This behind the scenes insight shows how the Xenomorph was filmed
In an era of CGI overload, it’s easy to forget how effects were created in classic Hollywood films.
One of the most effective examples of this is Ridley Scott’s original Alien (1979), which still has the power to scare viewers despite its sole use of practical effects.
In Scott’s latest offering, Alien: Covenant (2017), some fans complained about the amount of CGI footage in the final cut compared to the original movies.
However, a video feature by Adam Savage for Tested shows that practical effects and animations were used in the early shots.
The video reveals that Australian actor and dancer Andrew Crawford wore the suit of the Xenomorph throughout filming the second instalment of the Alien prequel series.
Wearing an animatronic head, body suit with a cage of ribs around him and stilts, he formed the basis for the final CGI result.
Head of fabrication Marea Fowler said: “There’s quite a lot of techniques to get it to this point and keep it moving because the functioning is that it moves gracefully when its on him.”
“He then has to move and dance through and bring the poetry through it,” she added.
And, at nine foot in his full suit, the Xenomorph is seriously intimidating.
While it might seem like CGI is now filmmakers’ only option, Scott shows us how use of puppetry and improving animatronic software means that practical effects aren’t dead.
Check out more behind the scenes insight from The Video Mode with this feature on the filming Game of Thrones.