Godzilla 1998 creature design

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


Early Designs for Godzilla 1998

Stan Winston would actually create a design that was faithful to the Godzilla design that the Toho Motion Picture Company would accept. In October 1992 TriStar pictures formally announced that they did acquire the rights to Godzilla and Sony pictures would actually produce a trilogy of Godzilla films. They also promised that it would “remaining true to the original series-cautioning against nuclear weapons and runaway technology.” After TriStar Pictures made the announcement many of the original Godzilla filmmakers expressed support for the film and that would include Haruo Nakajima who is the actual soon after four Godzilla from 1954 to 1972 as he stated “I’m pleased, I hope that a competition will spring up between Toho and TriStar, Koichi Kawakita who is a special five directors for the Heisei Godzilla films he stated “I have great expectations. I’m looking forward to seeing you, not only because I direct special effects were Godzilla films but also because I am a movie fan,” Teruyoshi Nakano who is a special five directors of the late Showa Series Godzilla films stated, “I’m pleased that a new approach will be taken” and Ishiro Honda was the director of various show of Godzilla films also stated, “it will probably be more interesting than the ones being produced right now in Japan.


Apparently Mr. Honda was not a fan of the Heisei Series Godzilla films.Patrick Tatopoulos designs Inc. is the actual company that created the Godzilla that was in the film that came out in 1998. Patrick hired more than 170 of Hollywood’s freelance special-effects craftsman’s, sculptors, mold makers, foam and electrical technicians, mechanical designers, and suit makers. To build several different mechanical versions of this Godzilla. With the majority of emphasis on the CGI technology it is interesting that a more hyper- tech version of the so-called “suitmation” technique that was used by the Toho Company was employed for this particular movie in some scenes. Patrick Tatopoulos’s group built for Godzilla suits all and 1/24 scale and they all stood around 7 feet tall and two of them are highly detailed “hero suits” were used in the scene when Godzilla first climbed out of the subway system near the Flatiron Square building and again when Godzilla versus the Madison Square Garden photograph at very high speed à la Tahoe to create the illusion of size and bulk and to other less detailed stone suits that were used for glimpses of the monster crashing through the buildings.

There is one scene and it is very vague to view it is a scene were Godzilla’s dorsal plates tear through the skyscraper during his initial New York rampage the suits were warm by two stun actors trained for at least three months to perfect Godzilla’s movements. Like the Toho Company’s Godzilla suits the stuntman’s head were located inside of the neck of the suit and were equipped with electronics so that the eyes and mouth and nostrils moved by remote control.


To achieve that arch look as Godzilla is bent over the actual suits were fitted with heavy-duty metal leg extenders enabling the actor to stand about 6 inches above the ground and his feet were bent forward in addition seven baby Godzilla costumes were built each with these particular leg extenders and the search weighed around 100 pounds and the CGI was used to multiply these into one hundredths of little Godzilla’s on the loose.

Patrick Tatopoulos and his crew also built a 1/6-scale and animatronic Godzilla that was actually spoke from foam and stood about 30 feet high. This is actually larger than the enemy Tronic T Rex that was built by Stan Winston Studio for the movie Jurassic Park. Because of the gigantic size of this particular robot it was built from the torso are and except for servo control I, eyelids, and nostrils it’s movements were operated by a pre-program computer-controlled hydraulic motors. This big robot Godzilla was to be used in several different scenes blot, in the end, it was only used when Godzilla grabs a tractor-trailer truck in his drawls, for Godzilla’s face-to-face meeting with Matthew Broderick the only time that this monstrous facial features and skin texture are truly shown up close and personal.


Among the other props that was built by Patrick Tatopoulos’s team there was a 30 foot section of Godzilla’s tale which is seen striking the Japanese fishing boat. There is a 1/1 scale set of three talons that were used when Godzilla attacked the Japanese fishing ship. It ripped right through its hull. There was also a full-size set of Godzilla toes that had an 11 foot spread in between them brutally used when the camera man “Animal” got stuck in between them when Godzilla’s foot compression down.

CGI Rendering Shots of Godzilla 1998

In contrast to a few appearances of Patrick Tatopoulos’s Godzilla suits and robots made it in the film there were 185 shots of Godzilla rendered via CGI. The rec cargo ship that washes ashore in Jamaica was a digital rendering, also another CGI rendering was the part of the Brooklyn Bridge door Godzilla’s death scene, plus several other Godzilla footprints on the roadside, various helicopter shots submarines and other images as well. Also many of the buildings seen in the chopper versus Godzilla chase through New York City and the steel canyons were constructed by CGI.

Miniatures and Models and Parts of the Set for the Movie Godzilla 1998

It seems that Roland Emmerich is no stranger to do anything in miniatures or pyrotechnics that involved on-camera destruction prime example of this would be “Independence Day” it was loaded with glorious explosions as well as miniature models of the Empire State building, White House, Citicorp building in Los Angeles and Godzilla is no exception to this rule. The most impressive destruction is the actual Flatiron building, in case you’re wondering what this building is it is a triangle shaped architectural landmark located on Fifth Avenue and Broadway.


In one particular scene is hit with bombs intended for Godzilla and the actual scale miniature is at 1/24 scale and it is 300 pound manager that was said to be so impressive that it actually composited into the live-action background plate and several pre-destruction shots. They also built a 1/24 scale section of the Chrysler building which in fact in the movie the dome is actually blown off by our Apache helicopters and there is another section of the Metropolitan Life Building with a Godzilla burled hole directly into the center of it. There is a very similar scene in the movie Godzilla 2014 I think it’s in one of the trailers is very similar to that.

There is a particular scene in the beginning of the movie where you see Godzilla destroying the Japanese floating fish factory modelers constructed a 35 foot replica of the ship the product was originally built as an oil supertanker but when constructed of it. It was almost done Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin revise the script believing Godzilla would have more incentive to attack a fish loaded vessel instead of attacker.


Another pretty amazing fact is there is a water tank that is located at Universal Studios lot it is called “Lake Falls” this particular tank of water was you originally constructed for the movie Virus is located on the outskirts of Los Angeles at the climax of the film there is footage that shows the actual Brooklyn Bridge was combined with a stand and birdshot in downtown Los Angeles any model of the 400 foot section of the bridge was erected and filled on vacant land at an airport in Torrance California.

The underground scenes that you see in the movie replicating the damage wrought upon Pennsylvania Station and subway tunnels by Godzilla borrowing this particular set is one of the several sense that was erected in the 40,000 square-foot stage XV on the Sony lot (touted as the world’s largest soundstage) it took 12 weeks to build and utilizes tons of lumber and Styrofoam to re-create the twisted rocking concrete another huge set the interior of the Madison Square Garden after it’s turned into Godzilla’s nest stood a reported 80 feet from the floor to the ceiling now this is pretty impressive.


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