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Pietro Scalia Talks Editing Alien: Covenant

Art of the Cut has just released a lengthy interview with Pietro Scalia, the editor on Alien: Covenant, talking working on Alien: Covenant and editing in general. In the interview, Scalia discusses how the prologue with Weyland and David almost hit the floor of the editing room:

SCALIA: At one point Ridley wanted to take the “white room” Prologue out at the beginning. I said, “why … no absolutely not. You can’t. It’s very good.” It’s very formal, the way was shot and edited. The compositions and deliberate pace is the beauty of it. A chess game in the formal sense, triangles and lines that intersect from a design point of view, beside it’s thematic importance I mentioned before. I love that the whole scene It reminded me of Kubrick and ….

HULLFISH: Kurasawa.

SCALIA: Yes! Kurasawa. A beautiful and austere scene at the same time filled with tension. I wanted the whole movie to be like that. Ultimately it’s the director’s film and Ridley decided to keep it at the front. At the end of the day regardless of disagreements or different opinions one leaves personal imprints behind; all choices are filtered through.”

Alien vs. Predator Galaxy had previously heard that the film’s prologue had nearly been released as a viral video before being inserted back into the film. Ridley Scott has also previously spoken about how 20th Century Fox had also wanted to remove David’s flashback from Alien: Covenant in its entirety before a shorter version made it into the finished film. You can read more about the alternate and deleted scenes here.

 Pietro Scalia Talks Editing Alien: Covenant

Scalia also talks a little about the temp track he used while editing the film, revealing that he used Alien, The Snowtown, Macbeth, Sicario and Midnight Special.

“Ridley really wanted to pay tribute to Jerry Goldsmith’s score of Alien. I also started working with Jed Kurzel’s cues from The Snowtown. and Macbeth.  One particular track fro Snowtown had this relentless pulsating tone and rhythm that I used in the Med Bay sequence and Ridley immediately responded to it. I also used some Harry Gregson-Williams music thematic temp cues that he provided us with.  For some really low-end voices and beats I used elements from Sicario and some David Wingo from Midnight Special.”

Be sure to head on over to Art of the Cut to read the interview in full!

Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest on Alien: Covenant! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien fans on our forums!



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  1. Mr. Clemens
    It's also great to see Guy Pearce as a younger Weyland, it justifies the use of makeup to make him look older in Prometheus.

    I hadn't thought about this, but you're absolutely right. It takes the Prometheus scenes from 'just get an old man!' to a sort of 'after-the-fact prescience'. :D

    The bombardment scene does feel kind of out of place, I suppose - but it's still a beautiful scene

    This was the scene that made me saddest that the film wasn't in 3D.
  2. Evanus
    Yeah, the crane fight was kind of unnecessary. But the intro is really good. I think it's perfect for the film. It shows David's arrogance right after he's born, and how Weyland reacts to it. It's deeply connected to his actions later in the film. It's also great to see Guy Pearce as a younger Weyland, it justifies the use of makeup to make him look older in Prometheus. Also, the whole scene looks gorgeous. Great way to open the film, in my opinion. The bombardment scene does feel kind of out of place, I suppose - but it's still a beautiful scene, and the only scene with living engineers so I'd definitely keep it in. Same for any other flashbacks with Shaw, if there were any. Too bad they cut all those out.
  3. SpreadEagleBeagle
    Really? Wow... I guess A:C really got us all quite divided.

    I can see why people like the intro, and I appreciate it from a stand-alone point of view, and the same goes for the Bombardment scene - but they really don't fit in. Breaking with tradition so drastically by adding a bunch of flashback scenes just jive really badly with the the original four Alien movies. Like I said - something that I like with the original movies is that they are very much here-and-now, which enhances realism and lets the audience deal with the mysteries surrounding it all the best way they can.

    Now, the flying barge/crane fight is pure shit and so moronic. Sorry, but I really can't see how anyone who love the original four movies would be ok with the cheap Matrix-wannabe Fast and the Furious fighting scene A:C threw in our faces. It was just plain dumb. Sorry, but that scene really don't fit in there. Even the AVP movies retracted from that kind of out of character super hero behavior (not counting the Predators of course- they're excused for obvious reasons).
  4. Evanus
    Yeah, I'd never cut those scenes out. They're pretty crucial if you ask me. I don't think I'd cut anything out if I could. Well, perhaps the Xenovision... Yeah definitely the Xenovision.
  5. SpreadEagleBeagle
    I would've cut the intro for sure (David & Weyland), as it makes the whole premise way too blatant. I also don't think that flashbacks belong in Alien movies as the original four movies are very much here-and-now. The audience get to fill possible gaps and such. With that said I would've definitely cut the Bombardment/Engineers scene for the same reasons as well as that whole sequence being way too absolute and demystifying. The flying crane/barge fight is another sequence I would've cut as it is so out of character and stupid. I also find the whole repair sequence of the solar panels superfluous and Hollywood-like. That whole ordeal could've been shortened and should've been from POV of the crew inside the ship rather than the suited up crew outside. Helmet cams, readings and the nervous reactions from the onboard crew would've been more than enough.

