4. Creating The Critters
With a budget in hand - one that would eventually inflate to $11 million, more than Warners really wanted to spend - Dante and co could start recruiting people to make the Gremlins.
CG at the time was still largely in its infancy, and in any case, Dante preferred working with puppets and physical effects.
Chris Walas, who had worked on the likes of Scanners, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Return Of The Jedi, was the man brought in to create Gizmo and the rest.
Almost from the start, the monsters were trouble. Gizmo was originally supposed to turn into Stripe, but Spielberg wanted the big-eyed fur ball to stay intact through the whole film, figuring that cinema-goers would become attached to him. As usual, he was right - but it caused incredible trouble for the puppeteers down the line as Giz was built to take part in the limited action of the first half of the movie.
And he was so prone to breaking down that the scene where the gremlins hang him up and chuck darts at him was added to make the tired and frustrated crew laugh.
Different sizes and types of both Gizmo and his gremlin spawn were created for different scenes. Some moments called for bigger versions of specific parts - including faces while eating and for the moment where Giz gives birth to the other Mogwai from his back - which was created using balloons attached to air pumps.
Balloons would also come in handy for one iconic shot in the movie - where Billy's mother shoves an attacking gremlin into the microwave and turns it on, messily exploding it.
The final piece of the effects puzzle was finding the right voices for the creations. Howie Mandel - now better known for presenting Deal Or No Deal in the US - was recommended as the voice of Gizmo by voice-over legend Frank Welker (who would tackle Stripe). And Michael Winslow, best known for the sound-effects obsessed copper in the Police Academy movies, also lent his talents.
Mandel, who recorded his improvised "dialogue" (mostly squeaks and warbles) after the film was shot, explained why he made his choice: "Gizmo was cute and naive, so, you know, I got in touch with that... I couldn't envision going any other way or do something different with it."
But while Giz and the rest were the stars of the show, they still needed a cast to work against…
Next: Finding the humans