Eric Balfour: “Skyline” Was Never Going to Beat the Hype

Despite boasting impressive special effects and a grass roots marketing campaign (who can forget the floating inflatable people all over last year's Comic Con?), the sci-fi action film "Skyline" failed to perform at the box office.

With its arrival on DVD and Blu-ray today, the movie not only gets a second chance to connect with audiences, it gives its stars a chance to look back, too.

Eric Balfour, who stars in the film as a Los Angeles resident terrorized by an alien invasion, gave us his refreshingly honest take on not only what went right, but what went awry.

“There are a lot of things that I'm very proud of in regards to this movie,” Balfour tells PopcornBiz. “One of them mainly was the fact that we were able to create this seemingly huge project in a very new model. We made it for almost no money. We proved that you can make a big exciting movie with just a lot of ingenuity and tenacity and skill.”

Still, Balfour says the intense promotional focus on “Skyline’s” eye-popping – and budget-defying – visuals (crafted by the Brothers Strause, founders of the Hollywood effects house Hydraulx and the film’s co-directors) may have somewhat misrepresented what the movie actually was at the core.

“Along the way there's going to be growing pains and we certainly had some,” says Balfour. “We were very fortunate to have the energy and mobility that Universal and Relativity put behind the movie, but at the same time I think there were fans out there who were confused as to what exactly the movie was. As much as we were trying to reach this goal of making a movie that could look just as big as a studio movie, in hindsight we all looked at the movie and wished that we'd made it a little grittier, made it feel little bit smaller in that way.”

“I think that it would've behooved us if audience really understood that they were walking into a very small movie that had the ability to do some very big things,” he adds. “Obviously, right now people are comparing this to 'Battle L.A.'. 'Battle L.A.' was made with a hundred million dollars. We were made with one million dollars. There's only so much that you can do, and the goal was to make a really small, contained movie that looked huge.”

“The studio promoted this as this huge hundred million dollar movie, and the fact is, yes, we were able to do things with digital FX that nobody has been able to accomplish before on this scale,” Balfour explains. “At the same time this really isn't a traditional studio movie. I think that it frustrated some audiences because we don't have a happy ending. We don't have the traditional good-guys-win-in-the-end thing. We also don't have the sort of 'Independence Day' model where the scientists show up in the third act and explain what the aliens are doing. So I think in some ways there was a little bit of contradiction in the movie, in the sense that it looked like this big sort of popcorn movie, but really it should've been made maybe to look a little bit more like the independent film that it was meant to be, and the smaller, more independent story that it was telling.”

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