Shoreline resident has special link to movie chosen for Outdoor Movie Night Saturday, August 7

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shoreline resident Vicki Montzingo (Photo, left) was startled to see that Harry and the Hendersons was the choice of movie for the Ballinger / North City Neighborhood Outdoor Movie Night on Saturday, August 7.

Not that she doesn't know the movie, which is about a Seattle family that ends up adopting a family of Sasquatch. She knows the movie from the inside out - the inside of a costume, that is.

Vicki was in the movie, playing the part of the baby Sasquatch.

She shares her experiences in the movie with us:

"A few days before filming, the director took me around the set, introduced me to the actors and crew, and familiarized me with the story. It was a closed set, no visitors allowed. It was also a very secretive project from Director William Dear and Steven Spielberg Productions. No information was to leak from the set before the film was done.

"I went to wardrobe where I met the Oscar award winning special effects makeup artist, Rick Baker. He won an Oscar for Harry and the Hendersons as well as many others. He was one of my favorite people.

"Kevin Peter Hall, who played the main Sasquatch, Harry, was a nice guy. The first time I met him, I was walking around the corner of a small trailer with the director and all of a sudden there he was, in full costume. It was an amazing sight. He was huge, hairy, and looked so real even at 2 feet away. He was sitting in a director's chair, legs crossed.

"He was a very tall man already, but there were platforms put under his feet to make him even taller. Some of the special effects guys were there testing the facial movements from several of their hand held controllers. It was funny to see the eyebrows go up and down at different times, the cheeks rise or fall, the mouth smile and frown. The costume face was making expressions which had nothing to do with what he was talking to me about. It was very strange.

"John Lithgow, the star, was funny and friendly. He stopped by my dressing room to say hi. It was nice getting to know him.

Photo of Vicki Montzingo and John Lithgow on the set of Harry and the Hendersons, shot in Seattle and the Cascades.

"That costume was so hot and itchy. It took a bit of time to get into it. They had to make a nylon body suit full of hair. Each strand of hair was individually placed on it to make it look more realistic. The head was a solid piece that was placed over the top of mine. It had large holes for the eyes which when placed on my head, allowed some of my skin to show. They had to paint dark brown circles around my eyes to hide the skin. The funny part was when I was able to remove the head to move and breathe better between takes, I had those big brown circles still on my face that made me look like I had black eyes. Such glamorous work!"

Photo of Vicki in full costume at her trailer on the movie set.

"It was a great experience, though. It was shot on location all around Seattle and multiple locations in the Cascades. My part was shot in the back woods way up Edgewick Road off of I-90. It was shot in a few months, but my part was shot in a day. We were deep in the forest.

"Before filming was to begin, everyone had to be camera ready. I saw one of the costumed Sasquatch's entire body being brushed, another being given a last drink of water through a straw in the mouth hole of their costume. The big and small fans used to cool down the actors in their heavy costumes were turned off and everyone was put into position.

"In one scene there were several Sasquatches. They were very tall, over 7 feet! Playing the Baby Bigfoot, I was only 4 feet tall. I almost got stepped on once when the director called "action". The mama Sasquatch, played by a man, didn't see me as I was crouching down behind a fern bush waiting for my cue. We were told to blend into the scenery. I guess I did a good job!"

Harry and the Hendersons will be shown at the Outdoor Movie event on Saturday, August 7, 7:30 pm at the Aldercrest Annex. See previous story.


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