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Alien Makers

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  1. Don't know how many fans of the Alien franchise we have on here, but Dennis Lowe, who was a Special Effects Technician on Alien (as well as other films, such as Labyrinth and The Empire Strikes Back) has just finished a series of four documentary films on Alien, and they're worth watching for any fans of science fiction, or even just filmmaking in general.

    The first, Alien Makers, focuses on Mr. Lowe's old contacts in the modeling and miniature photography divisions, and is an absolute joy to watch, as it provides unparalleled insight into a lost method of filmmaking.

    Rone Hone, Roger Nichols, the late Neil Swan, Brian Eke, John Hatt, Martin Bower, Simon Deering, Jon Sorensen, and Bill Pearson all contribute.

    Alien Makers II focuses more on the bigger picture of the film, and interviews with some of the major crew in the film are on display, with more truly fascinating insights in the development of a true cinematic classic.

    Ivor Powell (Associate Producer), Brian Johnson (SFX Supervisor), Sandy Lieberson (Vice President 20th Century Fox - Europe in 1979), Tim Ayling (Son of Denys - Model Lighting Cameraman) and Terry Rawlings (Film Editor) all contribute.

    Alien Makers III is half the length of the first two installments, and focuses entirely on H.R. Giger, the man whose macabre vision gave life to a creature completely outside of normal human imagination. Mr. Lowe interviewed Giger about his work on Alien, and about his future plans, including his Museum and Giger Bar at Gruyeres, Switzerland.

    Alien Fans is a special 'companion' film to the makers series, providing insight into the people whose lives have been influenced in some way by Alien. Special bonus points to anyone who can spot the user in this film!

    Mike Lynch, Julian Bloom, Michael Seigler, Philippe Carini, Marc Caro, Aaron Percival, Fred Blanchard, Graham Langridge, Bijan Aalam, John Milas, Dominic Kulcsar all contribute.

    All four films can be viewed on Alien Experience, or on Dennis Lowe's website.

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  2. Just checked em all out. Quite insightful indeed. The alien design truly is the most original creation and I've yet to find anything that can truly top it's conviction of actually seeming alien-like.

    My fav out of the bunch was Alien Makers II (especially Terry Rawlings story), but I found it all very enlightening. It's amazing what they used to do with SFX back in the day, it kinda adds to the disdain I have with a lot of present film productions and their over reliance on CGI. The transition from then to now has lost some of it's authenticity and delicacy imo. Even the chemistry between the film crew and sfx department would be severely lost due to the fact that a CGI team would spend most of it's time AWAY from the film set. I guess it helps for me to appreciate modern directors like Darren Aronofsky who specifically sought out to eliminate CGI effects in his feature-length The Fountain in order for it to look less dated a few decades from now. Quite an achievement really when most modern films involving effects are 90% handled by CGI teams.

    Anyways I'm sure you've heard about the Untitled Alien Prequel that Fox desperately wants Ridley Scott signed to direct. If it actually happens I wonder if he'll get some of his buddies from the first film to come back. He seems like the type who would appreciate more "traditional" techniques in the sfx field.

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  3. The Alien Prequel is being directed by Ridley (and written by John Spaihts - a script has been leaked, however we aren't sure if its legit or not yet).

    As for getting the band back together, I know Terry Rawlings mentioned that he wouldn't be particularly interested in doing another Alien film unless Ridley really asked him to.

    Also, Giger has asked that Dennis take down the Alien Makers III Documentary as it "doesn't show him to his best advantage". So that will be coming down very shortly.

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  4. Oh so it's official then? Awesome. If this becomes the last Alien film then it seems very fitting that the guy who brought the series into existence would also be the one to bring it to an end. Do you know what the leaked script entails? I've heard wild rumors such as "no human actors involved" and the entire film is based on that alien ship with all the alien-personnel on board, kinda like a doco on an unidentified species and it's habitat. Sounds pretty out there.

    On a different note I remember waiting for Alien 5 to be made a few years back. Call me crazy but I would love to see a sequel to Resurrection. Ahwell, a prequel is just as good, especially with Scott attached. I can't wait.

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  5. The prequel script is very, very odd. It involves the Jockey race enslaving a crew of humans for forced labor on a world where they're breeding the aliens, and lots of gay sex (the Jockeys don't understand non-asexual procreation, so they mind control the humans into 'breeding'), and a Cat alien.

    I don't know. It could either be very good, or very bad. If nothing else, it does tie things up very neatly leading directly into Alien.

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    • Fri November 27, 2020
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