The much anticipated Alien-themed virtual reality (VR) experience will be coming to Southern California. “Alien: Descent,” is a 15 minute VR experience for up to 4 players. Fox will be setting up the experience in a mall, at $15 per head. Scheduled to open its doors at The Outlets at Orange, Orange County, California on Alien Day April 26.
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20TH CENTURY FOX FINALLY UPDATED THEIR ALIENUNIVERSE.COM PAGE!
SPECIAL ALIEN DAY YUTANI PODCAST TO BE RELEASED
Special thanks to:
AVP Galaxy for donating the Alien: Covenant Novelisation.
Perfect Organism Podcast for donating a poster.
Mitch Mitchell for donating 2 digital copies of Alien: Covenant and to Luis Lopez for donating a digital copy of Alien: Covenant and a hand-modelled clay Engineer head.
I have also included another digital copy of Alien: Covenant and my limited edition Alien: Isolation Steel Book Game with Artbook for XBOX 360.
Billy Mansel, one of the Engineer Extras from Alien: Covenant will also be answering some questions 21:00 GMT on our Yutani Alien Day page so be sure to RSVP and tune in!
ALIEN: THE COLD FORGE IS SCHEDULED TO BE RELEASED 24TH APRIL 2018
- ALIEN: THE COLD FORGE by Alex White PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN: 9781785651939Dimensions: 198 x 130 mm Trade Paperback: 416pp Publication date: 24 April 2018All authors: Alex White
According to White’s literary agent Connor Goldsmith, THE COLD FORGE is about Blue Marsalis, a scientist with ALS who hopes experiments on xenomorphs will lead to a cure. It goes… not well. With test subjects gone rogue and a Weyland-Yutani mercenary sent to kill her, her only defence is a robot she controls remotely with her mind. It’s a tense psychological thriller with two compelling, morally complex leads (Blue and the hitman).
SYNOPSISWith the failure of the Hadley’s Hope, Weyland-Yutani has suffered a devastating defeat—the loss of the Aliens. Yet there’s a reason the company rose to the top, and they have a redundancy already in place. Remote station RB-323 abruptly becomes their greatest hope for weaponizing the Xenomorph, but there’s a spy aboard—someone who doesn’t necessarily act in the company’s best interests. If discovered, this person may have no choice but to destroy RB-323… and everyone on board. That is if the Xenomorphs don’t do the job first.
ALIENS: DUST TO DUST IS SCHEDULED TO BE RELEASED 25TH APRIL 2018
- Courtesy of Gabriel Hardman/Dark Horse Comics
The Trono colony on LV-871 is under attack. Emergency evacuations are ordered. Evac shuttles are taking off. All twelve-year-old Maxon and his mom have to do is make it to the spaceport. Except between them and it are . . . Aliens!
When talking to CBR.com Gabriel explained, “I was actually inspired to tell the story from the point of view of a 12-year-old boy in large part because that’s the age I was when first exposed to Aliens, I didn’t want to write about Marines or anyone who seems like they could stand up to the xenomorphs. Kids lack power — they lack agency. I wanted to throw this boy into extraordinarily scary and difficult circumstances and force him to navigate it. And not tell it from the parent’s perspective, but the kid’s.”
You can pre-order this comic at your local comic book store…
SEA OF SORROWS AUDIBLE DRAMA SCHEDULE TO BE RELEASE 26TH APRIL 2018
- Alien: Sea of Sorrows An Audible Original Drama By: James A. Moore, Dirk Maggs Narrated by: John Chancer, Stockard Channing, Walles Hamonde, Laurel Lefkow Series: Alien, Book 5 Length: Original Recording Release date: 26-04-2018 Language: English Publisher: Audible Studios
And finally the Sea of Sorrows book is getting a full audio drama release as well:
You can preorder or buy it here on the day.
SOMETHING IS COMING THIS ALIEN DAY 26.04.2018
Concept Artists Dane Hallett & Matt Hatton have dropped teasers for the much anticipated Alien Day.
In Australia, the date is written Day.Month.Year which is why the date varies from 4/26.
7 months ago Dane asked if anyone would be interested in an art book full of organisms, with a resounding yes and some months past, I suspect there will be some sort of concept art book to be released.