    If available, I would've added (more scenes or extended scenes taking place in David's "home" (cabinet of horrors) and the Covenant crew's exploration of the Juggernaut. As the last act feels very thin I would've added whatever scenes or extended scenes material there is to flesh it out more. I would've definitely cut the music during the shower scene as it just made it feel really cheesy.
  6. Huggs
    "I think it really shows through that there was never a plan with any of this."


    I've been leaning that way for awhile myself. Quality over quantity. Prometheus should've been the only prequel. They had the right looking planet, and a crashed juggernaut. Change the planet name and some of the characters/events, run it at a healthy 2 to 2.5 hour, lead straight into Alien 1979, and boom.

    But it's a business, and it's the age of the "trilogy". That's the road they went down, and now they're lost in the back-country. The studio should have A.D.F. meet with ridley and discuss what was wanted for the third movie. Have Foster write the thing in all its glory. No budget issues, no time limits, no cut footage, no editing problems, no compromises. Then green light Alien 5 for 2019 and let's move on. Movies are a business, films are a product. But at it's core, it's still art, so limit yourself as little as possible. Which is why I say give this particular storyline to Foster. The man does with ink and paper what directors like Ridley and Cameron do with film. He's capable.
  7. Mr. Clemens
    I know I'm not the only one here who detected a certain 'this isn't Prometheus!' vibe coming from Fox in the lead-up to Covenant. Hell, just calling it Alien with a capital A set it apart from its predecessor. So I can imagine they had real cold feet about opening an Alien film with what was essentially a twelve minute epilogue to a film they were (marketing-wise, at least) trying to distance themselves from...
  8. Salt The Fries
    If they stuck to one Alien (or no Aliens) the movie would have had plenty time to tell it's story. The reveal of the first ever Alien should have been more grand than David throwing rocks off Orams bonce. I would have liked the final movie to introduce the Alien.

    I think it really shows through that there was never a plan with any of this.

    If I had one problem with Covenant, it's this. I would have actually preferred Alien being the first glimpse of the monster. Neomorphs and deacons would have been fine monsters to cover the runtime in Covenant.

    Not a bad idea either, a chest busted Jockey as the finale. I think the Neomorphs have been overwhelmingly received as a positive even by people who didn't like the film. If Scott had just stuck to his guns I think we could have got a truly scary film with just those as the stars of the show perhaps with some link back to the Deacon. You could have even kept the same ending with David putting the little facehuggers in the drawer. 

    Perhaps Scott didn't want to take the risk that the prequels wouldn't get finished. Anyway you can drive yourself mad thinking about the possibilities. In the end he went for the Star Wars version - just make the same movie you did last time with slight differences.
    It can be said that a lot of film-makers keep making the same film over and over again.
  9. Highland
    If they stuck to one Alien (or no Aliens) the movie would have had plenty time to tell it's story. The reveal of the first ever Alien should have been more grand than David throwing rocks off Orams bonce. I would have liked the final movie to introduce the Alien.

    I think it really shows through that there was never a plan with any of this.

    If I had one problem with Covenant, it's this. I would have actually preferred Alien being the first glimpse of the monster. Neomorphs and deacons would have been fine monsters to cover the runtime in Covenant.

    Not a bad idea either, a chest busted Jockey as the finale. I think the Neomorphs have been overwhelmingly received as a positive even by people who didn't like the film. If Scott had just stuck to his guns I think we could have got a truly scary film with just those as the stars of the show perhaps with some link back to the Deacon. You could have even kept the same ending with David putting the little facehuggers in the drawer. 

    Perhaps Scott didn't want to take the risk that the prequels wouldn't get finished. Anyway you can drive yourself mad thinking about the possibilities. In the end he went for the Star Wars version - just make the same movie you did last time with slight differences.
  10. newagescamartist
    If they stuck to one Alien (or no Aliens) the movie would have had plenty time to tell it's story. The reveal of the first ever Alien should have been more grand than David throwing rocks off Orams bonce. I would have liked the final movie to introduce the Alien.

