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Interview with Alien: Covenant Illustrators Dane Hallett & Matt Hatton – AvPGalaxy Podcast #52

We have just uploaded the 52nd episode of the Alien vs. Predator Galaxy Podcast (right-click and save as to download)! Our latest episode sees myself joined by the Alien: Covenant illustrators responsible for those badass illustrations by David, the talented Dane Hallett and Matt Hatton!

Among many other things, Dane and Matt talk about how they got involved in the film, Ridley’s feedback to their illustrations, the time constraints and David’s descent into madness.

 Interview with Alien: Covenant Illustrators Dane Hallett & Matt Hatton - AvPGalaxy Podcast #52

Matt Hatton (left) and Dane Hallett (right) pose with Sir Ridley Scott on the set of Alien: Covenant, surrounded by their artwork.

At one point I mention the rumor that Daniels was going to be Ripley’s mother. I erroneously say Shaw instead of Daniels. When I talk about Matt’s Alien 3 cover art, I’m referring to this particular image.

You can follow both Matt and Dane on their respective social media outlets. Dane is on both Facebook and Instagram. Matt is on Instagram. Head on over, check out their work and give them a follow!

Keep checking back in for the latest episodes of the Alien vs. Predator Galaxy Podcast. We have several more Alien: Covenant interviews in the works, including Colin Shulver and Benjamin Rigby. We’ll also be recording a belated 30th anniversary episode about Predator!

What did you think of our latest episode? Be sure to let us know down below! You can also listen to any of our previous episodes in the Podcast section under the News tab on the main menu. We hope you enjoy!

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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Comments: 19
  1. Corporal Hicks
    Great interview, hats off to both artists, their contribution to the film is probably the best thing A:C has going on

    Their work was just amazing and being able to see it much clearer post release is easily one of the best things about Covenant so far.

    Brilliant interview, well done again Hicks. I really enjoyed listening to the guys, and the fact they are clearly fans of the franchise who have constructive opinions about the films.

    Thanks, Keyes. Glad you enjoyed. This is why I love to chat to chat to people like Dane and Matt. They tend to be more knowledgeable and vested in the film itself and more interesting to listen to and talk to.

    Thanks Aaron,

    I will do you the courtesy of responding to another excellent Pod Cast on your forum rather than elsewhere.

    Thank you, Michelle. Feedback is greatly appreciated and I'm happy you liked it.

    Quote
    2) That the cathedral was the source of the Engineers power and knowledge only made me grieve for a two minute scene where Walter or Daniels fired up their holographic libraries and answered everything we need to know without a live Engineer in sight. This would also have been great continuity from Prometheus.

    It really would have been nice to have seen more of the Necropolis! I know the lack of and the move to the Alien was an over-compensation for Prometheus, but being able to learn more about the Engineers and see more of their city and technology would have been great.

    A great insight and some very honest remarks from the guys, the best one being rather than a macabre tense horror film it was an action horror film or words to that effect.

    Yeah, both Matt and Dane were great with their responses. Very open and honest and a pleasure to listen to.

    Great work as usual Hicks. Some really intelligent questioning that gave us some great insight.

    In my mind, you're the brain of the Alien fanbase and JM Prater is the heart, if that makes any sense!? Lol.

    Keep up the good work.

    Thanks, Dave. I do try to make sure I ask questions that can illicit responses that people will find interesting! Not too sure I follow you but I do enjoy listening to the PO boys myself.  :)

    Such a shame that we've got to seek out little bits of information that would have made the movie much more enjoyable.

    Personally, I find a lot of pleasure in this part of the release cycle. Finding out those extra tidbits.

    Was it dane or matt that wrote for dark horse? Man I hope they collaborate . Both really are fans of the alien series for a long time. The only ones that collected comics and followed the franchise like the fans here does that I am aware in terms of people who worked on alien films.

    One of the better podcasts.

    I believe that was Matt. I'd love to see either or both of them working on Alien comics. Along with Tristan, I think it'd be a real visual treat for all. And thanks. I completely agree. It was definitely one of the best episodes and interviews we've done.  :)
  2. markweatherill
    By the expression on Scott's face I imagine him to be reminiscing about his days in Art School and waiting for his aide to approach and whisper, 'Yes their stuff is OK I guess but Sir Ridley I bet you could have done so much better...' ;D
  3. oduodu
    Was it dane or matt that wrote for dark horse? Man I hope they collaborate . Both really are fans of the alien series for a long time. The only ones that collected comics and followed the franchise like the fans here does that I am aware in terms of people who worked on alien films.