Even during Easter weekend, Matt Hatton got in on the teasers as well, to my delight.
For now, we can only hope and wait, and if you tune into my live stream and podcast release on Alien Day you may be able to hear as well 😉
ALIEN GAME NEWS
Fox Next Games is expected to release news on their Online Alien Shooter, but Cold Iron Studios had only been given the task of creating the game earlier this year according to Venture Beat.
In my experience, it will take much longer for a well structured and detailed game to be created, depending on the scope of Fox Next Games and Cold Iron Studios vision.
With veterans from the gaming industry with experience from games such as Metroid Prime 3 and Bio Shock Infinite, there is much anticipation this Alien Day for some news.
FoxNext Games president Aaron Loeb had said in a statement. “I am a personal fan of Cold Iron’s previous work and all of us at FoxNext Games are thrilled to be working with them as they create an action-packed persistent world, steeped in the mysteries of this beloved Alien universe.”
More information here…
Alien: Descent VR immersive survival game available on location Orange County, California
Alien: OFF WORLD Colony Simulator available on Amazon Alexa
Fellow blogger Xenomorphing and Perfect Organism Podcast member, has made a prediction for Alien Day, he thinks the Alien movies will be remastered in 4K for release. What do you think?
4K remaster and re-release of all movies suspected as 20th Century Fox keep releasing HD trailers…
Alien and Aliens TM & © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
*This page will be updated regularly for Official Alien Day news. Go to https://www.alienuniverse.com/post/alien-day-2018-announcement for all up to date Official Alien Day Announcements
As part of our creatives series, Wayne Haag answers some questions on Science fiction and fantasy, also giving us some insight into his work.
Clara Fei-Fei: My first encounter with your work was for The Fifth Element (which I LOVE). I always wondered what sort of design requirements did you have to meet for the movie? Did you speak to Luc Besson about what he wanted?
Wayne Haag: As a matte painter I didn’t have to meet any design requirements, that was all taken care of by the concept designers.. who were Jean-Claude Mézières and Moebius, among others. I just had to paint to their designs. Within the scope of the matte painting itself, there are mini design problems or choices and those I discussed with my supervisors and Luc a few times for the various matte painting shots I worked on.
CF: What’s your favourite Scifi movie?
WH: Alien with Empire Strikes Back a very very close second. I know Star Wars isn’t strictly science fiction, more fantasy but for me, it’s about a sense of wonder and they both have it. I still have every Marvel Star Wars comic btw.
CF: Wow awesome! And who is your favourite character from any Scifi movie/comic/game?
Favourite character… I don’t have a favourite actually… If pushed I’d have to say Luke Skywalker, he’s the archetypal hero we all relate to.
CF: If you could enhance your body using robotics, what abilities would you choose?
WH: Eyes… Mine are going! Visibility into a much larger part of the EM spectrum – IR, UV, X-ray etc, zoom capability, heads-up display – data overlay, distance measurement, image capture…
CF: What inspired you to pursue work in concept art? For anyone wanting to pursue the same line of work, where do you suggest they start?
WH: I had always wanted to be an artist, always wanted to make images. It was never an option to not be an artist. This has encompassed professional photography, matte painting, illustration for publishing, concept art, mural painting, oil painting. Start drawing and painting, nothing more to it than that. Learn what you need to be a competent illustrator and the rest will follow.
CF: Could you give me an idea of what it’s like during production? What sort of guidelines you are given and what’s your average turn around time for the work you have done?
WH: That’s a large question. Every production is different, the vibe is different, some are relaxed some are stressful. It’s why I prefer to work from home mostly. Gigs like Alien you have to be there every day in house which is fine, can’t be a hermit all the time! Guidelines are simple – make this scene/shot look awesome – There’s the script, here’s the director’s brief now paint something that fulfils that brief. Don’t care how you do it, just get there.
Turn around time can vary from several (6 to 8) quick paintings in an afternoon to an evolving painting over several weeks. Not continuous of course, but bigger paintings I might have 3 or 4 days, it may sit around for a bit when you finally get feedback and you jump back onto that painting and off it goes into the cycle again. Some finish quickly and get approved just as quickly and you never see it again. Some hang around like bad smells!
CF: What is your favourite piece you ever created?