    I think it really shows through that there was never a plan with any of this.

    If I had one problem with Covenant, it's this. I would have actually preferred Alien being the first glimpse of the monster. Neomorphs and deacons would have been fine monsters to cover the runtime in Covenant.
  11. Highland
    If they stuck to one Alien (or no Aliens) the movie would have had plenty time to tell it's story. The reveal of the first ever Alien should have been more grand than David throwing rocks off Orams bonce. I would have liked the final movie to introduce the Alien.

    I think it really shows through that there was never a plan with any of this.
  12. SiL
    Quote
    ALIEN' for instance is 112 pages. The film is a bit over 2 hours.
    The film is under two hours - 116 minutes.

    Quote
    He is making some things written as a single page amount to longer than 1 min of screentime,
    Every director does this. It also depends on whether the page is action heavy or dialogue heavy. One minute per page is an average across the whole script, not a page by page consideration.

    Quote
    and thats how we end up with something like the first Act of Covenant being longer and better than the rest of the film, because it takes over an hour in Covenant to get to Act 2, and to move along then they have no time to play with the last 2 acts. You see? Act 1 is 1 hour, and its better, but then they have 1 hour left to blow through the next 2 acts.
    Act 2 starts when they land on the planet. The second act is always the longest in the film and Covenant is no exception here.
  13. newagescamartist
    I don't hate Ridley Scott or Pietro Scalia, but they do sometimes frustrate me. Scott would be the first person to admit that he sometimes cuts too much footage from his movies, and Scalia frequently mentions wanting movies to be under two hours. When that harms the final product, the blame will inevitably be placed at their feet where it belongs.

    Look. This is unfair. It doesn't belong at their feet that an R-rated film needs to be 2 hours. Ridley is actually looking out for the fans, trying to make sure the film warrants a sequel. If anything you should place blame at the feet of the monopoly of Multiplexes, which have such a vast overhead, they cant make any money unless a film is rated PG13. Many of you dont remember a time when Multiplexes didnt exist. The really took over in the late 90s.
    It also doesnt belong at their feet when Fox wants this or that cut. They are contractually obligated to deliver a marketable product for the studio, and the studio has a lot of say in what is in or changed all along. In fact, Covenant and Prometheus took a great deal of risks in their story for franchise films like this. Like David and Walter kissing for instance, and abortion med pod scenes. We owe those types of things to Scott's playing ball with the studio, in areas like these. They trust him because he knows what has to be done.
    Furthermore, if there are issues with the runtime its not with the editing, its with the script. A 2-hour script should turn in at around 120 pages. IE Approx 1 page per minute. But a director and an editor can slow the pace down here or there to make things play better. This is why some acts are playing better than others in Covenant and Prometheus. Its in the JOB DESCRIPTION of an editor to make the best R-Rated film he can with the material that was shot, while not messing with the script too much (without approval from the studio, NOT just Scott) while making that come in at the 2 hour mark. These are the kinds of stipulations placed on R-rated films, and they are made by the constraints of the film industry. Any exception to that rule is just an exception proving the rule.
    If anything, what you should be thinking is: Make the screenwriters turn in something around 100 pages so the editor and director can slow it down and flesh it out. As an example of this at work - 'ALIEN' for instance is 112 pages. The film is a bit over 2 hours. That extra 8 or so pages are minutes Ridley being allowed to burn slowly in the runtime. It builds tension. Prometheus was 116 pages I believe, and I would argue that like this film, Ridley likes to slow burn some stuff. Meaning, that what normally amounts to 1 minute is 1 page, but Ridley likes to crawl, build tension... He is making some things written as a single page amount to longer than 1 min of screentime, and thats how we end up with something like the first Act of Covenant being longer and better than the rest of the film, because it takes over an hour in Covenant to get to Act 2, and to move along then they have no time to play with the last 2 acts. You see? Act 1 is 1 hour, and its better, but then they have 1 hour left to blow through the next 2 acts.
    So if anything: the script needs to be shorter.
    Aaaaand
    This actually highlights what I think the major difference b/w Alien and its Prequels is, and why the run time is a problem for them. Because they are telling more complicated stories. Unlike Alien, which is very minimal and it can take its time. Prometheus and Covenant have alot more ground to cover in the same runtime.
    This is why the scripts need to be shorter.

