Alien - 30! (Topic)

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Alien - 30!

Image Thirty years ago, James Cameron's fantastic action movie Aliens was released. The path of the film to the screens was long and thorny, but the result of the work of the talented Canadian director was a real cinematic masterpiece, which took a special place in the hearts of sai-fay fans.

Despite the fact that the sequel to the famous horror film "Alien" was strikingly different from the original, he managed to gain an equally cult status among the audience. If in 1979 Ridley Scott's film received two Oscar nominations, then seven years later Cameron was nominated for seven Academy Awards ... Curiously, both paintings eventually won coveted statuettes for their revolutionary visual effects.

In a recent conversation with reporters from Entertainment Weekly Cameron admitted that “ Aliens ” became the defining film in his career. “Thanks to Terminator, Gail Ann Heard and I got into the spotlight of studio bosses, but the real breakthrough for us was the sequel“ Alien , - said the eminent director. -As soon as this tape received seven nominations for “ Oscar ”, all doors immediately opened before us”.

LostFilm.INFO brings to your attention the most interesting facts about the creation of " Aliens ", which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in July.


Brandywine Productions had hoped to start filming the sequel immediately after the success of " Alien " at the box office, but the management of their partners, 20th Century Fox , was reshuffled ... The new bosses of the Hollywood major did not want to shoot the sequel to the Scott tape, which even led to a litigation between the two companies. The conflict was settled only a couple of years later, when new faces came to power in the studio Foh .

After being impressed by the script for " The Terminator ", producers David Guyler and Walter Hill wanted to continue their collaboration with James Cameron . He offered them a number of original ideas for consideration, but none of them aroused great delight among filmmakers. Quite by accident, James mentioned that he would be interested in coming up with a sequel to " Alien ", after which Guyler and Hill ordered he has a 50-page film script application. Cameron decided to use a few ideas from his unrealized script " Mom ", for which he once developed the concept of a loader exoskeleton.


There is a legend that during the presentation of his project to the top ranks of the studio Fox James wrote the name of the original on the blackboard, and then added a dollar sign to it. The ALIEN $ caption was convincing enough for the directors of the film company to give the project the green light. Cameron was officially named as the screenwriter for Aliens on the same day he was asked to write the action movie Rambo: First Blood II. When James asked David Guyler what he should do, the producer advised him to take on both jobs.

However, soon the Canadian almost lost " Aliens " due to problems with " Terminator ", the start of filming of which had to be postponed by nine months, because Arnold Schwarzenegger was busy working on Conan the Destroyer. Fortunately, the bosses of Fox believed so strongly in James 's talent that they did not outsource the script to anyone else. Cameron continued to work on the plot of " Aliens " both during the forced downtime and right in the midst of the creation of " Terminator ". In the end, the president of Fox said that he was ready to give him the director's chair of a fantastic action movie, if the story of a cyborg killer was warmly received by the public.


Already in the status of the director of " Aliens ", James faced one more difficulty. When he first started writing the script, the studio bosses assured him that the deal with Sigourney Weaver was in their pocket. The actress has long believed that a sequel would only spoil the legacy of the original film. Cameron's text was able to convince Sigourney , but negotiations with the management of Fox regarding the amount of her royalties soon turned into a real soap opera. At some point, the studio even asked James to rewrite the script so that he could do without Weaver . The director chose to refuse because he saw no point in continuing the first film without Ripley .

The studio's negotiations with Sigourney never got off the ground, which is why Cameron began looking for a way to speed up the filming of the tape. The filmmaker proved to be a real expert in psychology: he called the agent of Arnold Schwarzenegger , in a conversation with whom he allegedly accidentally mentioned that he was thinking of cutting out the Ripley storyline from the script. The agent immediately contacted his colleague, representing the interests of Weaver , who, in turn, began to cut off the telephone of the management of the film studio. Soon, Sigourney signed a contract for $ 1 million , making her one of the first Hollywood actresses to earn such a substantial fee. Salary Weaver for the second part of the franchise was about 30 times the amount she received for filming " Alien ". The sequel also earned Sigourney a Oscar nomination for Best Actress. It was the first time in the history of cinema that a woman competed for a gold statuette for the lead role in an action game.


The confrontation between Weaver and the studio was avoided, but the production of the film could not do without a number of high-profile scandals. One of them arose from a disagreement between Cameron and Dick Bush. The director had so often expressed dissatisfaction with the way the cameraman exposed the lights that he decided to fire him right in the middle of filming. James had to urgently contact " Alien " operator Derek Vanlint, who could not accept the offer, but advised the Canadian to consider Adrian Biddle.

Another conflict arose in Cameron with the second director and several members of the film crew. At that time, " The Terminator " had not yet made it to the screens in the UK, which is why many of James 's subordinates did not believe in his talent at all. The situation was complicated by the fact that at that time the famous London studio Pinewood itself provided the directors with part of the workers. It soon became clear that many experienced filmmakers were not eager to spend 14 hours a day on the set under the guidance of an unknown young director.


