Origins of Carlos Huante's Babyhead

leading from
Babyhead
and
Carlos Huante 

drawing of the baby head by Carlos Huante posted on Facebook
a) An interesting concept that came to the surface in the Prometheus concept designs was Carlos Huante's Babyhead. It was a favourite amongs the production staff on the set.

Perhaps it also had a quality like Giger's Bambi Alien for Alien 3.

However his concept for a Baby Head creature came about much earlier and came to the surface during in his concept work for the Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds released in 2005.

Carlos really disliked the aliens in this War of the Worlds movie.

He couldn't understand the need to make these creatures tripodal, although he was content with the Martian fighting machines being this way.
 
Of course once it was brought to Ridley Scott's notice and he asked Carlos if they could use it for the film Prometheus, the concept was adapted for Prometheus with various changes made to the body

  1. Carlos Huante : The origin of the Beluga head came from this tripod War of the worlds version. I really disliked the aliens in War of the worlds.. I couldn’t understand the need to make the Aliens tripods.. the ships yes but yeah... Ridley liked this design so much he asked me to use it but then we never did.. they didn’t want the first film to have too many monsters.. a sentiment I did not agree with.. but of course it wasn’t my movie.. " (https://www.instagram.com/p/B0jxl_sA5q0/ July 31st 2019) 

War of the Worlds (2005) Shwa Babyhead concept by Carlos Huante.
b) My route to discovering this fact was when in the Prometheus Blu-ray set, I was introduced to the image when  I saw when I saw a sketch of the H R Giger's rendition of the Babyhead creature for Ridley Scott, and then later in the DVD I saw a picture of the "babyhead" beast on the wall in the studio that turned out to be by Carlos Huante.

I wondered which came first, Giger or Huante. It seemed likely though that Huante's image had been there before Giger's image was created. In Jaime Praeter/ThisBethesdaSea's interview with Carlos Huante for AVPGalaxy, it was revealed that the babyhead Shwa alien design already existed before Prometheus went into production and I wondered if this was from an earlier movie.

Later on May 14th 2013 I discovered the image on Carlo Huante's website the concept design for Babyhead Shwa as it was for War of the Worlds and finding the name of the production was the discovery.

 Lars Vader then on the 15th showed me the image of the Babyhead image as posted on Carlos Huante's website.




Carlos Huante's War of the Worlds Babyhead
Carlos Huante: "The origin of the Beluga head came from this tripod War of the worlds version. I really disliked the aliens in War of the worlds.. I couldn’t understand the need to make the Aliens tripods.. the ships yes but yeah... Ridley liked this design so much he asked me to use it but then we never did.. they didn’t want the first film to have too many monsters.. a sentiment I did not agree with.. but of course it wasn’t my movie.. " (https://www.instagram.com/p/B0jxl_sA5q0/ July 31st 2019)


Accompanying painting for Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds by Carlos Huante


Carlos Huante's Babyhead Shwa Alien concept for Prometheus

c) Carlos's beluga beast
Basically as Carlos understood, Ridley riffed of his idea for the alien creatures from the Spielberg  War of the Worlds, he liked its stance and how odd it was. This was supposed to be what the Fifield character becomes until they replaced it with the actor in makeup effects looking like what Carlos decided was Freddy Krueger. It was supposed to be this whitish embryo like alien beast which would have alluded to the idea that these were seemingly young and prehistoric versions of the final biomechanical creature from Alien.

He wanted them to look as innocent as a Beluga Whale, while being as beautiful and mesmerizing, but to be horrifically violent as well . But they went with a man in monster makeup and so there wasn't the contract that Carlos had thought about.

d)  Looking back at the War of the World's creature
When Spielberg's movie came out, many viewers were not overly keen on the alien invaders as new designs because the shape of their skulls and their insect like limbs reminded them too much Patrick Tatopoulos' designs for the alien occupants of the biomechanoid suits from Independence day, which were designed as stereotypical Grey type aliens so again we find the designs leading back to Tatopoulos' designs from the movie Independence Day which came out around the same time that Ridley Scott claimed to have the idea of the Space Jockey with its head being entirely a space suit.  Also on the War of the Worlds aliens, we also the placement of the extra set of arms on the War of the Worlds alien creature bring one to remember the small extra arms on James Cameron' alien queen from Aliens. 
Digital model of War of the Worlds (2005) alien
Digital model of War of the Worlds(2005) alien

e) ID4 alien clones?
To some degree the alien invaders in their war machines were just a replay of Independence Day's alien creatures in their bio-suits which themselves were humanoid suits a inspired by the Martian War Machines of War of the World, but neither film could bare to claim that their aliens were from Mars now that the place seems very much dead according to NASA's discoveries.