    R rated movies have never been as profitable as PG-13 and below or at least that I'm aware of. If Prometheus and Covenant aren't what Ridley envisioned ( and I've seen no indication that either film wasn't to his liking ) then I think a fair compromise is releasing a director's cut/extended edition on DVD. I highly doubt we get director cuts of either film anytime soon because Ridley seems very happy with the cuts. You said it yourself, the stories in the prequels are much more complex so making the the scripts even shorter would hurt imo. People are already upset at the pacing in both movies, rushing through the acts that do work would make the films even more prone to criticism. I think it's fair to say that most fans would be perfectly fine with a 3 hour film if it works. I'm not sure what the problem was with Covenant's domestic take, but I'm very happy with how the film turned out overall. I think editing was good overall, especially in the middle section of the movie.
  14. CainsSon
    I don't hate Ridley Scott or Pietro Scalia, but they do sometimes frustrate me. Scott would be the first person to admit that he sometimes cuts too much footage from his movies, and Scalia frequently mentions wanting movies to be under two hours. When that harms the final product, the blame will inevitably be placed at their feet where it belongs.

    Look. This is unfair. It doesn't belong at their feet that an R-rated film needs to be 2 hours. Ridley is actually looking out for the fans, trying to make sure the film warrants a sequel. If anything you should place blame at the feet of the monopoly of Multiplexes, which have such a vast overhead, they cant make any money unless a film is rated PG13. Many of you dont remember a time when Multiplexes didnt exist. The really took over in the late 90s.
    It also doesnt belong at their feet when Fox wants this or that cut. They are contractually obligated to deliver a marketable product for the studio, and the studio has a lot of say in what is in or changed all along. In fact, Covenant and Prometheus took a great deal of risks in their story for franchise films like this. Like David and Walter kissing for instance, and abortion med pod scenes. We owe those types of things to Scott's playing ball with the studio, in areas like these. They trust him because he knows what has to be done.
    Furthermore, if there are issues with the runtime its not with the editing, its with the script. A 2-hour script should turn in at around 120 pages. IE Approx 1 page per minute. But a director and an editor can slow the pace down here or there to make things play better. This is why some acts are playing better than others in Covenant and Prometheus. Its in the JOB DESCRIPTION of an editor to make the best R-Rated film he can with the material that was shot, while not messing with the script too much (without approval from the studio, NOT just Scott) while making that come in at the 2 hour mark. These are the kinds of stipulations placed on R-rated films, and they are made by the constraints of the film industry. Any exception to that rule is just an exception proving the rule.
    If anything, what you should be thinking is: Make the screenwriters turn in something around 100 pages so the editor and director can slow it down and flesh it out. As an example of this at work - 'ALIEN' for instance is 112 pages. The film is a bit over 2 hours. That extra 8 or so pages are minutes Ridley being allowed to burn slowly in the runtime. It builds tension. Prometheus was 116 pages I believe, and I would argue that like this film, Ridley likes to slow burn some stuff. Meaning, that what normally amounts to 1 minute is 1 page, but Ridley likes to crawl, build tension... He is making some things written as a single page amount to longer than 1 min of screentime, and thats how we end up with something like the first Act of Covenant being longer and better than the rest of the film, because it takes over an hour in Covenant to get to Act 2, and to move along then they have no time to play with the last 2 acts. You see? Act 1 is 1 hour, and its better, but then they have 1 hour left to blow through the next 2 acts.
    So if anything: the script needs to be shorter.
    Aaaaand
    This actually highlights what I think the major difference b/w Alien and its Prequels is, and why the run time is a problem for them. Because they are telling more complicated stories. Unlike Alien, which is very minimal and it can take its time. Prometheus and Covenant have alot more ground to cover in the same runtime.
    This is why the scripts need to be shorter.
  15. SiL
    A 1977 film Sorcerer opened with 4 seemingly unrelated prologues all in different places in the world depicting 4 different protagonists in 4 different languages (well actually the first one didn't have any dialog). It lasted 20 minutes. It alienated the audiences AF. It was very artful and I loved it but if Covenant attempted the same, that'd be really hard to pull off...
    The Friday the 13th reboot has three openings and it worked just fine, but each was pretty well connected with the others.
  16. Highland
    Neither of the films have a good flow, although if I have to pick one I would pick Covenant. Prometheus has a really garbled up middle section that's quite jarring. Covenants middle transition to final and final act, there's nothing drastically wrong, it just goes by at bullet pace with almost no tension.
  17. Salt The Fries
    A 1977 film Sorcerer opened with 4 seemingly unrelated prologues all in different places in the world depicting 4 different protagonists in 4 different languages (well actually the first one didn't have any dialog). It lasted 20 minutes. It alienated the audiences AF. It was very artful and I loved it but if Covenant attempted the same, that'd be really hard to pull off...anyway, I felt the opening and the initial exposition on the ship were way more satisfying than the jump from Scottish caves to Prometheus.
  18. BishopShouldGo
    I mean look at the material he had to work with. This is a movie that could've began with not only David's dream, but an apartment scene on earth with Daniels and Branson, David and Shaw, David bombing the engineers... it's a lot to piece together cohesively. It's got to wrap up the Prometheus stuff in a way that's satisfying to old viewers but doesn't confuse new viewers. It's been five years. It's reverting back to the old title.

