Prometheus: Alternate Fifield mutant

leading from
Fifield Monster

alternate Fifield mutant
a) Initial Explorations
Weta Digital generated a digital Fifield with elongated limbs and an engorged , translucent head incorporating a semblance of Sean Harris' face to mutate the crew member character beyond what was possible using practical effects. Before the shoot Weta developed digital creature concepts. Ridley wanted a shot where Fifield's knees broke backwards and for him to move in an aggressive predatory manner, so they did animation tests of an embryonic looking creature that had sinister animal motion. They studied references of gorillas, cats such as cheetahs, and even crabs. Ridley was very interested in this and especially liked some footage of a baboon attacking a person at a zoo.. During the actual shoot, Ridley started leaning toward an in-camera trick effect with the actual actor, so they took the design of this embryotic creature closer to the human form.


alternate Fifield mutant
b) Weta develop Fifield beast
Weta modeled the creature with a glassy head embedded with a withered likeness of Sean Harris. 

The idea was that it was as if a glass exoskeleton was forming around him, and as the design evolved, they made the inner head more visible so that it could articulate with facial expressions. 

(source Blu-ray.com forum user CRS through AVPGalaxy.net)
c) Leaning towards a much more human Fifield
Ridley wanted to be able to see the actor's rage and violence within the embryonic bubble forming around him. They filmed the actor in make up and also shot clear plates, to show the insertion of the digital characters if required because there was the continuing thought he could be replaced by this CG version. During the shoot, Ridley started to lean more towards an in-camera effect with the actor, so they took this embryonic creature closer to human form. As the design evolved, they clothed it in a simulation of Fifield's space suit, torn and covered in oil. The thing became a lot more humanoid, but distorted and long limbed, and it moved with a gorilla-type motion, very aggressive and walking on its knuckles. 

(source Blu-ray.com forum user CRS through AVPGalaxy.net)

d) The Head Bubble
The idea of the bubble forming around Fifield's head was that it was an exoskeleton forming around him and so this was like a baby's skull with plates not fused or fully formed. As the design evolved, they made the inner head more visible and so it could articulate with facial expressions

alternate Fifield mutant later released online by Cinefec, August 27th, 2012
e) The Cut Opportunity
However as the weeks went on they started to think "Well maybe it's better if it's an acting thing", so the CGI version of Fifield was put to the side and Sean Harris in makeup was used. Mike Cozens and the animation team relished the opportunity to animate a maniac humanoid on the loose, animating a psychopath that carries out acts of R-18 violence was an unusual thing for them, especially we scenes of him bursting with spraying blood, being set on fire and being run over by a truck, and he still wouldn't die.  But this work would not show up in the final film although it would be seen in the Blu-Ray release of the film.

(source Blu-ray.com forum user CRS through AVPGalaxy.net)
f) Carlos Huante's response
The designer Carlos Huante observed the out takes from Prometheus, he loved the performance of the ape version of Fifield but the actual seemed more like an ape, but not right for the movie. 

source quotes
  1. To mutate the crewman beyond what was possible using practical effects, Weta Digital generated a digital Fifield with elongated limbs and an engorged, translucent head incorporating a semblance of Sean Harris' face. (Cinefex 130, p48)
  2. Weta developed digital creature concepts prior to the shoot. Cinefex 130, p51-52)
  3. Martin Hill: We did animation tests of an embryotic- looking creature that had sinister animal motion. We studied reference of cats, gorillas, even crabs; and Ridley was quite into that. During the shoot, he started leaning toward an in-camera trick effect with the actor, so we took the design of this embryotic creature closer to the human form.  (Cinefex 130, p52)
  4. Weta modeled the creature with a glassy head embedded with a withered likeness of Sean Harris. Cinefex 130, p52)
  5. Martin Hill: It was like an exoskeleton forming around him. As the design evolved, we made the inner head more visible, so it could articulate with facial expressions, and we clothed it in a simulation of Fifield's spacesuit,  torn and covered in oil. It became a lot more humanoid, but distorted and long limbed, and it moved with gorilla-type motion - very aggressive, walking on its knuckles. (Cinefex 130, p52)
  6. Weta modeled the creature with a glassy head embedded with a withered likeness of Sean Harris 
  7. Techniques remained in flux during the shoot "Ridley didn't want a 'monster'- and if he did a monster, he didn't want to show it much. We shot the scene both ways, with makeup and clean plates, knowing that Sean Harris might get replaced by a CG version. (CINEFEX 130, p51)
  8. MUTATED FIFIELD
    Another fantastic alien mutation, which required a digital character to be built, was Fifield, with his elongated limbs and engorged head, "Ridley wanted to be able to see the actor's rage and violence within the embryonic bubble forming around him, " explained Martin Hill, "they filmed the actor in makeup and also shot clear plates, to show the insertion of the digital characters if required. During the shoot Ridley started leaning more towards an in-camera effect with the actor, so we took the design of this embryonic creature closer to human form. " Weta built a fully CG version of the actor that could be seen inside a goldfish bowl-shaped head, through layers of tissue and sinews. The outer head was like a baby's skull, with plates not fused or fully formed. As Hill clarified, "it was like an exoskeleton forming around him. As the design evolved, we made the inner head more visible, so it could articulate with facial expressions."

    The team at Weta explored ways of making Fifield move, Hill recalls, "Ridley wanted a shot where his knees broke backwards and for him to movie in an aggressive, predatory manner. We studied reference of cheetahs, gorillas and even crabs. Ridley especially liked some footage of a baboon attacking a person at a zoo.

    Mike Cozens and the animation team relished the opportunity to animate a maniac humanoid on the loose. Iit's always fun to animate a psychopath. You don't often get to do R-18 levels of violence with an animated character. ' Adding to this sentiment, Hill reflects "The fun thing about Fifield was that we got to be completely over the top. We shot him multiple times, we showed him bursting with spraying blood, we set him on fire, we ran him over with a truck twice and he still wouldn't die."Alas, the CG version of Fifield did not make it into the theatrical release but find its way onto the Blu-ray release. (The Art of Film Magic, 20 Years of Weta. )
  9. Sean Harris: Originally it was gonna be a CGI thing. It wasn't gonna be me at all. But as the weeks went on, we started to think "Well maybe it's better if it's an acting thing" So we started to do some tests, just physical work and erm,  we filmed some stuff. Ridley saw it and kind of liked it. (Furious Gods: Demons In The Dark: Creature Design)
  10. Carlos Huante: I saw all the outtakes as well and loved the performance of the ape version of Fiflield but the actual creature wasn’t Alien or Prometheus it was an ape… It looked great though, but it wasn’t for this movie. (Carlos Huante's interview for AVPGalaxy conducted by Jaime Praeter/ ThisBethesdaSea)
Another alternate Fifield mutant (Prometheus: The art of the film, p135)
Martin Rezard working on the other alternate Fifield mutant (Prometheus: The art of the film, p135)

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