GODZILLA FISH - Props & Puppets.
Over 650- 18, 21, & 30 inch long fish.
Softened silicone rubber, urethane fins, & glass eyes.
Some animatronic flapping fish.
We provided over 650 Fish for Godzilla. At the beginning of production, a test was conducted using real fish and the resulting bad smell and accompanying swarms of flies led to a quick decision to go with artificial fish. We cast the fish bodies in solid silicone rubber, greatly softened with thinners for added realistic flexibility. All of the fins had to be made separately and joined on so they would be much stiffer than the softened rubber, which would have flopped over at those thicknesses. Realistic fish scale patterns were painted on by starting with a base green rubber color and painting through a fine screen with silver, then glazing over this layer with white for the bellies and pearlescent colors on the sides to achieve the iridescence of trout. High quality glass taxidermy eyes were used for their bright, hard highlights.KY gel was used on set to keep any water present from beading up unaturally on the fish. To achieve the outrageously huge piles of fish that appear in the movie, big piles of our fish were simultaneously gang-molded in flats from which large latex sheets of fish were cast & painted, and thrown over big air bags on set. For the scenes of fish still kicking along Godzilla's trail of destruction, we built an additional six fully self-enclosed, sealed animatronic kicking fish.
A studio painter on this production got his hands on some of our unpainted fish and he became very aggresive and territorial, even though these were props and special effects. He threatened to shut down production, insisting that painting the fish were within his jurisdiction and took the fish away to paint. A few days went by and the guy finally returned with the fish unpainted. He explained that he had tried everything and couldn't get any paint to stick to these fish. In a much more humble tone, he asked us, "are you sure you really still need me to paint these?" We were only too glad to take them back.
Silicone is nearly the only thing that will stick to silicone. Making silicone paint is pretty easy once you know this. 100% pure rubber, silicone caulking -found in tubes, in the hardware stores- thinned with naptha, xylene, or even paint thinner provides a good vehicle/binder. For pigment- oil paint or universal tinting colors are added to the silicone caulk.
GODZILLA FISH - Credits
GODZILLA (Sony) 1998. Roland Emmerich, director.