    It's amazing the movie is cut as competently as it is. But maybe not given that pietro is a two time oscar winner. ;)
  19. Highland
    Hate is a strong word. I think disappointed is more accurate. I've got no problem with the editor, I don't like the editing towards the back half, but that could be due to any number of reasons.
  20. Protozoid
    I don't hate Ridley Scott or Pietro Scalia, but they do sometimes frustrate me. Scott would be the first person to admit that he sometimes cuts too much footage from his movies, and Scalia frequently mentions wanting movies to be under two hours. When that harms the final product, the blame will inevitably be placed at their feet where it belongs.
  21. BishopShouldGo
    Well if you're going to say there was something in a contract pertaining to running time, then back it up with a link. I've never heard of any film contract including anything about running time.

    20th Century Fox stipulating a MANDATORY <2hr running time is different from a casual agreement from both Fox and Ridley, or Ridley putting that edict upon himself.

    Don't get so red hot and wild when people innocuously ask for proof. RAWRR!!!!!!!!
  22. CainsSon
    Fair enough but whats tiresome to me is hearing people with no understanding of the constraints of the business model trash talk the work of some very talented people. All the hate towards Scalia here and Ridley Scott is what I find tiresome.

    He's just doing his job and film is a business.

    That said I think he'd be smart to sacrifice some of his desire to make practical sets and settle for more green screen and a 80 million budget that can justify the longer run-time. 80 million and 2hours and 20 min and I think we have something workable, but he has to be willing to compromise certain things a bit, but so do deluded fans who are asking for things that this series cannot conceivably give them. Like a 3 hour 200 million dollar movie with Giger-designed landscapes all practical sets and no CGI for instance.  ;)
  23. SiL
    So there it is. Not a single one of these films is a sequel in a big franchise, with a 100m budget, R Rating and over 2 hours.
    If you would care to re-read your own post, the part I was replying to was you saying that "R Rated movies aren't made for 100 million dollars". You didn't stipulate there that it needed to be an R Rated franchise film with a 2 hour runtime. Your box office numbers appear to only be domestic as well, which isn't a complete indication of success.

    You said that movies over 2 hours don't make money, but the highest grossing movies ever made are over 2 hours. Almost every major studio release these days is over two hours. Almost every Marvel movie grossing $800+ million is over two hours. Scott knows that 2 hours is "more" commercial, but the idea that the studio is standing over his head with a stopwatch is silly.

    As for the films you've been a production manager on, I'd love to hear some of them!
  24. SM
    So does anyone have any info regarding Fox stipulating to Riddles that Prometheus and Covenant had to be two hours (give or take)?

    Ridley stipulated it himself because he IS the business. He stated clearly in interviews during rounds for Prometheus that he knew he had to get it down to the 2 hour mark or risk there being no sequel.
    These were almost his exact words.
    Anyone who works in the business would know this is a factor. Contract or not. Why would he want to risk that?

    That's a start. I guess.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised that Fox wanted specific running times.

    It's more the 'This is what I thank and it's all completely true and if you don't agree you're dumb' attitude that's tiresome.
  25. CainsSon
    So does anyone have any info regarding Fox stipulating to Riddles that Prometheus and Covenant had to be two hours (give or take)?

    IT'S A CONTRACTUAL ORDER!!!

    "Final Cut" is a the name for this contractual order and that the studio has that say is common practice. But you can bet Ridley is smart enough to make sure of this himself.