As for the second director, he was not at all shy about claiming that he would have managed to cope with the production of the film much better than Cameron . Producer Gail Ann Heard soon intervened and chose to fire the rebel. This decision almost turned into a massive strike by the rest of the crew, but Gail miraculously managed to extinguish the mutiny.

There was also a lot of criticism towards Heard itself. Gail even had to listen to accusations that the post of producer went to her solely due to her marriage to Cameron . However, eyewitnesses claim that Hurd not only coped with her duties brilliantly, but also turned out to be almost the only person on the set who could defend his point of view in disputes with the project's helmsman. At the same time, Gail was always ready to come to the rescue of her husband even in the most emergency situation. When it turned out that Janette Goldstein did not have pistol shooting skills, Heard acted as the understudy actress.


The role of Corporal Hicks was given to James Rimar, but a few days after the start of filming, he unexpectedly left the project. There were rumors that he had a falling out with the director, but the actor himself admitted several years ago that the studio insisted on his dismissal, since he was suspected of possessing drugs.

Rimar managed to act in several scenes in the Aliens hive. Re-filming this fragment risked increasing the $ 18 million budget, and therefore Cameron decided to use only those frames in which Hicks performed by Rimara was with his back during editing to the camera. In the rest of the scenes, Michael Bean was already involved, with whom the director became friends on the set of " The Terminator ". The actor was called to the rescue of Cameron on Friday night, and on Monday morning he went to the set of " Aliens ".


The commercial starship on which the original Alien was set was named after Joseph Conrad's Nostromo novel. Cameron decided to leave one more Easter egg for the fans of this English writer. The sequel's Colonial Marine landing craft is named after the city of Sulako, which is mentioned in the same Konrad book. The film Cameron also contains references to a number of other famous literary works. So, the words of Bishop about the inability to harm people probably caused associations of fantasy fans with the famous laws of robotics, formulated by Isaac Asimov in the story " Round dance ".

The Vietnam War had a huge impact on the fantastic action movie. The Colonial Marines resembled the American military, who boasted of significant technical superiority over the Viet Cong, but in fact were completely unprepared to fight in the enemy camp. Bearing in mind that many soldiers like to leave some signs on their uniforms, the director allowed the actors to independently design their costumes and weapons. As a result, the armor of Vasquez was adorned with the phrase “El riesgo siempre vive!”, which can be translated as “Risk is a noble cause”. Bill Paxton preferred to leave his wife's name on the suit, and Cynthia Dale Scott, who played the role of corporal Dietrich in Aliens , wrote on her helmet “Blue Angel >"In honor of the actress Marlene Dietrich, who played in the 1930 film of the same name. Since Michael Bean arrived on set later than his colleagues, he was given a body armor with a heart. Bean was not happy with this design of the uniform, as it could serve as an excellent target for the enemy.


To prepare the actors for the roles of gallant fighters, Cameron sent them to the training camp of the Special Forces of the British Armed Forces. The only exceptions were Sigourney Weaver , Paul Reiser and William Hope. According to the plot, the heroes of the first two did not have army training, and the character Hope appeared as an inexperienced lieutenant who keeps away from the rest of the Marines. In preparation for the role, each actor was required to read the famous novel by Robert E. Heinlein "Starship Troopers ", which became one of the main sources of inspiration for Cameron while working on the script for " Alien ".

The director proved to be a keen connoisseur of the human soul when creating a scene for the breakfast of the Marines after their awakening from hypersleep. He deliberately moved it to the end of the filming period so that the friendship between the main characters of the film looked more convincing.


The Aliens team could not afford to build the required number of hypersleep capsules. Due to strict financial constraints, Cameron had to save every cent, and one such camera cost the creators of the tape $ 4.3 thousand. The budget was able to pull only six capsules, after which the director with With the help of mirrors and carefully thought-out shooting angles, he created the illusion among viewers that there were twice as many on the screen.

The lack of budget affected many other aspects of the work of the film crew. Thus, Cameron had only six Alien suits at his disposal. Operator finds and editing tricks created a complete feeling that the Marines were fighting dozens of aliens.


The famous scene in which Bishop demonstrates the knife skills of Private Hudson is an improvisation. Cameron loved the melee trick so much that he decided to include it in the film. According to Lance Henriksen, the crew members did not tell Bill Paxton until the very last moment that the android would stick a knife between his hero's fingers. Perhaps this is the reason why you can see such genuine horror on Hudson 's face.

After finishing this tense piece, Henriksen went to de-stress at a nearby bar. Unbeknownst to the actor, Cameron did not find the scene compelling enough and scheduled a reshoot the next morning. The consequences of last night were not long in coming: with a hangover, Lance almost deprived Paxton of his little finger.


