techniques," said Knyrim.
Some of the movies they've worked on include The Abyss, Ed Wood, Ghoulies, Re-Animator, Troll, Weird Science and Gods and Monsters.
Their new series, Syfy's Monster Man, focuses on the tight deadlines, the battles between the strong-minded group and trying to please producers while not compromising their own vision.
"We wouldn't know what to do with ourselves if we had enough time," said Cleve.
"It's trying to have Cleve or whoever design or envision what the producers want. Because most of the time the producers can't tell you from their mind to paper what they want, and that's where Cleve comes in to try to do that," said Knyrim. "It's like 50/50."
"If I can't convince them to change it, then I'll do what they want, I just won't feel good about it," said Cleve.
Here's a sneak peek at tonight's episode, "Forbidden Werewolf."
Monster Man airs on Wednesdays on Syfy at 10 p.m.