The talented Mr Ridley

UPDATED: Sunday, March 17, 2013 17:33
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Sunday, March 17, 2013 5:33 PM


John Lee, conspiracy therapist at Hollywood award-winner History Channel-mocked SNL-spoofed wooHOO!!!!!!

Preproductin storyboard art by Ridley Scott...BEFORE H.R. Geiger

I have a storyboard assignment due tomorrow in Guerilla Film class. Apparently,
I have zero artistic talent. Perhaps I'll invest in a software program to fake it?
A $100 investment, or a few art classes, are certainly worth $4-million...


"Well, It's time to turn back to the old roots and art direct or draw a sequence very specifically for myself. It's helps me think; once the pictures are right, everything else starts to occur from them."
-Ridley Scott, Book of Alien

During Alien's pre-production, Ridley Scott drew up a story board presentation of Alien for 20th Century Fox. Impressed with what Ridley had presented they doubled the budget from $4.5 million to $8.5 million. These storyboards are known as 'Ridleygrams'. This story board presentation contains scenes and FX shots that were later re-written or dropped due to budgetary reasons. Here we are going to take a look at some of these early scenes and concepts Ridley envisioned for Alien at this early stage.


The Nostromo was a self-contained set. Long before Duncan Jones sealed himself and his film crew inside the moonbase in Moon, and Joss Whedon built the Serenity as one complete set, Ridley Scott had a spaceship set that you couldn't get out of except by walking all the way through it. The actors felt trapped inside the set, adding to the film's realism. And with time and money running out, Scott didn't have time to light a lot of the scenes — he just adjusted the ambient lighting in the corridors and kept going.

The Who's Roger Daltrey gave us the weird light show when the facehuggers are awoken. Remember that carckle of electric blue light when the Nostromo crew disturbs the resting place of the facehuggers? It's thanks to Roger Daltrey — the singer and his crew were in a villa next to Shepperton Studios, experimenting with laser beams for their next tour, and they let Ridley Scott borrow their gear.

Sigourney Weaver wore thigh-high hooker boots to her audition.

All in all, Alien Vault is a must-read book for anybody interested in science fiction movies — and if you want to delve into Alien lore ahead of Scott's Prometheus, it's especially important. The awesome reproductions of storyboards, concept art and early sketches give you insight into at least five great visual artists: H.R. Giger, Moebius, Ron Cobb, Chris Foss, and Scott himself.






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