Godzilla’s Transition on the Silver Screen

 
 
 
Graphic by Keziah Jordan
Graphic by Keziah Jordan
by Nick Lowry
Staff Writer

 

Godzilla’s first appearance was in 1954 in the original film by Ishori Honda. Back then, Godzilla was only a man in a monster costume, but with the advancement of technology, the creature has grown more popular than imagined, even earning a star on Hollywood’s walk of fame.

There have been a multitude of Godzilla films that have been produced since the original. Throughout the years, these movies have involved up to thirteen different suits for the monster.

“I think changing the look of Godzilla is a way to keep the audience interested. With technology advancing, you expect the movie makers to make him look more realistic,” Art major Regina Beasley said.

The first Godzilla suit included a heavy lower body, small arms, a large head and two tree trunk like-legs with big feet.

The face had pronounced brows, while the eyes were completely round with tiny pupils, a feature unique to this costume. During filming, a different pair of legs were used for close-up shots of Godzilla’s feet.

The second suit, very similar to the first, was generally overlooked by fans, thus giving rise to the most popular and easily recognizable third costume, known as Kingoji Godzilla. This suit gave Godzilla more serious reptilian features.

Over time, the Godzilla suit became outdated by technology. The 21st century paved way for the rebirth of the monster. Computer Graphic Imagery, or CGI, allowed artists to rebuild Godzilla’s overall look with a special effects program, making the creature 10 times as ferocious.

Motion Capture, the process or technique of recording patterns of movement digitally, also allowed filmmakers to give Godzilla a more Jurassic body movement on screen.

“It’s cool that technology allows well known film icons to keep up with the times. The new tech helps me appreciate Godzilla as much as my dad did when he was younger,” Computer Graphics student Alex Barron said.

New technology also allowed the creation of Godzilla’s famous screeching roar that makes even the most fearsome beasts suck their thumbs in anguish.

nlowry@lc.edu

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