    If its R Rated and has a budget of anywhere near 100 mil, its 2 hours or less because theatres lose showtimes and the films cant make their money. The exceptions are few and prove the rule. If all of your money is made between 7pm and 11pm, and it takes a half hour between each film to clean and set up a new theatre, plus trailers and etc, and you can only sell tickets to people over 17, you would not be smart to want 1 showtime between 7pm and 11pm instead of 2 showtimes. You see? Why would you need a link to prove that?

    It is an industry fact that R-Rated films are not produced at 100 million + budgets because their audience and ability to fill seats is limited and this is the only franchise that has ever been able to pull that off.
    Some films made in the last 17 years with an R rating and $100 million budget that didn't bomb:

    Gladiator
    Terminator 3
    300: Rise of an Empire
    Hangover Part 3
    Django Unchained
    Wolf of Wall Street
    Mad Max: Fury Road
    The Revenant

    Quote
    It is also an industry fact that films longer than 2 hours are frowned upon by Hollywood because they make less money / have less ability to make money because they have less showtimes per day.
    Most major releases today are over 2 hours. The current top five highest grossing films of all time -- not adjusted for inflation -- are over 2 hours, and of the top 10 only one is under -- Frozen.

    Quote
    Aliens, the only exception in this franchise, is the exception proving the rule. It wasnt made cheaply, and it rode the coattails of the smash hit that was ALIEN at a time when Low Budget R Rated films actually had a theatrical release
    Aliens had a fairly average budget and was released 8 years after the previous film. That's hardly "riding on the coattails".

    Sorry nope.

    GLADIATOR -  2.5 hours (not a sequel or a part 6)
             A winner but not a franchise and also its a very SOFT R and not a horror film. IE Exception proving rule.
    TERMINATOR 3 - 1hour 49 minutes  - Nope
    300: RISE - 1 hour 42 min    - Nope
    HANGOVER 3 - 1 hour 40 min    - Nope
    DJANGO - 2hours and 41 min 
             WAIT!!! WAIT!!! We have a winner. OOOOOOH Guess what? It only made 162 million and was a Box Office Failure but also universally acclaimed. Ergo - why this is never done.
    WOLF OF WALL ST - 3 hours. Budget 100 million HOW MUCH DID IT MAKE? 116 million. Once again. Why this is never done.
    Even when you have a name recognized director like Tarantino of Scorcese, this is a huge risk.
    MAD MAX: FURY ROAD - 2 hours.
    REVENANT : 2.5 hours (director just won oscar) It was a risk and it was a success. But it also was only due to the director and because it wasnt a sequel.

    So there it is. Not a single one of these films is a sequel in a big franchise, with a 100m budget, R Rating and over 2 hours.

    If its R Rated and has a budget of anywhere near 100 mil, its 2 hours or less because theaters lose showtimes and the films cant make their money. The exceptions are few and prove the rule. If all of your money is made between 7pm and 11pm, and it takes a half hour between each film to clean and set up a new theatre, plus trailers and etc, and you can only sell tickets to people over 17, you would not be smart to want 1 showtime between 7pm and 11pm instead of 2 showtimes. You see? Why would you need a link to prove that?

  26. CainsSon
    So does anyone have any info regarding Fox stipulating to Riddles that Prometheus and Covenant had to be two hours (give or take)?

    Ridley stipulated it himself because he IS the business. He stated clearly in interviews during rounds for Prometheus that he knew he had to get it down to the 2 hour mark or risk there being no sequel.
    These were almost his exact words.
    Anyone who works in the business would know this is a factor. Contract or not. Why would he want to risk that?
  27. CainsSon
    Link tho.

    There won't be one because this is almost assuredly nonsense. Unless someone is privy to contractual obligations this is all speculation, and I'm ok with speculation, but saying that it doesn't need verification because of industry standards is ridiculous.

    Yeah no its not. Not only have I gone to school for Film and TV but I work in production as a production manager and have been on all kinds of sets. On top of that I was a Projectionist/Manager for AMC theatres for 3 years.
    I don't have to provide links because Im qualified to write this. This isn't a trial. Im teaching you about the film business.

