‘Prey’ Director Explains How The Film Combined Practical Effects & CGI To Create The Predator

Prey might deliver the most realistic Predator yet.

Prey Predator Dan Trachtenberg Hulu Amber Midthunder

Prey introduces a terrifying new take on the Predator, which director Dan Trachtenberg brought to life with a combination of a practical costume and visual effects.

Prey is set around 300 years in the past, pitting a Comanche tribe against a Predator in precolonial America. The Predator itself is more primitive than versions of the creature seen in other entries in the franchise and has been nicknamed the Feral Predator.

Discussing Prey recently, Dan Trachtenberg explained how he incorporated both practical and visual effects to create a believable monster for Amber Midthunder’s Naru to face off against.

A New Approach For A New Predator

While mostly practical, the Predator seen in Prey utilizes some CG elements to help bring it to life and better sell the illusion to the audience.

Dan Trachtenberg spoke about the process of creating Prey‘s Feral Predator during a press conference for the movie. The director revealed he was not averse to using CGI in the way some filmmakers and fans may be, though the Predator in Prey is still mostly practical.

Talking about his approach to realizing the iconic movie monster, Trachtenberg said:

“Most of it is practical. Some of it is CG. Frankly, I have a different point of view than, I think, most horror filmmakers or even fans. I’m not someone who thinks that CG is awful and I fetishize practical visual effects and suit work and all those things.

“I oftentimes feel just as pulled out of a movie by feeling like I see the man in that suit, as much as I’ve been pulled out of a movie by feeling like I feel the artifice in the digitally recreated creature or effect.

“So, I really wanted to combine both thoughts and mainly rely on the practical suit, but enhancing key moments, like even just using visual effects to enhance his calf muscles. And sometimes the hands are changed and sometimes we see the throat throbbing. Those are things that fall short in just the build of the suit that I thought would bring real life, to feel like this is much more of a creature than we’ve seen in previous Predator movies.”

Prey‘s Predator definitely benefits from this approach, enhancing the traditional practical costume with CGI elements to create a believable living and breathing monster. The subtle use of CGI does not overpower the practical creature, but simply adds to its reality.

Here is the synopsis for Prey:

Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, “Prey” is the story of a young woman, Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior. She has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains, so when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her people. The prey she stalks, and ultimately confronts, turns out to be a highly evolved alien predator with a technically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries.

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg from a script written by Patrick Aison, Prey stars Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, and Julian Black Antelope.

Prey will stream exclusively on Hulu on August 5, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming film and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.