Cinefantastique v09 01 [pdf]
Cinefantastique was a horror, fantasy, and science fiction film magazine originally started as a mimeographed fanzine in 1967, then relaunched as a glossy, offset quarterly in 1970 by publisher/editor Frederick S. Clarke. Cinefantastique’s articles and reviews emphasized an intelligent, near-scholarly approach, a then-unusual slant for such a genre-specific magazine. Advertisements were few, with most of them being only ads for other titles and materials by the publisher. This lack of “page padding” assured the reader a high proportion of original editorial content. The magazine quickly came to be known for its lengthy, information-filled “retrospective” articles devoted to the full production details of such classic films as 1951′s The Day The Earth Stood Still, George Pal’s War of the Worlds, The Incredible Shrinking Man, and Planet of the Apes. Based on the popularity of these articles, Cinefantastique began producing huge double-issues centering on comprehensive “Making-Of” looks at such movies as Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Forbidden Planet, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, The Thing, and Alien. Many of the articles have since become accepted as the definitive source of production information regarding these and other genre titles.
The magazine was responsible for introducing the work of several writers who have continued to produce important work in the film field, including Don Shay, Bill Warren, Tim Lucas, Mick Garris, Stephen Rebello, Steven Rubin, Dan Scapperotti, Dale Winogura, Jeffrey Frentzen, Paul M. Sammon (who authored the Blade Runner double issue and later turned it into an extensive book called Future Noir) and Alan Jones. On October 17, 2000, due to complications from long-time, clinical depression, Clarke committed suicide at the age of 51. Editorship was briefly assumed by long-time contributor Dan Persons, until rights to the continuing publication of Cinefantastique were acquired by Mark A. Altman’s Mindfire Entertainment, who formally re-named the magazine CFQ. In November 2006, CFQ editor Jeff Bond announced that the magazine would be “going on hiatus into 2007″, promising that in the near future it would return “on an irregular basis for in-depth spotlights & special issues”. The magazine was succeeded by Geek Monthly, with Bond at the helm.
Cinefantastique relaunched as a webzine in August 2007, called Cinefantastique Online, under the supervision of the magazine’s former West Coast Editor, Steve Biodrowski.
Go back to where the series all began. Discover the in’s and out’s with the Director of Alien Ridley Scott and the actors such as Sigourney Weaver through a fun and remarkable story of how the movie became to be called ALIEN and how its legacy went on.
This is an old and rare production script draft for the Alien. It is known that the initial Dan O’Bannon screenplay suffered several rewrites once David Giler and Walter Hill bought the rights, until the last and definitve one dated June 78. Most known Alien scripts are dated june 1978, or december 1978, or even may 78. This one from February 78 is even earlier, what makes it special. Even still hasnt the scene numbers on it.
All pages are white, but little yellowed because of age, and with a strong smell of old paper. There is an “8” number on the top of the right corner of the title page, writen in blue pencil, indicating the crew member ownership. Being an early draft in the preproduction, not many crew members had copies of this draft, even Ridley Scott arrived at produciton this very same month. So this one is hard to get.
With thanks to Alvaro Perez
- Personal shooting script of Ridley Scott from Alien
- June 1978 revised final script written by Walter Hill and David Giler, based on original script by Dan O’Bannon
The ‘Alien Father’ is H.R. Giger: Giger’s furious letter to 20th Century Fox.
In November of 1997, shortly before the release of the fourth Alien movie, Alien: Resurrection, H.R. Giger — the award-winning Swiss artist responsible for designing the Alien itself for the original movie — learned that he wasn’t to be named in the credits of the franchise’s latest installment. Understandably, he was furious, and responded to the news by writing the following letter to 20th Century Fox.
Don’t miss the last couple of lines.
See also: James Cameron’s letter of apology to Giger in 1987.
(Source: Jim Wheeler; Image: Giger at work, via.)November 13, 1997
To: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
The Alien Quartet has, from the very beginning, contained my unique and personal style. For the first film ALIEN, I was awarded an Oscar for “Best Achievement for Visual Effects”. In ALIENS, a film I was not asked to work on, I still received a screen credit for “Original Alien Design”. On ALIEN 3, I was cheated out of the Oscar nomination received by that film because 20th Century Fox gave me the credit, “Original Alien Design” again, instead of “Alien 3 Creature Design”, as it was my rightful title in accordance to my contract and the work I had performed on the film. In 1976 I had completed two paintings, “Necronom IV” and “Necronom V”, in which two long-headed creatures appeared. In 1977 these paintings were published in my book, NECRONOMICON, by Sphinx Verlag, Basel, in German. It was in this version of the book that Ridley Scott, in his search for a credible Alien creature, came across these two paintings and decided on them for the full-grown Alien, using the words “That’s it!” The statement has been graciously repeated by Ridley Scott in almost every interview about his work on ALIEN.