    Here's a FANBOY talking about this at this link below. You will see listed countless high budget R-Rated movies. Almost NONE of them, are close to 100 million and in almost every case of them being so, you have some other reason like it being the work of an extremely bankable OSCAR winning director. Like THE REVENANT, right AFTER an Oscar is won. And thats the only reason he got the money to make an R Rated movie at a 2.5 hour runtime (because of BIRDMAN being JUST prior to it).
    If you dont believe me you can cross reference every single one of those listed 100mil range R Rated films with RUNTIME and you will see the exceptions to the rule are like NEVER. Literally like never. And in every single one of those cases NONE of them is a PART 6 or 8 or 10 of any franchise. The only exception I see is MAD MAX (150 mil) and that film was a massive box office risk and was exactly 2 hours long. That its EXACTLY within 2 hours, isn't a mistake. I loved it and thank god for them taking that risk, but don't confuse my instruction with my desire or agreement. Im just telling you why it is the way it is.

    http://www.the-fanboy-perspective.com/the-financial-potential-of-r-rated-movies.html

    If its R Rated and has a budget of anywhere near 100 mil, its 2 hours or less because theatres lose showtimes and the films cant make their money. The exceptions are few and prove the rule. If all of your money is made between 7pm and 11pm, and it takes a half hour between each film to clean and set up a new theatre, plus trailers and etc, and you can only sell tickets to people over 17, you would not be smart to want 1 showtime between 7pm and 11pm instead of 2 showtimes. You see? Why would you need a link to prove that?
  28. XenoHunter99
    Fury Road, now that was a film. Probably my favourite out of the last few years.
    Actually it didn't grab me and I fully expected it to do so... :( it had "my kind of film" vibe written all over it.
    That movie had a certain amount of spectacle, but it was also largely boring and stupid. The characters frequently behaved like morons, and you might as well have called it Furiosa for all the impact Max had on the proceedings. The one time the guy actually got to do anything, it was off-screen. Waste of time. YMMV.
  29. BishopShouldGo
    Quote
    Sorry, Pietro, but your editing ruined another Ridley movie. He's a damn butcher. He needs to stop trying to fix stories in the editing room. He did the same to Prometheus, thinking that the structure needed fixing when it didn't. Having flawless pacing and a balanced structure is secondary to tracking the story in the way that allows the audience the deepest experience.

    Well I'm sorry to tell you, that regardless of who is editing the film, it had to be just under 2 hours per Fox's Contractual Order. It was in contract to be under 2 hours. Besides it sounds to me like he fought to have more themes kept in the story. It's a hard job given the restrictions and restraints of director , studio and all of the above. If you have problems with either film he is not to blame.

    THIS!!! THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.

    It's like NO ONE understands that ^^^^^THIS^^^^^^ is the reason the movie is the way it is. Stop bickering and wasting your time. You aren't understanding that this is an industry issue. Its about runtime. Almost everything that wasn't good in this AND Prometheus were because of a contractual obligation to limit the length of the film. All of this bickering and finger pointing - its just because an R-RATED 100mil$ film cannot be 2.5 hours long and risk not making its money back. The editor was just doing his job. If anything the problem is that they need to write a 1.5 hour script so Ridley and his editors can keep the pace fleshed out.

    Also there is nothing Scalia's interview that says there are 12 additional minutes of SHAW footage specifically. He says more stuff that bridges the gap, totaling 12 minutes. This includes what is already IN the film and the Prologue. You are assuming that means more scenes with Shaw. It doesn't. It may be slightly extended Prologue or etc but we also know that the opening Prologue with David was initially longer, for instance.
    So a longer Prologue, possibly a slightly longer version of The Crossing, and the scene with David bombing the Engineers all included in that 12 minutes. He didn't say "12 additional minutes of Shaw and David on Paradise doing a bunch of stuff youve never seen." At best, there may be an additional scene or a viral that never got released.

    I'm still waiting to see verification of this, but either way it's not logical and mostly nonsense. The new Transformers was much longer and was considered an event film. It failed to deliver the strong box office that was expected, but no one is blaming the run time. If what you're saying is true then Fox has no idea what they're doing ( debatable, for sure ). Usually if a movie is going to be so big that a theatre is selling out multiple showings they just get a few more screens lol.