WH: One of my oil paintings, titled Sky Burial #2. It encapsulated everything I love about sci-fi, sense of wonder, mystery, story, history, spaceship wrecks, the desert.
CF: What variant of the Xenomorph is your favourite?
WH: The original.. because you didn’t see much of it. It was the implied cold-blooded violence that was scary, not so much the beast itself – which was scary as hell in its own right, I just preferred the implicit horror.
CF: I really loved Daniels cabin in the Covenant, what work did you do on that?
WH: The design for Daniel’s cabin evolved quite a lot for many months. A couple of concept artists had started the process, set designers etc, all working towards the final. My contribution was to bring the design language in from the other interior sets Steve Burg had designed and made it feel more modular like you would find on a ship. Then it was a matter of painting a couple of frames that illustrated the lighting and mood, which is my main area of interest.
CF: I read that the white room is inspired by 2001, what aspects of the movie did you consider when creating this set?
WH: Firstly, no one concept artists create ‘the set’, it really is an army of people that have some contribution at some point along the way, from top to bottom. The overall layout was inspired by a physical location in Sydney that they wanted to use but could not, so the decision was made to build the set at Fox. I had plans for the location and built that in 3D to scale. Then as I mentioned above, I paint the scene up for lighting, mood and composition, ie. camera position and lens choice. (which was used by Ridley on the day of the shoot).
No references to 2001 were used, not by me anyway. I approach each painting/set as a real place and try to work out how I would shoot it if I were really there, what kind of lighting situation, time of day, weather, season etc etc. Unless the director specifically references another movie, I go with my own references and ideas that I think to fulfil the script/story.
CF: What work did you do on the mothership in The Crossing and Alien: Covenant? What other aspects of the engineer city did you work on?
WH: I didn’t do any design work on the Mother Juggernaut, that was all Steve Messing. As we all have access to the 3D resources, I used the model he built simply as a prop within the greater scene. Again, setting up composition, lighting, mood. Although I did build the city and surrounds in 3D as one big model to scale so that everyone could see how shots would look if you were standing in the plaza. The 3D allows me to place human figures in the correct relative scale to a known real-world camera and the renders provide a basis with which to paint on.
My model of the plaza was based on Steve Messing’s original plaza layout. As the set designers finalised buildings and sets, I would incorporate them into my huge Maya file, kind of like a master file. Then I’d place 3D cameras around matching pov’s Ridley wanted.
Like all film designs, they grow, evolve and change. The final city you see in the film is quite a bit different from the city I built, so the VFX guys had further developed the city layout as per Ridley’s ongoing massaging.
CF: What was the inspiration for the shower scene?
WH: T&A as far as I can tell…
CF: Do you have a list of the art pieces you infused into the movie?
WH: Not really, when you’re working on a film you don’t have time to immerse yourself in the art references and meaning, least I don’t anyway. All art choices are Ridley’s, I just create the scene as if it were really there and I shot it with a camera. The decision to not use the Francis Bacon triptych in the white room was solely due to licensing costs, nothing more than that. The Bacon estate wanted too much money. The Bugatti chair was also a licensed design and the prop was to be destroyed in front of lawyers once shooting wrapped.
CF: What pieces of yours made it the final film? Was there anything that didn’t?
WH: What pieces had an influence you should ask, concept art never makes it into the film per se, it is a tool for solving creative visual, technical, financial problems. How will this set look? How big will it be? How much VFX will be needed for that shot, how will the DP light the set etc?
It’s an internal document that hopefully answers the director’s, art director’s and production designer’s questions. If not, try something else, or remove things from the artwork. For example, I had two statues out front of the Cathedral and was asked to remove them from the piece. If that artwork had been disseminated throughout the production, someone may have assumed those statues were to be made and start spending money making them!
There are several paintings I did that you can see as shots in the film, they aren’t exact, but the overall compositions had been faithfully translated.
CF: What would you say has been your favourite project to work on?
WH: Fifth Element, The Wolverine, Alien Covenant, three best projects of my career.
CF: What is it like working on a large scale production such as Alien compared to smaller scale ones?