Paxton was pretty sure viewers would be eagerly awaiting when his hero was finally killed, but instead Hudson became one of the audience's favorites. Fans of " Aliens " reckoned that in the film 25 times the word was pronounced with the letter F , eighteen of which were the character of Bill . Carrie Henn once admitted that after every take, Paxton rushed to apologize to his stage partners for having to use foul language.

The producers of the tape discussed the possibility of cooperation with the creator of the design of Alien - Hans Rudy Giger. Cameron chose to refuse his services, deciding to independently come up with the image of the Queen . To get her to move, 16 workers had to be involved on the set.


Although Cameron has some not-so-pleasant memories of working on Piranha II: Spawning, the producers of which removed him from editing, the director did benefit from the experience of filming this horror. James managed to recreate the mechanism that allowed him to control stuffed predatory fish in underwater scenes. Having brought this device to his mind, he was able to shoot a fragment in which facehuggers move in flasks in a scientific laboratory.

James has also shown considerable ingenuity in the production of the technique for the film. When the director was not satisfied with any of the proposed design options for the Marines shuttle, he independently created a flying ship from an old model of the Apache helicopter. The basis for the armored vehicle APC was a decommissioned British Airways tractor. To make it easier to work with this vehicle, the creators of the action movie removed all unnecessary equipment from it. Interestingly, some of the " Aliens " sets were later used in other famous paintings. For example, a couple of years later, the hive was converted into an Axis Chemical plant for Tim Burton's Batman.


Lance Henriksen ordered special double-pupil contact lenses to wear in the face-grabbing scene. The director considered that the actor should not use them, because the android could already give goosebumps to the audience. Back then, Henriksen was disappointed with the way his career was going, which made him even seriously consider leaving the movie world if Aliens failed. But in the end it was the image of Bishop that brought him worldwide fame and the love of science fiction fans.

However, success was literally achieved through suffering: Lance got food poisoning while filming the scene of the attack of the Queen . The actor had to spit out a mixture of milk and yogurt from his mouth, take by take, which quickly turned sour under the scorching lights. At one time, Ridley Scott foresaw this moment, abandoning the idea of using fermented milk products for the scene of the death of Ash in Alien .


The scene of Newt falling into the ventilation shaft also brought an extra headache to Cameron . The young actress Carrie Henn deliberately broke takes to get the opportunity to once again slide down the huge slide. The director promised the girl that after completing the filming of this scene, she can spend as much time on the impromptu attraction as she wants. As soon as James got the shot he wanted, he allowed Henn to have fun in this set for the rest of the day.

Although the image of Newt brought Carrie the prestigious " Saturn " award, she decided not to link her future life with the world of big cinema and chose to become a teacher.


Sigourney Weaver gave bouquets to her colleagues on the days when the death of their heroes was filmed. When it came to Paul Riser , she handed him dried flowers. The actor portrays the wily Carter Burke so convincingly that his own sister slapped him when she first saw " Aliens " on the big screen.

Composer James Horner was promised that the work on the tape would take him only six weeks. When he arrived in London, it turned out that the film was still being filmed. Horner waited three weeks before the tape was finally sent to the timeline. Due to the fact that the composer already had obligations to other directors, he had to leave the British capital. Cameron had no choice but to adjust the melodies to the re-edited scenes on his own. " Aliens " earned the composer his first Oscar nomination, but he promised never to deal with a Canadian director again. Fortunately, the hatchet was buried in the mid-90s, when Cameron was delighted with the music of Horner to Braveheart. The director suggested that the composer forget old grievances and work on the "Titanic" tape.


Cameron was disappointed with the work of editor Ray Lovejoy and even prepared to hand over the films to Mark Goldblatt, with whom he collaborated on Terminator . Upon learning that the sword of Damocles was hanging over his head, Lovejoy locked himself in the editing room for a couple of days and began to compose the scene of the final battle. Soon he showed the final result to the director, who immediately changed his mind about firing him. Cameron and Lovejoy were editing almost until the very premiere, which is why " Aliens " did not have time to demonstrate to the test audience.

The final editing of the tape proved that Cameron is attentive to even the smallest details. During the landing of the marines on the planetoid LV-426 Sergeant Epon reports a ten-second readiness, and it is after this period that the military begin to leave the armored personnel carrier. No less impressive was the editing of the final act of the film, in which the audience learns that the reactor explosion is to take place in 15 minutes. James reaffirmed the status of a perfectionist, thanks to which the timing of this segment of the film was exactly a quarter of an hour.


To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film's release, the Aliens team has decided to get together for the upcoming Comic-Con festival. James Cameron , Gail Anne Heard , Sigourney Weaver , Michael Bean , Carrie Henn , Paul Raiser , Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton , who will surely reveal many more secrets of the creation of the legendary sci-fi action movie.

The Topic of Article: Alien - 30!.
Author: Jake Pinkman