We recently watched the film “Alien”, a film which came out in 1979 and was directed by Ridley Scott. The story itself was written by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. Together they teamed up to create one of the most iconic Science fiction movies of all time, gracefully presenting doom and destruction through some of the most thrilling, recognisable visuals to date.
The depiction of the planets, the spaceships, the clothes, and the very atmosphere the characters walk upon and of course, the Aliens, is all down to a highly skilled group of concept artists. These artists consist of Ron Cobb, Chris Foss, and Jean Giraud. Also on the team was the Swiss surrealist HR Giger, who created most of the designs for the actual Aliens themselves. Giger was eventually put in charge for the creation of the Alien suit, which we see in the movie. Ron Cobb originally had a different vision for the Aliens appearance, however Ridley Scott agreed that Giger’s Alien captured more of the dark soul that was to be fed into the heart of the film.
The Alien’s home is full of dark, bionic, slithery, tentacle like environments, which help to give off a feel of entrapment and fear. The dripping, living darkness that Giger created engulfs the viewing audience into a totally believable atmosphere that could be real. I noticed that the Alien ship was somewhat damaged, more than likely unable to escape the wrath of the planet it was trapped upon. The distress signal, or warning, that the crew gets in the movie is more than likely there to keep people away from the planet, as we see later in the film they uncover corpses of giant Alien beings which do not look similar to that of the famous Alien design. My presumption then is that these were another Alien race, which have crashed on this planet and wiped out by the dark Aliens we all know and love. It is interesting however how Giger has managed to merge these characters into the ship itself, as if the ship is over growing, mutilating and decaying into a dark grave.
I particularly find Giger’s images to be interesting because he has so much realism and detail in his work, yet the images he produces are so surreal. This contradiction of two different worlds creates a powerful basis for believable subjects which are of fictional depiction.
The images Giger produces for the Alien films are all very dark and lighting plays a vital part of the detail to the images. This helps with the flow of the film, as Ridley Scott and Giger had both agreed that the Alien was never to be fully seen, he was to be hidden away in the shadows to help build tension within the film.
Overall I really like the conceptual art that influenced the visual aspect of the film Alien and im sure it will continue to feel inspirational and contemporary for many years to come.