    One of the better podcasts.
  4. Salt The Fries
    Thanks Aaron,

    I will do you the courtesy of responding to another excellent Pod Cast on your forum rather than elsewhere.

    Three elements struck me:-

    1) The view of the guys that when you move into the second act and the narrative is given time to breath its the point that they felt you could legitimately offer a more speculative approach rather than the explicit action orientated elements which preceded it. Given that they were both critical of Prometheus, as this was the point at which the questions raised by Prometheus could be answered that struck me as an interesting reaction. This was the point when the exposition should harden for those who had waited five years. This also applied to the completion of Shaw's story which once again was deliberately treated as conjectural and built on David as the unreliable narrator. (They might just be the musings of a madman something went down but not necessarily this).

    2) That the cathedral was the source of the Engineers power and knowledge only made me grieve for a two minute scene where Walter or Daniels fired up their holographic libraries and answered everything we need to know without a live Engineer in sight. This would also have been great continuity from Prometheus.

    3) The removal of the tapestry which would offer a road map to Davids descent. This I think high lighted the difficulty and core challenge of this act. David draws them to the cathedral which is alive with the truth of his 10 years. The more explicit that story's evidence the quicker Daniels and Walter are going to punch a hole in David's dissembling. If they had walked past a tapestry a story board of ten years descent it would have made Walters music lesson slightly more than ridiculous. They and the audience would have pinned David to the wall and asked just what the .... went down here.

    Given that Fox wanted the flash back out and a portion of the audience and critics feel this act killed the momentum, as opposed to the Prometheus watchers who feel short changed, my conclusion is this act in terms of how it was attempting to please all was a horse designed by committee which turned out to be a camel.       

    It comes back to something very simple what is the point of the movie.

    1) To get the beast back up and running (tick)

    2) To answer and sign off on Prometheus and all its ambiguities (not quite if you wanted to follow David and Shaw through their arcs and want to know what LV 223 meant).

    A great insight and some very honest remarks from the guys, the best one being rather than a macabre tense horror film it was an action horror film or words to that effect.


    You made some very, very interesting observations here and I really like your language.
  5. Highland
    So I was right about the barrier on my first viewing. That's immediately what I thought when you see the goo form an oval shape then suddenly burst through. I didn't think that it was planet wide though.

    Such a shame that we've got to seek out little bits of information that would have made the movie much more enjoyable.
  6. DaveT937
    Great work as usual Hicks. Some really intelligent questioning that gave us some great insight.

    In my mind, you're the brain of the Alien fanbase and JM Prater is the heart, if that makes any sense!? Lol.

    Keep up the good work.
  7. MICHELLE JOHNSTON
    Thanks Aaron,

    I will do you the courtesy of responding to another excellent Pod Cast on your forum rather than elsewhere.

    Three elements struck me:-

    1) The view of the guys that when you move into the second act and the narrative is given time to breath its the point that they felt you could legitimately offer a more speculative approach rather than the explicit action orientated elements which preceded it. Given that they were both critical of Prometheus, as this was the point at which the questions raised by Prometheus could be answered that struck me as an interesting reaction. This was the point when the exposition should harden for those who had waited five years. This also applied to the completion of Shaw's story which once again was deliberately treated as conjectural and built on David as the unreliable narrator. (They might just be the musings of a madman something went down but not necessarily this).

    2) That the cathedral was the source of the Engineers power and knowledge only made me grieve for a two minute scene where Walter or Daniels fired up their holographic libraries and answered everything we need to know without a live Engineer in sight. This would also have been great continuity from Prometheus.

    3) The removal of the tapestry which would offer a road map to Davids descent. This I think high lighted the difficulty and core challenge of this act. David draws them to the cathedral which is alive with the truth of his 10 years. The more explicit that story's evidence the quicker Daniels and Walter are going to punch a hole in David's dissembling. If they had walked past a tapestry a story board of ten years descent it would have made Walters music lesson slightly more than ridiculous. They and the audience would have pinned David to the wall and asked just what the .... went down here.

    Given that Fox wanted the flash back out and a portion of the audience and critics feel this act killed the momentum, as opposed to the Prometheus watchers who feel short changed, my conclusion is this act in terms of how it was attempting to please all was a horse designed by committee which turned out to be a camel.       

    It comes back to something very simple what is the point of the movie.