    You dont have to wait for verification. It was the same story with Prometheus. R-Rated films at a 100million + is completely unheard of. There simply is NO OTHER FRANCHISE that produces 100million dollar+ R-Rated films. TRANSFORMERS is marketable to 7 year olds. Its Rated PG-13, and anyone can see it without supervision. Its a false comparison. TRANSFORMERS is not at the same degree of risk of not making its money back. An R-Rated film thats as long as TRANSFORMERS, would play in less theaters, and has far less showtimes per day. This is why the ALIEN FILM is 2 hours and is contracted to be 2 hours. Because FOX wont take that risk and the turnout for this is verification of their rightness. If Alien:Covenant would have been 2.5 hours it would result in one entire less showtime every 8 hours. That's 2 less showtimes per day, per theatre, as per most multiplexes, and it results in much less profit for the theatre and the studio. If each showtime in a theatre amounted to 20 million dollars, thats the difference between 80million a day and 60 million per day, Thats a substantial risk to take over adding 20 minutes of additional footage to keep fans happy. TRANSFORMERS on the other hand, with its PG13 rating will automatically open in far more theaters. In fact TRANSFORMERS opened in 4,132 theatres in the US this week. Alien Covenant opened in 3,761. Thats because of its R rating, which doesnt fill seats. If it had been 2.5 hours long, it would have been detrimental to FOX's bottom line.
    Waiting for confirmation of this is silly. This is a film industry fact. R-rated films at this budget do not exist and never have. This is legitimately the ONLY franchise of its caliber at a consistent R Rating.
    Do I think this HURT the film? ABSOLUTELY. Do I think FOX should have taken the risk? You bet I do. Will they? Unlikely. They will just try and make the next film for cheaper.
    Fans need to take this stuff into consideration and understand why they arent getting what they wish they'd were. The real solution is to write 1.5 hour scripts that allow Scott an additional half hour to be more exacting with pace.

    Link tho.
  30. SiL
    It is an industry fact that R-Rated films are not produced at 100 million + budgets because their audience and ability to fill seats is limited and this is the only franchise that has ever been able to pull that off.
    Some films made in the last 17 years with an R rating and $100 million budget that didn't bomb:

    Gladiator
    Terminator 3
    300: Rise of an Empire
    Hangover Part 3
    Django Unchained
    Wolf of Wall Street
    Mad Max: Fury Road
    The Revenant

    Quote
    It is also an industry fact that films longer than 2 hours are frowned upon by Hollywood because they make less money / have less ability to make money because they have less showtimes per day.
    Most major releases today are over 2 hours. The current top five highest grossing films of all time -- not adjusted for inflation -- are over 2 hours, and of the top 10 only one is under -- Frozen.

    Quote
    Aliens, the only exception in this franchise, is the exception proving the rule. It wasnt made cheaply, and it rode the coattails of the smash hit that was ALIEN at a time when Low Budget R Rated films actually had a theatrical release
    Aliens had a fairly average budget and was released 8 years after the previous film. That's hardly "riding on the coattails".
  31. SM
    Or Fury Road?  Or The Revenant?

    Quote
    I'm not sure there ever was an Alien crowd when it comes to Prometheus. I think the general feeling at the time was more "whats all this about then?" Rather than where's the Alien.

    There were a lot of people who assumed an Alien prequel was going to have Aliens in it, despite a lot of pre-release stuff saying it wasn't a strict Alien prequel.

    I dunno about Blade Runner.  I think it looks sweet and hope it kills, but I'm not sure it's going do big business.
  32. tleilaxu
    Who says it's a fact?

    It is an industry fact that R-Rated films are not produced at 100 million + budgets because their audience and ability to fill seats is limited and this is the only franchise that has ever been able to pull that off. It is also an industry fact that films longer than 2 hours are frowned upon by Hollywood because they make less money / have less ability to make money because they have less showtimes per day. Aliens, the only exception in this franchise, is the exception proving the rule. It wasnt made cheaply, and it rode the coattails of the smash hit that was ALIEN at a time when Low Budget R Rated films actually had a theatrical release. This is simply unheard of today and we should be singing praise to Alien Covenant and Prometheus for even existing with an R-Rating and making money.  Alien is the most successful horror franchise of all time.
    What about Logan?
    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=wolverine2017.htm
    I'll grant you that it's a different situation because of the capeshit association, but still.
  33. Highland
    Why?  To get better returns I suppose since a lot of people were disappointed that there wasn't an actual Alien in Prometheus.

    It may be that they thought 'Prometheus did well, but people really wanted Alien.  So we don't completely abandon Prometheus, but we include things to satisfy the Alien crowd'.

    They kinda pleased both judging on the overall reaction, but did please either enough.

    I'm not sure there ever was an Alien crowd when it comes to Prometheus. I think the general feeling at the time was more "whats all this about then?" Rather than where's the Alien.

    Something tells me Blade runner is going to smash it at the box office and it's not because it'll have cool action sequences and quick pacing. For me they have not identified the group that watch these movies correctly. Covenant is like you say a sort of hybrid smart movie trying to be a popcorn flick at the same time but really doesn't achieve either.
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