How did they do the special effects in the movie "Alien"
At the end of the 1970s, the film came out, still frightening viewers as it can not be any modern "thriller". Like Alfred Hitchcock thriller, directed by Ridley Scott turned the genre of fantasy genre, which will sparkle with new, hitherto unseen colors. Paints horror and despair.
Cool space, deep loneliness and acute tension become the hallmark of the universe "Alien". Remember, as fidgeting in the cinema chair and closed his eyes in some episodes? Told about the lost in space ship "Nostromo" grim story bogey pohlesche global cataclysms. Today, let us remember how to create a masterpiece of world cinema, which has become a landmark event for the entire film industry.
The actors, the director and the most disgusting scene
We often mention in the category of films budgets addressed. As a rule, they are modest and well show that for relatively little money at the remarkable talent can be removed masterpiece. "Alien" was no exception. Its creators tape cost $ 11 million, or $ 35 million, adjusted for inflation. This is almost four times less than the budget of the recent "Prometheus."
It is not surprising that in the "Alien" as such special effects almost was not. Why did the people in the movie became ill, some in terror ran out of cinemas, some fainted, and other sick? As always, all the matter in the skill, dedication and little tricks.
Take, for example, the famous episode of the "birth" stranger. This scene is one of the most impressive in the history of cinema. According to the creators, on the premiere of nearly half of the audience turned a blind eye at the moment from a torn T-shirts began to whip the blood. There are people who still could not bring myself to watch this episode entirely, and some of those who looked regret it. Excerpt from bursting out of Kane's chest cub Alien was supposed to be the strongest of the film scene. Many of the publications mentioned, if at the time of its capture almost all of the actors do not know what will happen in the next moment, so the screen - not a game but a genuine response to what is happening executors of roles. In fact, the actors knew very well that from the breast of their colleagues should seem a little alien and evil. They not only knew all the action will be accompanied by a mini-explosions and dozens of liters flowing bovine blood on them.
The episode was shot in two takes. In the first Kane becomes ill, he gasps and falls on the table. In the second take on the table, we are already seeing the artificial torso with a tight T-shirt on him. Inside were containers with blood and guts, purchased at the nearest slaughterhouse. All of this "good" was pumped under high pressure pumps.
Some problems have arisen with Mike, who did not want to break through the efforts of the newborn alien. It was necessary to sprinkle it with an acid, to make less strong, but also a little incision.
It is interesting that played one of the two women astronavtok actress Veronica Cartwright warned - during the filming of the episode it will drop a little bit of blood. In fact, it literally poured from a hose. The girl was in genuine shock, screaming hysterically and even fell - all this has got to the final version of the film.
The first version of the newborn Alien
embryo itself was initially more like a plucked chicken furious. Then there was a small dinosaur, which in the end "amputated" leg, leaving the head and tail. The table on which runs from calf cabins, was divided into two parts, between which the slit has a width of about 15 centimeters. At the bottom of a man on a cart like a skateboard held mock mini Alien on a stick, and another assistant at the right moment abruptly pulled the truck over. By the way, Veronica Cartwright had to play Ripley, until the director did not show begins film actress Sigourney Weaver. She was so excited about the suggestion that hid allergic to cat, which here and there flashed in the film. The actress was afraid that the director to learn about the disease, get rid of it rather than from a cat, a replacement which is much harder to find.
The first versions of the script and did the main role was assigned to the man. Ripley turned into a woman purely for commercial reasons - in the late 1970s, it was fashionable to make films about women. It was a trend whereby every band won in the eyes of critics only by the fact of having the female lead.
The name "The Stranger" also appeared not at once. There were a lot of other options, such as "Star Beast". However, all this smacks of the films "B" category. By "Alien" screenwriter Dan O'Bannon came directly from the text of the dialogue - characters of the film is often mentioned the word.
None of the big-name directors did not want to take up the tape recording. They flip through the script and saw him as a "silly movie about a monster, get out of my chest." Ridley Scott was then known as the author of commercials and a feature film - "Duellists". He immediately agreed to the proposal of Hollywood bosses, seeing a chance to withdraw his "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" in the genre of science fiction.
Filming "Alien" were in the studio near London. Ridley Scott did with his own storyboards, choosing lenses, showing where and what kind of camera to shoot (and indeed control the camera), he came up with the actors biographies of their heroes.
Many of the techniques borrowed from director Alfred Hitchcock. He preferred not to show the audience all, relying on the play of the imagination - that it draws the most terrible pictures.
Actors recall that Ridley Scott was very demanding, but with almost all the actors he established an excellent relationship. The exception was the African American Japhet Cotto, who is so filmmaker took his advice on how to "correctly" to shoot, that he was hiding from him, trying not to meet once again. Actor attacked Ridley Scott hundreds of ideas every day and even offered to rewrite a scene in which his character Alien kills. On the set of Japhet Cotto he said he's not going to die and "kill the bastard-alien."
The real star of the tape, though behind the scenes, was the Swiss artist and designer H. R. Giger. It was he who invented and created the image of I. raptus terrible - not just wrong, but also beautiful and even sexual biomechanical humanoid insect.
H. R. Giger
In the studio working Giger initially not accepted due to excessive disgusting that repel people. Ridley Scott insisted Alien, feyskhagger and eggs, which also came up with the Swiss, still appeared in his film, because it removes the horrors, not thrash comedy.
