Alien Encounters – 25 Years of Aliens Convention Report

Posted by Corporal Hicks on October 13, 2011 (Updated: 23-Feb-2020)

The last panel of the day was a second cast talk but Johnny and I still had the Harry Harris and UKCM displays to see so we opted to miss Sunday’s talk out. Harry Harris’ collection consists of a large amount of screen-used props and costumes. He’s been collecting for some years now and it really shows.

The UKCM also had a good display of replica props and collectables as well. I can’t really describe them all to you so I’ll just point you to my pictures of the displays which you can find in the gallery on page 5.

  Alien Encounters - 25 Years of Aliens Convention ReportThe Hudson display from Harry Harris’ Aliens Archive.

And to the end day was a screening of Darren Kemp’s Aliens Epilogue. I should imagine most of you will know of the film from our podcast with Darren. As with Andrew’s documentary, it wasn’t a complete cut with some very early stage CG shots and one placeholder from Aliens. That said, the movie opened with a fantastic CG shot of Gateway, it was great to see the location from a not-so-flat perspective.

I wont go into too much detail as Darren is still working on the movie and I don’t want to spoil it all but I’ll give a brief overview of my impressions.

When I spoke with Darren for our podcast he remarked on making use of what you’ve got access to and Darren had quite a lot of access. The movie is shot on several impressive looking locations such as the mission control simulator at the National Space Centre, several industrial locations and even the cockpit of a helicopter so the film looks good and the locations look appropriate.

Darren had also remarked how none of them were actors but it worked well because everyone was a character in their own right. Everyone seemed to be playing themselves with their own real quirks which helped get over the lack of acting experience. I could see the similarities from what I’d seen of the people over the course of the weekend. It was another really good case of making use of what you’ve got.

The score was of good quality too. There was enough of Horner’s Aliens in there but there was the new style and feel of the new composer, Daniel Hildreth, coming through as well. It felt Aliens but it felt appropriately new.

 Alien Encounters - 25 Years of Aliens Convention ReportPromotional Image for Aliens Epilogue. Kindly provided by Darren Kemp.

I do feel the inclusion of the three factions could be cleared up slightly as somewhere along the line I did get confused as to who was on what side and why they were doing this so this might be something Darren wants to look at for future edits.

I was also slightly disappointed at the lack of Aliens in it. With having access to the fantastic suits I would have liked to have seen more of them, even if it was more shots of them stalking in the shadows. However, I am conscious that Darren may not have wanted to use them too much but it would have been nice to see a little more.

All things considered I did really enjoy the movie and it was of a great quality, up there with the best of them but I feel with time and when Darren gets some of the CGI sorted it’ll be well liked within the community.

So that ended the convention. I hung around to say some goodbyes before I headed off home into the websitey chaos that has been the past few weeks.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself over the weekend. It was fantastic to get to meet up with fellow fans who I’d only heard their voices and seen the avatars. These kind of events are great for putting names to faces and I hope I might get chance to meet more of our members over the coming years.

Andrew David Clark and Darren Kemp did an absolutely fantastic job organizing this event. It was large enough to have plenty to do but small enough to be very intimate, I could almost feel the family-bonds that spread between the UKCM organizers and the Alien Legacy crew.

The panels were organized so you had no huge long waits between events which I’ve fond to be a serious problem at the other conventions I have attended. Nothing sucks more than waits so long you just lose interest. I think perhaps we could have done with one or two longer gaps to allow people to get to experience the other exhibits and Alien Encounters live action event without having to sacrifice other panels but I can’t really complain about that.

I really want the group to organize another event, maybe something encompassing the entire franchise including the movies, comics, books, games and etc. I think there’s enough out there to try and make a yearly event out of it if they can get the variety of guests.

Videos of all the guest panels will be made available in the coming months. To close I’d like to thank Andrew for inviting me down as a guest and congratulate everyone involved in making an extremely successful weekend. I hope to see more events from you!

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