The creatures in ALIEN: RESURRECTION are even closer to my original Alien designs than the ones which appear in ALIENS and ALIEN 3. The film also resurrects my original designs for the other stages of the creature’s life-cycle, the Eggs, the Facehugger and the Chestburster. ALIEN: RESURRECTION is an excellent film. What would it look like without my Alien life-forms? In all likelihood, all the sequels to ALIEN would not even exist! The designs and my credit have been stolen from me, since I alone have designed the Alien. So why does Fox not give me the credit I rightfully earned?
As for those responsible for this conspiracy: All I can wish them is an Alien breeding inside their chests, which might just remind them that the “Alien Father” is H.R.Giger.
Production used clapperboard from Alien.
June 1978 revised final script written by Walter Hill and David Giler, based on original script by Dan O’Bannon [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only)
come across a shot of a script page from the original Alien.
A thing of beauty - just like lifting the curtain and looking right into the process of making movie history. Alien was originally written by Dan O’Bannon - who co-wrote and co-starred in John Carpenter’s Dark Star. He then went on to collaborate with Ronald Shusett on the story that would become Alien.
An interesting comment from Diane O’Bannon, wife of the late Dan O’Bannon:
I can assure you that the hndwritten notes on this page are not done by Dan O’Bannon. Also, the cover with credits to Giler and Hill is not the correct one. Dan and Ron were given first position, as it was found that Giler and Hill had taken Dan and Ron’s screenplay and re-written it in the vaunted “haiku form” to get both creative and monetary credit for the idea. It didn’t work I’m happy to say.
I’ve come across a shot of a script page from the original Alien - a thing of beauty - just like lifting the curtain and looking right into the process of making movie history. 1976 - an early draft of Alien - originally called Starbeast - Alien was originally written by Dan O’Bannon - who co-wrote and co-starred in John Carpenter’s Dark Star. He then went on to collaborate with Ronald Shusett on the story that would become Alien. 〰
June 1978, revised final script written by Walter Hill and David Giler, based on original script by Dan O’Bannon. Hill and Giler reshaped the prose, making it lean and crisp:
- Alien was originally written by Dan O’Bannon - who co-wrote and co-starred in John Carpenter’s 1974 sci-fi comedy Dark Star. When the film failed to find an audience, O’Bannon suggested to friend Ronald Shusett that perhaps it was easier to write something that would scare people than make them laugh. Thus, they set to work on a script which would one day become Alien. The original title: “Star Beast.”
- Before deciding to make Alien, Ridley Scott had been planning to follow his first film, The Duellists, with an adaptation of Tristan and Isolde. He changed his mind after being invited to a screening of Star Wars. “I thought ‘I must be out of my mind!’” he later recalled. “This is what cinema is about!” Scott soon abandoned his plans to make Tristan and Isolde and let his agent know that he was looking for a science fiction film.
- When Scott received the Alien screenplay, he was immediately hooked - “right from the first page. In fact, I finished the thing in a single go, in under an hour and a half, which is an extremely rare thing for me to do. I was so impressed with the Alien screenplay that, within twenty-four hours of my reading it, I had decided that this would be my next film.”
- Ripley was originally scripted to be a male character. When one of the producers suggested that they could change all the rules of science fiction films by making her - essentially the hero - a woman, Ridley Scott embraced the idea and a movie legend was born.
- According to Ridley Scott, fresh oysters and clams were used for the facehugger innards. Model soldiers and children in spacesuits - including Scott’s two sons, now both directors in their own right - were used to portray miniature astronauts.
- Actress Veronica Cartwright, who plays the part of Lambert, was originally cast in the role of Ripley. She only found out that she was playing Lambert instead when she read the nametag on her uniform during costume fitting. “I thought I was playing Ripley,” she says. “That’s the only part I’d ever read for, so that’s what I thought. I’d never even looked at the script from the point of view of Lambert, so I had to re-read the script.”
- The ‘chestburster’ scene, arguably the film’s most famous, was achieved by having John Hurt sit in a deckchair under a table, with his head joined to a false body, leaving his head writhing and his arms thrashing. (A similar technique is used when Ash’s severed head is revived later in the film.) Scott had not warned the cast what would happen when the creature burst from John Hurt’s chest - that they would all be sprayed with pig’s blood - because he wanted their reactions to be real. They are.
- The ship at the centre of the story was originally named the Snark, after the legendary creature being sought in Lewis Carroll’s poem The Hunting of the Snark. Its next name was Leviathan - a reference to its enormous size - before Scott eventually settled on Nostromo, the title of a novel by Joseph Conrad, a quotation from whom opens the screenplay: “We live as we dream - alone.”
- In addition to being restored and remastered, Alien: The Director’s Cut incorporates several minutes of footage never before seen in cinemas: notably a scene in which Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) discovers Dallas (Tom Skerritt) cocooned by the alien creatures.
- Released on 25 May 1979 on just 91 screens - far fewer than the release of Alien: The Director’s Cut - Alien grossed just $3.5 million during its weekend debut, but went on to earn a massive $78.9 million in the US alone.
Ridley Scott - ‘Alien’ (1979) Audio Commentary
“Hello I’m Ridley Scott, and I’m gonna be talking about Alien….”