Attack the Block (2011) Poster


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Writer/director Joe Cornish interviewed various kids in youth groups in order to find out what kind of weapons they would use if an alien invasion occurred.
Writer/director Joe Cornish was inspired to make this film after actually being mugged in real-life one night (much in the same way Sam was as portrayed in the film). He noticed his five young assailants were as scared as he was, and started researching their lives.
The film-makers only used CG effects when absolutely necessary, and to enhance practical effects for the creatures rather than replace them completely. Even the smaller female alien that appears before the credits was a petite woman in a creature suit. A puppet-type head was used for some of the attack shots wherein Moses is suddenly bitten. The creature's head was a carefully constructed mask that had no eyes, and even the glowing mouthful of large, carnivorous teeth were achieved by animatronics (including twelve "servos") rather than added in post. The film-makers admit that it did help save money, but also had an unexpected benefit. The actors, rather than reacting to something that wasn't there, admitted that they were genuinely and unexpectedly frightened by the look and movements of creatures actually present (especially during chase sequences when a creature/creatures would pursue them at full speed). Nearly every actor said they felt especially intimidated-- many surprisingly so-- by the physical presence in a way they would not have if the creatures had been added digitally later. The same went for the majority of the settings; the director said it added authenticity and atmosphere to shoot on a set rather in front of a green screen.
Only two suits were built for the aliens.
In this movie, Nick Frost still wears the long hair he grew for Paul (2011).
John Boyega found out about this film from an ad placed on-line.
Joe Cornish based the character of Brewis on himself when he was in his 20s.
The areas and surrounding roads are named after well-known British science fiction authors: Wyndham Tower (John Wyndham); Moore Court (Alan Moore); Huxley Court (Aldous Huxley); Wells Court (H.G. Wells); Clarke Court (Arthur C. Clarke); Ballard Street (J.G. Ballard); Adams Street (Douglas Adams); Clayton Street and Clayton Estate (Jo Clayton); and Herbert Way (Frank Herbert). James Street may allude to horror writer M.R. James.
Members of the gang compare the film's aliens to various fantastical creatures, all British in origin, namely: Dobby the house-elf from J.K. Rowling's series of Harry Potter novels; Gollum from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien; and Gremlins, who while they are now best-known for the two American films by Joe Dante, were born out of the imagination of RAF fighter pilots during World War II, and were initially popularized by author Roald Dahl in his first novel.
This film was pretty much shot in chronological order.
The walkway chase set piece took ten days to shoot.
Writer/director Joe Cornish did in depth research on language to accurately convey the way South London street kids speak.
Writer/director Joe Cornish had to remove fifteen pages of the script prior to the shooting of the film because of budgetary constraints.
Writer/director Joe Cornish grew up and lives in South London, where this film is set.
Writer/director Joe Cornish has stated that watching Signs (2002) and imagining what would happen if it took place in south London was an inspiration for Attack the Block.
Franz Drameh, who plays Dennis, was originally under consideration for the role of Moses.
Most of the teenage actors were found through their schools and online open audition calls.
The scene in which the police van smashes into the BMW was done in a single take.
In the scene where the meteorite breaks open, a female alien cocoon is revealed. Director, Joe Cornish has expressed his wishes of keeping this prop as a back garden decoration.
All the interiors were done on sets.
The scene in which Alex Esmail throws fireworks underneath a police van took three takes to get right.
Simon Howard did his own stunt when his character Biggz jumps on top of a van.
The marijuana cigarettes several people smoke in this movie were actually made out of herbal tobacco.
Feature film debut of director Joe Cornish.
The mugging scene was filmed on the first day of shooting.
Film debut of Alex Esmail.
The bulk of this film was shot in 67 days.
The film features over 100 effects shots which were completed over the course of 4 months by Swedish CGI outfit, Fido.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Leeon Jones's death scene was filmed in half a day.

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