Yesterday, HN Entertainment spoke with creature/special effects guru Alec Gillis of Studio ADI, who has worked on films such as Aliens, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Alien vs Predator, Alien vs Predator: Requiem, and The Predator.
We recently posted a portion of Nick and CJ’s conversation with Alec about working on Alien 3 and now we’ve moved more into the realm of what-ifs with Gillis suggesting he’d love to see a third Alien vs Predator movie set off-world and wanting to get to sculpt a new wave of xenomorphs.
“I do think so, once again I grew up reading comic books but not necessarily the popular comic books I’ve got tons of titles nobody gives a crap about, Goldkey titles, Boris Karloff Presents, I love monster comics and war comics primarily, supernatural comics. But I did read some of the superhero stuff and I always liked the Superman: What If? stories, like what if Lois Lane stole Superman’s powers. And it doesn’t effect canon or any of that stuff, I think there’s a little bit too much preciousness in the Alien franchise, you know. I think it was healthy when Star Wars opened up and did like Rogue One was ‘A Star Wars Story’, I want to see more of those Star Wars stories. I actually want to see smaller Star Wars movies I want to see barely anything in a Star Wars movie just have some good action. Did you guys see The Ballad of Buster Scruggs? Why not a Star Wars movie like that? With four or five short stories..one is all Wookies with subtitles, stuff like that.”
“And how about that for the Alien world or how about that for the Predator world?… Let’s have some small ones let’s have some big ones, but I think there’s an economic incentive as studios want to knock everything out of the park and make a billion dollars, so they’re always trying to up the stakes and make things bigger and bigger. But I think there are places to go with Alien vs. Predator where you could still have your world of Prometheus going on. I tend not to say bring it to Earth, I was never a fan of aliens and predators fighting on Earth I think that’s just a can-of-worms. But both movies have been on Earth and I think the first one did a better job of keeping it isolated and justified.”
“But yeah, I’d love to be involved with those more and I’d really like to be able to sculpt new aliens for the film. On AVP 1, I think that movie was an $80 million movie and it looks like a $150 million movie partly because it was shot in Prague. Again, tax incentives. But there were budgetary restrictions. One of the things we had to do was use the molds from Resurrection for those suits and we changed things up at the director’s request. We changed the hands and we changed the paint scheme when back to black and silver metallic with some hard angles and lines on the paint scheme to crisp-up the look rather than that softer look.”
When we brought up the idea of the franchise movie into a streaming series or a television show, Alec had an idea focusing on the colony at Hadley’s Hope from Aliens.
“I think that’s a great idea, like let’s do a TV show that is based on Hadley’s Hope, why not, right? Take the first season people could be first arriving there building maybe they haven’t even found the alien ship until the end of the first season. What’s the story, you know? I just think that would be terrific and comic books have done stuff like that, novel have done it but for whatever reason when it comes to movies people are like ‘nope, it’s gotta be a $100 million movie’. Aliens was a $19 million movie and I don’t know what the adjusted dollars are it’s probably $40 million, maybe more, maybe $60 million but still there two hundred visual effects shots in Aliens and now every single shot in a movie is a visual effect shot. There are literally 10,000 shots. It just goes to show you that you can do something great with a little bit less if the lighting is good if the characters are memorable if you got cool practical effects. There’s another idea I just gave you.”
Keep an eye on HN Entertainment’s YouTube channel for the full interview with Alec as we’ll be spending the next couple of days posting some of the highlights on the website that were brought up in our fantastically entertaining and lengthy chat with Alec leading up to the full interview.
Alec Gillis is currently on various social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram, also consider following the official Studio ADI YouTube channel and Instagram account for some really amazing effects videos that the team over there posts on a regular basis. There might be a new Demolition Man video on the horizon, the channel and Alec’s social media accounts are totally worth checking out to get some excellent insight into the world of practical effects.