Concept art for the War of the Worlds (2005) alien occupants (by Carlos Huante?)
Aliens life form from Independence Day (1996) Click here to read about Patrick Tatopoulos'design
f) Further history of trilegged creatures
 However the tri-legs, one can take it either as directly assuming that the inhabitants build their war machines with three legs because they themselves had three legs or go back Nigel Kneales's film and TV series Quatermass and The Pit that happened to be a source of inspiration for Ridley Scott. In that story, the bodies of ancient Martian invaders had been discovered sealed up in a buried space capsule, which turned out to be insectoid about as small as these Martians but with three legs. In the original TV series they had three arms along with three legs, while in the film, they had two arms and three legs, but the writer of the series remained slightly unsure about where his need for the trilegged concept sprung from.


floating aliens bodies in preservation flasks from Independence Day (1996)
Tri-legged Martian from the TV series Quatermass and The Pit, 1958-59

  1. Carlos Huante: So we went really far-out, I mean honestly, some of the early ideas for the Engineers as giant whales, this is what Denis Villeneuve riffed-off of for the final alien in Arrival. Ridley riffed-off my idea for War of The Worlds aliens that he kind of brought in. He liked its stance and how odd it was. The Fifield character was supposed to be that thing but they turned it into Freddy Kruger. It was supposed to be this white kind of embryo looking alien creature which would have alluded to the fact that these were young and prehistoric looking versions of the final biomechanical, hard surfaced looking alien. That’s what the whole idea was behind the white and clean look. I wanted them to look as innocent as a Beluga Whale and as beautiful and mesmerizing but to be horrifically violent there was a contrast that was there. But instead, they went with hideous and horrific..yup so he’s a bad guy, well look at him, he’s a bad guy he’s a monster, yes that’s what he looks like. There was no contrast anymore.
    (https://hnentertainment.co/exclusive-creature-designer-carlos-huante-says-original-prometheus-script-was-similar-to-aliens-with-an-army-group-and-talks-early-concepts-for-the-engineers-ultramorph/)
  2. Carlos Huante: Even in the first Alien film when you see the alien come up when Bret is looking for the cat and he turns around and you see the head looking pointed-down and then rises up. When I first saw that with absolutely no reference to anything like everyone else does now they grow up knowing all this stuff, we didn’t have that. When I saw that I was 14 and I saw that head rise up and I’m looking at thing ‘What the hell is that?" It’s beautiful and horrific at the same time. I didn’t know what the hell I was looking at. It was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen’. That’s what I was trying to do but make them even more beautiful and more benign looking that they would be albino like a Beluga Whale in the ocean, that vibe. I wanted that for the alien variants but they screwed that up.
    (https://hnentertainment.co/exclusive-creature-designer-carlos-huante-says-original-prometheus-script-was-similar-to-aliens-with-an-army-group-and-talks-early-concepts-for-the-engineers-ultramorph/)
  3. Carlos Huante: The origin of the Beluga head came from this tripod War of the worlds version. I really disliked the aliens in War of the worlds.. I couldn’t understand the need to make the Aliens tripods.. the ships yes but yeah... Ridley liked this design so much he asked me to use it but then we never did.. they didn’t want the first film to have too many monsters.. a sentiment I did not agree with.. but of course it wasn’t my movie..  (https://www.instagram.com/p/B0jxl_sA5q0/ July 31st 2019)

2 comments:

  1. The WOTW Alien concept art definitely looks like Huante's style to me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe the Blu-ray of War of the Worlds will have images clear enough to show his signature, then the information will be grounded

    ReplyDelete