The film crew shunned Giger. He was considered strange, compared with Count Dracula and did not want to once again meet. There were even rumors that in his basement he hides a skeleton bride committed suicide.
Alien, Jockey, and other creations feyskhagger Giger
Whatever it was, but Giger managed to create impressive images. By the way, he also worked on the design of the ship's interior, Jockey manner and appearance of the planet on which lands "Nostromo".
Before Giger his forces tried other artist. But his version of Alien rejected at once - the stranger looked like a giant squid and came to B-movies, but not for the fact that the filmmakers wanted to do. Actor for the role of the stranger found in a bar. Bolaji Badejo, for which the experience in the movie was the first and the last, is the best suited for the Alien - it was very skinny and very high (growth of Nigerian reached almost 2 meters and 20 centimeters).
the newly-born alien immediately sent to deal with plastics and pantomime to learn to move slowly and smoothly. For Bolaji Badejo made very thin rubber suit. In some scenes it wears suspended on ropes gymnast.
In addition to the latex in an extraterrestrial monster costume including all sorts of things: the tube from the old Rolls-Royce, the spines of snakes, plasticine, a human skull, and God knows what else. We made even a mechanical tail, but he did not work, so we had to limit ourselves to a rubber dummy.
The most difficult part of the Alien was his head. For close-up shots created structures consisting of moveable elements 900, most of which was used in the mechanism of the mouth. The actor was not wearing this design, for him to make it easier to head the stranger.
Giger specially made so that monsters were not the eyes. The artist believed that so much worse when the viewer does not know where the stranger looks. To simulate dripping off his slime used lubricant.
No less terrible by Giger turned feyskhagger. Swiss pririsoval him enormously long "fingers" because I always believed that the imitation of the human hand - it is very scary. Naturalistic in an episode of the preparation has been achieved with the help of purchased oysters on the market, sturgeon, caviar, and other fish delicacies.
As a basis for the eggs used translucent fiberglass and hydraulic mechanism for opening the wall. Inside the tank were cow stomach, intestine and lamb in the hands of director dishwashing gloves. He stirred them to simulate life inside the egg.
A luxury and an example of unnecessary wastage for producers became Jockey layout. Its construction was drawn as much as 500 thousand dollars. And this despite the fact that the dummy is involved in only a small stage, and does not carry a particular scene load. Management proposes to use a miniature puppet layout, but the director insisted that the decoration was "real".
Gothic "Nostromo" and other decorations
Since a decent special effects team from the filmmakers did not have money corny, I had to make an impression on the audience the old fashioned way. To create fantastic surroundings can not do without scenery, so over their creation worked more than 120 people.
It was built several layouts "Nostromo" in which Ridley Scott saw a fantastic embodiment of a Gothic castle. The director wanted to make the exterior of the ship-tech, with a flat, thin displays, however, due to a limited budget and perseverance Giger opted retrotehnologiyam. That is why in the cabins, cabin corridors and we see unsightly tumblers and large convex screens.
The largest model, "Nostromo" reach a length of several tens of meters. Another was about 10 meters long, but weighed an impressive 250 kilograms. This construct was raised by a velvet covered up by a forklift, creating the illusion of smooth motion of the ship. Most episodes where the surface "Nostromo" demonstrated a close-range, show this particular layout. As an understudy performed another light model one and a half meters long.
To hide the visual flaws, it has been widely used light and shadow, as well as to disperse the smoke across the set of fans. Covering a hostile planet fog - it is not "trick" and not writing the director, and the cheapest and quickest way to hide the fact that the viewer is better not to see.
great scenery, the construction of which is exactly the same architecture and interior design was created in a studio near London "Nostromo". Shoot in such circumstances was not easy, to the same actors pursued claustrophobia.
In order to create the illusion of more extensive than it was in reality, spaces, had to resort to a very simple but effective method. For example, a spaceship corridor made of metal, and in the end it was placed mirror that visually increases the length of the room.
The interior of the ship Jockey used animal bones. There was an attempt to use fresh material from slaughterhouses, but because of the unbearable smell of this idea was abandoned. Giger had to look old dry bones and generously coat of clay.
The biggest at that time scenery in Europe was a desert planet. To create the right surroundings, it had to bring tons of sand.
The big challenge for the actors began to suits in which their heroes are exploring the planet and extraterrestrial craft. Costumes get a huge, soft and hockey gloves included. The suits did not have breathing holes, so after a while the actors began to choke. Because of the heat one of them was sweating so he did not see anything in the helmet and was on the verge of losing consciousness.
In order to underline the huge size of the ship and the pilot's chair with jockeys, in the scene with the general plan filmed dressed in suits children Ridley Scott. Once they both lost consciousness right during filming. Only then spacesuits organized supply of fresh air.
And so, on a limited budget, but with the invention and wit Ridley Scott left his name in fiction as a director of one of the worst in the history of cinema films. It turned out that for naturalistic and frightening scenes do not need special effects quite improvised. Remember the spectacular episode of the severed head of the robot Ash? For it created an artificial head, but it turned out not at all similar to the actor Ian Holm. Budget mess was not, so it just abundantly filled with milk, "seasoned" macaroni, onion and glass beads. It turned out great!