    1) To get the beast back up and running (tick)

    2) To answer and sign off on Prometheus and all its ambiguities (not quite if you wanted to follow David and Shaw through their arcs and want to know what LV 223 meant).

    A great insight and some very honest remarks from the guys, the best one being rather than a macabre tense horror film it was an action horror film or words to that effect.

  8. Keyes
    Brilliant interview, well done again Hicks. I really enjoyed listening to the guys, and the fact they are clearly fans of the franchise who have constructive opinions about the films.
  9. Corporal Hicks
    I'm glad you enjoyed it, Fen! For me, this part of a film's release is as fun as all the hype leading up to it. Learning about how it all went down behind-the-scenes is just so immensely fascinating to me. Things like Scott trying to guide their artwork - "make it sexual but not sexy. It's hard, I know." - are so interesting to hear. How do you use that advice? lol
  10. FenGiddel
    Great 'cast, guys! It ended much too early.   Some take-aways for me: Dane's image of "raging-fire-no-sleep-live-together-drawing-like-maniacs" to get the job done; Matt's thoughts on what David might or might not have done to/with Shaw and how that informed his art; and Hicks suggesting their shocking art is so very Giger-esque.   Hicks, Matt and Dane give us a well-guided tour of the mindscape behind their work on the film.  And Dane and Matt: if ever we meet, Ii certainly hope it is not in your dreams!   ;D  Cheers!

    Oh yeah: and I'm a lefty as well.  We're the only ones in our "right" mind, right?
  11. Corporal Hicks
    Nice shirt!

    I love it! There's another picture that I mention in the podcast, where Matt is wearing a Predator countdown shirt.  :laugh:

    https://scontent-lhr3-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/18949861_254846921664946_5309766182830604288_n.jpg

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BVGoiTjFTHd/

    Thank you for this very insightful interview.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it! Matt and Dane were just great guests and this is probably one of my favorite interviews. Loved how much detail they got into.

    Quote
    I would really like to see that David book come to light.

    Me too! Hopefully we can help make enough noise. I think it'd be a fascinating read.

    Quote
    The David viral scene where he is in his laboratory would be neat to see!

    I'm hoping it's one of the extra ones that seems to be on the Blu-ray - Phobos or Advent.
  12. Bluray
    Thanks for the explanation. The more I hear about deleted scenes and what did or didn't make it to the final film, the more it restores my faith in Sir Ridley. Now I definitely enjoyed Covenant, but left the theater with some mixed feelings. Sometimes I just couldn't understand how Ridley could let certain plot points slip, especially after having come from a film like The Martian that was filled with such concise logic. It sounds like the main issues that people generally had with the plot were indeed covered and Ridley was probably very aggressive with trimming down the runtime. I'm definitely holding out hope for a longer cut as I believe Covenant definitely benefits from scenes that flesh things out more. To all the naysayers of Sir Ridley, let's not forget kingdom of heaven. There is the theatrical version and then there's the actual version. 2 different films.
  13. lv_226
    Thanks lv_226, I can't listen at the moment. Could you elaborate a bit on the engineer defense system? Was this a deleted scene? Ah, I need a longer cut of this film.

    If I remember correctly, this was something that was explained in the script. The gist of it is that the Engineer planet had this emergency fail-safe in place that kept pathogens—presumably like the black goo—from being dispersed into the atmosphere of the planet. The gentlemen in the podcast go on to state that elements of this made it into the final film—specifically, when you see David dropping the accelerant on the Engineer city, the accelerant disperses up until a certain point where it appears to stop in mid-air  (this was the barrier mentioned in more detail in the script).
  14. Bluray
    Thanks lv_226, I can't listen at the moment. Could you elaborate a bit on the engineer defense system? Was this a deleted scene? Ah, I need a longer cut of this film.
  15. lv_226
    Thank you for this very insightful interview.

    I would really like to see that David book come to light.

    It seems that a lot of material was left on the cutting room floor. There are bits, like the extended version of Oram looking into the egg where David demonstrates to the Captain that the eggs do not react to his presence, that would have allayed some of the concerns some have about "stupid character motivations". Also, the bit about the Engineer defense system that protected the environment from airborne pathogens was interesting to hear about. Damn, just like with Prometheus it seems that there are bits of the story that were cut that would have fleshed out the film a bit more.

    The David viral scene where he is in his laboratory would be neat to see!

    I like Covenant a lot, but hearing this stuff was a bit heartbreaking.
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