WH: Depends on who you’re working with and answering to directly, i.e. production designer. Some large-scale projects are overly corporate and anal, smaller ones are creatively easy going. It can also be the reverse too! Alien was super creative, very easy going (hard work, long hours but no BS!). Great people all around. Some tv commercial gigs can be a giant PITA, some smaller directors can sometimes want to prove themselves by having too much attitude and want to override your ideas, big directors like Ridley don’t have those insecurities and are therefore great to work with.
CF: Congratulations on winning the award for your work on Alien: Covenant.
WH: Thank you!
CF: Is there anything you are working on currently?
WH: I just finished working on a pitch project for Pixar and as I write this, doing concepts for a Chinese comedy film shot here in Australia.
CF: In future what sort of opportunities would you like to be involved in?
WH: Well I currently work freelance, for the most part, I teach part-time (at Production Art Department PAD http://www.productionartdepartment.com ), I’m starting to put out video tutorials of how to paint etc and I need to get my arse into gear and get back to oil painting my own project. As far as the future is concerned, I’d like more time to paint my own work.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, I look forward to having you on Yutani Podcast soon.
Ripley: Ash, can you hear me? [slams her hands down on the table]
Ash: [awakens and starts speaking in an electronic and distorted voice] Yes, I can hear you.
Ripley: What was your special order?
Ash: You read it. I thought it was clear.
Ripley: What was it?
Ash: Bring back life form. Priority One. All other priorities rescinded.
Parker: The damn company. What about our lives, you son of a bitch?
Ash: I repeat, all other priorities are rescinded.
Ripley: How do we kill it, Ash? There’s gotta be a way of killing it. How? How do we do it?
Ash: You can’t.
Parker: That’s bullshit.
Ash: You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
Lambert: You admire it.
Ash: I admire its purity. A survivor… unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.
Parker: Look, I am… I’ve heard enough of this, and I’m asking you to pull the plug. [Ripley goes to disconnect Ash, who interrupts]
Ash: Last word.
Ash: I can’t lie to you about your chances, but… you have my sympathies.
The admiration Ash has for the Xenomorph is the same that David has for his romantic hero T.E Lawrence.
In the beginning, Lawrence was an island, out of place in the army because he was an educated man. People did not see him as their equal, much like David. His intelligence set him apart from the rest and they often mocked him for showing it off.
“You know, Burke, I don’t know which species is worse. You don’t see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.” – Lt Ellen Ripley, Aliens 1986
Both had to prove their worth by travelling through the desert, and through those trials and tribulations, their beliefs were challenged. In the beginning, Lawrence denounces the murder of his guide and boldly says he would not be friends with a killer, by the end of the movie he was responsible for more than one death directly and lead an army to slaughter many in the name of revenge, doesn’t that sound familiar?
David’s revenge against the Engineers and his judgement of them leaves a trail of destruction. As does his reverse engineered creation, the Xenomorph (I have drawn similarities to in my analysis of the Punishment of Thieves – The Crossing Part VI ). The Xenomorph lifecycle makes a killer out of their friends, the unwitting host. An alien emerges from their comrades and consumes them with violent delight.
David and Lawrence are altered by their experience and observation of mankind and ultimately both of them viewed the human race and as greedy, violent and cruel, just as the Gods did in Das Rheingold.
Lawrence and David are survivors who are unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality. They kill their friend and guide, they kill their adoptive ‘children’, they go against any morals to achieve their ultimate goal and will stop at nothing to get the task done.
But for Lawrence his suffering is palpable, he sheds more than a solitary tear when he has to do these awful things, and in all of it, he thinks he is doing the right thing by the Arab people. David, in this case, is different, although we learn he can indeed feel it’s a credit of his programming in which Sir Peter Weyland has allowed him free will, his agency becomes the driving force in his journey from created to the creator. He is aware that he has done unimaginably cruel things, although showing emotion he lacks a soul, a conscience by which a man could judge himself. He is aware that he is doing bad things but like Lawrence, he sees it as a necessity.
David becomes like the Xenomorph and Lawrence, a survivor… unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality. Because what they admire, they are also themselves.
Giger’s alien was a reflection of humanity’s darkness, the pure, primordial desires and impulses buried within the deepest pits of our inner selves. Looking at the harsh realities of war, we can see how easily humans succumb to their primal instincts. In the havoc and mayhem, we become animals, predators.
