There’s evidence of structural damage in the shape of a massive tail on the outside of the warehouse building between Seventh and J Street, in San Diego’s Gas Lamp District. ‘Radioactive Strike Zone’ reads the sign outside.
This is Legendary Picture’s Godzilla Encounter, a pop-up experience open from 5pm PST Wednesday 17 June 2013 throughout the Con – it’s a chance to get up close and personal with the People’s Monster.
Inside the doors and we’re transported to Gojira Street, Tokyo. A flipped over police car lies on its back, lights flashing.
Shindo's Ramen Bar
Shindo’s Ramen bar serves Sushi to the passing trade.
TV store windows flash with footage of a monochrome monster amid the dust.
A whirlwind Godzilla of comics spirals up to the ceiling,
Behind a wire mess stands a scale model of Godzilla himself.
“We want people to feel like they were walking through the pop-culture aftermath of Godzilla.” Explains Legendary’s Barnaby Legg.
This is essentially a living shrine to the influence and legacy of Godzilla past and future that members of the public will be able to visit and immerse themselves in.
Then the lights start flashing, a siren goes off an people in biohazard suits usher us into the next stage – where we’ll see set pieces from Gareth Edwards’ and Legendary Pictures upcoming Godzilla .
Meeting the monster
Inside the second part of the ‘Encounter’ we weren’t allowed to take photographs. Instead we were hurriedly ‘decontaminated’ and evacuated into a bunker area, one of the two set pieces based on the new movie. It’s a white room buzzing with maps and equipment. A beeping radar hones in on San Diego. A sign reads America Under Attack, screens show news footage of destruction.
We’re shepherded into a lift and taken to the 25th floor of an office building. The workers aren’t here but photos, note books, work stations, and even a Hello Kitty doll, indicate a busy office. Outside the giant ‘window’ – a screen showing some VFX pre-vis footage - we see a vista of the city, the tops of skyrises loom against the rainy sky.
But something’s coming. Noise, movement in the drizzly dark….
And then we see Godzilla himself. Absolutely massive with burning orange eyes, raggedy spines down his massive back. Ok, this isn’t actually footage from the film, but it gives a sense of the ‘Zilla we can expect. Enormous, upright but reptilian, with strong nods to the original Godzilla but with a rougher, earthier aesthetic.
It’s going to be epic.
Godzilla opens in the UK on 16 May 2014 .