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The Alien in John Hurt's chest


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 01:32 AM

How was the alien in John Hurt's cheat done? I saw an interview with Segorney Weaver in "Film Genra" on Ovation where she states that the alien burst out and ran off while the cast watched leaving them all stunned and amazed, I'm para-phrasing of course, but from the way she stated the effect, the infant alien did this without any kind of break in the action and to the astonishment of the cast. Does anyone know anything about this pre CGI effect? :blink:

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 17 November 2007 - 01:33 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 02:05 AM

How was the alien in John Hurt's cheat done? I saw an interview with Segorney Weaver in "Film Genra" on Ovation where she states that the alien burst out and ran off while the cast watched leaving them all stunned and amazed, I'm para-phrasing of course, but from the way she stated the effect, the infant alien did this without any kind of break in the action and to the astonishment of the cast. Does anyone know anything about this pre CGI effect? :blink:


No, it wasn't all one effect. In fact, according the Cinefex #1, it was broken up into three stages.

First stage was some sort of pressurized air ram rig that pushed the puppet through the T-shirt with blood hoses and guts. And for the first few takes, Ridley Scott had multiple cameras trained on the actors instead of the table to get their reactions first before they got used to seeing take after take. Apparently on Take 4, one of the blood hoses sprayed a stream right into Virginia Cartwright's face and her screaming was quite natural.

Second rig was a hand-puppet basically, looking around and snarling. Roger Dicken, who operated the puppet, thought that the whole air ram rig by Nick Adler was a waste of time because he could have pushed through the T-shirt with the puppet manually and combined the first and second stage.

Third set-up was the puppet (& Dicken) put on a dolly under the table and moved thru a slit in the table, with an air hose run through a lightweight tail section so it would thrash about and knock over cups as the puppet was dolly away.
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 04:19 AM

Check out the "Alien" director's cut DVD, it shows everything David's talking about. There's also a lot of outtake footage where the blood effects and/or monster doesn't work, and some great Veronica Cartwright freakout footage.
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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 06:44 PM

My senior year of high school I was 50% done with an animatronic chestburster replica to make an alien fan-film, but I could never get the latex to fill the mold right. That thing woulda been freakin' cool.
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 09:39 PM

Never too late, Bud, give it another shot and shoot the effect, I'd love to see it. :wub:
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