Throughout human history there have been countless travesties, many of them laced with a blatant disregard for human life, with destruction, pillaging, and violent rape, even necrophilia. The xenomorph is an animal, lacking the sentience to understand the destruction it causes.
We, as members of the human race, don’t have that excuse. We do have a conscience, we make judgements on morality. Yet we have committed the same heinous acts as the xenomorph— to each other, billions of times over. If we call the alien a monster because it does not have a choice in how it acts, does that mean that we are more loathsome than it because we understand the choices we make? – Father of the Alien Xenomorph
In the David 8 Commercial, he responds to this Rorschach Test Card as Angel
As you can see from overlaying the card with colours inverted over the headroom mural from Prometheus you can see the Facehuggers, Chestbursters, Ovomorph, Trilobite, Hammerpede, Deacon and Xenomorph Queen highlighted.
What I found out is that this mural was initially created as a homage to H.R.Giger, created out of a few assets lying around and served as prime inspiration for Prometheus.
But between that time and the creation of the David 8 commercial, someone had made the Rorschach Angel card design correspond with the mural, putting it into David’s synthetic subconscious.
I think that it’s pretty cool that big things have small beginnings
It was late last evening when Carlos Huante had shared some concept art on instagram, which he stated was for a movie that never got made.
Here are the images:
These pieces are beautiful, but the style would suit a sequel to Prometheus, rather than Neil Blomkamp’s shelved Alien movie.
For unknown reasons his pieces are no longer available on his instagram, which makes me wonder if Disney are in the process of weighing up which direction to go in. Since Khang Le’s Prometheus 2 concept art was also pulled from access.
I guess we will have to wait and see.
The topic of today’s podcast is what we think will happen in Alien Awakening, I am joined by Courtney Coulson from Prometheus by Minute. We spend an hour discussing all the possibilities for Alien Awakening and go off on many tangents(so please be patient).
-WARNING SPOILERS- We have conversations about Westworld and Ex-Machina and the robots featured.
Here are some of your thoughts on what may happen in the next movie:
“As much as I would love to see a sequel to Alien Covenant, I worry that, because of the poorer performance at the box office compared to Prometheus, Covenant did not give the higher-ups confidence in making these Alien films. Mercifully, they will let Scott finish off David’s arc with one last, final film.
That being said, examining what we think will happen should there be a sequel is still worth exploring. David is the obvious focus of these stories – his creation, what he believes in, how he goes about it, and his motivations all drive the prequels and serve as a vessel for the ideas these movies wish to examine. David’s ultimate fate must be shown or hinted at in the next movie. The implications at the end of Covenant invite us to think he will develop many more Xenomorphs – truly, something worthy of the poster for Covenant itself.
David’s ultimate fate could be ironic: he dies at the hand of his creation he thought he had under his control, foolishly following in the steps of the one he hated, Peter Weyland. Thinking himself a God, untouchable, only to die to his creation. Perhaps similar to how the Queen cuts Bishop in half in Aliens.
It could also be (and the way I prefer) that David is ultimately victorious and knows it. He is defeated at the hands of the Engineers, or the humans sent after him. Defeated by outside forces, the victors torch the newly created species and assume all is won. However, David had contingency plans – eggs left in key places, an Engineer ship stocked full of them, headed to Earth after the defeat of David. The Engineers wipe out the true menace that is David and his aliens, and head to Earth to finish what they start again… but this time the ship and its’ pilot are infected and become the Space Jockey. David’s queen and his species live on. Something like that.
As long as the next Alien prequel contains the same level of philosophical, challenging concepts giving the entire series a deeper meaning that simply was not there before, I could be happy with most stories they come up with. Action on the same level of Covenant would be ideal; I would rather not see another movie similar to Aliens. That has been done and the pop culture around it is overwhelming in its’ strength and the fervour with which people enjoy it.
Ultimately, give me a conclusion worthy of David’s character because David is a movie villain we rarely see these days; one that has interesting motivations has the stuff to do in the film and wins in the end despite everyone’s attempts to stop them. I do not agree with David… but I do understand him. He is relate-able, and that is what makes him so terrifying, just as the sexual nature of the Xenomorph makes it so horrifying. It is familiar. There are Davids in the world today, serial killers and dangerous creators. The Alien franchise is all too real in these aspects.” – Mike Andrews
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