Alien vs. Predator Galaxy recently had the pleasure of talking to Amalgamated Dynamics Inc’s founders and long time Alien and Predator creature effect extraordinaries Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff for our upcoming Alien Day episode of the AvP Galaxy Podcast! So naturally it was a good chance to try to get some information on those questions I’ve had burning in my mind.
Last year I visited the topic of the Meat Locker, Alien 3’s deleted hive sequence. It was scripted, and ADI had started construction on the actual cocoons but it was dropped before filming. One cocoon had apparently been finished, and according to Tom Woodruff it was used by David Fincher as his “thinking shell.” So naturally I had to ask Tom and Alec about this!
Aaron Percival: So talking about that hive sequence… We know you guys started building cocoons for the sequence and that Fincher had you finish one for his own purposes. The “thinking shell” I think he called it. But we’ve never seen pictures of the completed cocoons and I always thought that they looked like – from the work in progress stuff that you’ve shown – I always thought it looked like you were taking inspiration from the original egg morphing scene from Alien rather than Aliens’ hive. Was that the direction you’d been going in?
Alec Gillis: This is funny…
Tom Woodruff: Alec, don’t say anything! Don’t say it! I’m shutting down! Where’s my turn off button?!
AG: So first of all, Tom totally made up the Fincher ‘thinking shell’ thing. There was a period there where we were having such a great time with David Fincher because it was fun. We’re all about the same age and we thought it would be funny if we made stuff up. Where we did interviews and then he would read it later and go “what the hell?” So Tom had a few good ones.
TW: Yeah it was like early, early interviews we said “Yeah, David Fincher is a funny guy! He would direct, but he would direct from sitting up in his chair wearing a cowboy hat. He just wouldn’t take the cowboy hat off! Ever!”
AG: Tom told somebody, Cinefantastique or somebody, that we made David Fincher an Alien suit and he would direct in an Alien suit with a cowboy hat on. And then the ‘thinking shell’… Come to think of it Tom, I think I was just laughing while you were doing all this stuff. The ‘thinking shell’ we made him looked good, and he sat in this cocoon, but the truth is none of the cocoons ever even got molded.
We did sculpt them in clay but we never got to this point of molding them. And yes, you are correct Aaron, we were looking more at the kind of stuff that was going on in the deleted scenes of Alien than some of the other ones. You guys this is a scoop! This is the first! No one has ever busted us on those [fibs]. We were actually kind of disappointed that they didn’t get noticed more.
TW : Yeah, nobody ran with them.
AG: Is Hollywood that weird that you can make things up like that and it will be believable?
Looks like I need to go back to rewrite some bits! We’ll be releasing the full episode at 3pm GMT on Alien Day! Make sure you check back in with us because this was a really fun one! Featured artwork was commissioned from Declan Loftus by us for our original article.
And if you can’t quite wait until Alien Day for a cool interview, go check out some of our previous Alien Day specials where we had the pleasure of talking to other legendary figures within the Alien universe such as Aliens’ very own Carrie Henn, the father of the Expanded Universe Mark Verheiden, and Alien: Covenant’s backburster victim Ben Rigby!
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