H. R. Giger worked in the Shepperton Studios near London from February to November 1978, creating the figures and sets for the film ‘Alien’ (1979) directed by Ridley Scott. The film became an international success, earning Giger an Oscar. In the transcribed Alien Diaries, published here for the first time as a facsimile, Giger describes his work in the studios. He writes, sketches, and takes photographs with his Polaroid SX70. With brutal honesty, sarcasm and occasional despair, Giger describes what it is like working for the film industry and how he struggles against all odds — be it the stinginess of producers or the sluggishness of his staff — to see his designs become reality.
The Alien Diaries (in German transcription with an English translation) show a little-known personal side of the artist H. R. Giger and offer an unusual, detailed glimpse into the making of a movie classic through the eyes of a Swiss artist. The book contains almost completely unpublished material, including drawings, Polaroids showing the monster coming to life, and several still shots from the plentiful film material that Giger took in Shepperton. —H. R. Giger: Alien Diaries
For more, see our archive under the tag, “Alien.”
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Some Marvel Comics poster-worthy art by Arthur Adams.
Cinderella concept art by Mary Blair.
The famous arrow scene near the end was in fact done with real arrows. That is, the arrows hitting the wooden planks were not done with special effects, but rather choreographed with archers. Mifune waves his arms to brush away the arrows sticking from the planks, indicating to them that he wanted to go in that particular direction. The real arrows were included to get Mifune’s facial expressions of real-life fear, which is exceptionally hard to imitate. Of course, the arrows that hit the Mifune character were bamboo fakes.
Throne of Blood (1957)