How a Trip To Area 51 Inspired ‘The Creator’s Terrifying USS NOMAD

'The Creator's Terrifying USS NOMAD

In the mysterious intersection between birds of prey and Area 51 lies a tale of cinematic innovation and the birth of an awe-inspiring weapon of mass destruction: the USS NOMAD.

This colossal space station, officially known as the North American Orbital Mobile Aerospace Defense (NOMAD), casts an ominous shadow over The Creator’s narrative canvas. A behemoth capable of obliterating entire cities, NOMAD’s awe-inspiring presence competes with the film’s array of beautifully crafted artificial intelligence entities.

Gareth Edwards, the visionary director behind The Creator, initially conceived NOMAD as a world-engulfing ring, dividing the globe into two halves. However, practical concerns about the feasibility of constructing such an advanced structure during the war on AI prompted Edwards to reshape his vision. The final iteration emerged as a mobile defense platform, adorned with a striking wingspan and a central circular space—a fusion of influences that mimicked both the grace of a bird of prey and the watchful eye of an all-seeing circle.

“We were trying to [emulate] a bird of prey, so that when [NOMAD] was in the sky, it looks like a bird. There’s an instinctive reaction that, I think, as mammals,” Edwards explained. “Then the other [inspiration] was an eye, like an all-seeing circle looking down on you.

“We tried that, and we tried the bird of prey thing,” he continued. “And then at one point, we were like, ‘Let’s just do both!’ When we fuse them together and cut a big negative chunk out of it, it got really interesting.”

The transformation wasn’t just visual; NOMAD’s on-screen impact also drew power from the atmospheric elements carefully crafted by The Creator’s team. Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, the masterminds behind the film’s sound design, sculpted a rumbling, droning soundscape for NOMAD’s arrival and missile launches. Edwards sought an audio experience that transcends the audible, making it feel dangerously low and nearly subconscious—an auditory menace that, if lingered under for too long, might induce a metaphorical cancer.

“With NOMAD, I wanted it to feel audio-wise like something you can’t quite hear. It’s in a range that’s very low, but it’s nearly subconscious to start with,” said Edwards. “But it sounds so dangerous that if you were to stand under it for more than a few seconds, you might get cancer.”

The cinematic journey deepens with NOMAD’s targeting system, a mesmerizing display of blue light streaking across the countryside. Inspired by an unnerving encounter near Area 51, where Edwards and concept artist Matt Allsopp found themselves pursued by security, the grid pattern projected by a laser became a haunting motif. This eerie incident, where they felt like two little girls facing an unknown threat, fueled Edwards’ desire to inject the concept of a projected grid into The Creator—a chance to translate the spine-chilling atmosphere of that night into his cinematic creation.

Originally posted 2023-12-20 13:55:21.