Perfect Organism podcast no.75, Section dealing with "ADI's interaction with Giger during Alien 3" transcript

Jaime Praeter: Giger's involvement with Alien 3, I know there's a lot of history about that. We have various questions because we know that Giger wasn't included on the credits of course which is

Alec Gillis: He was included in the credits very specifically

Jaime Praeter: And in the first

Alec Gillis: The film

Jaime Praeter:The first time

Alec Gillis: In the film, yeah

Jaime Praeter: Because I mean, we were there

Alec Gillis:
We were very specific, by the way, I'd love to talk about this because Cinef, er what was it, Cinefa, what was the name of that er magazine, Fred, Frederick Clark's magazine

Tom Woodruff: Cinefantastique

Alec Gillis: Cinefantastique did a real hatchet job on us and our relationship with Giger which was fine up to a certain point, and it's unfortunate because that's the historical piece that people pull up, go back and read

Jaime Praeter: And they say "Screw these guys!"

Alec Gillis: Yeah, there was, there was even a video of a girl online "Tom Woodruff," no, what's'e saying "Tom Gillis and Alex Woodruff Jr should be put in jail because they claim to have to have designed the Alien, " we never did. In fact, the the credit that we insisted upon out of respect for Giger, and we don't control Giger's credits, that was up to him to negotiate, but we said "For us, make sure you say Alien effects created by..." because there's a difference between an Alien effect" and "Original Alien design by..." that's the credit that Giger got, as I recall

Tom Woodruff: And I, and I would go further because I was going back and forth, we were fighting to get our credit, an up front credit on this film and and basically the uh, the time our lawyer said "well they're not going to give it to you" so this went on my own and I had to dig up, I had to show them "Look, Stan Winston had a credit, and and this is the level of movie, and at that point, that's when I told them that that Gi... not only should ours say "Alien Effects" because we're not claiming to have invented the Alien, but in addition to make it clear, make sure Giger has a credit up front that says "Original Alien Design" because again like Alec said, we don't know what Giger's involvement was in doing his own deal. Everything we knew, going back to Aliens was that production was hands off at that point with anything to do with Giger, um, I. He wasn't involved in any of the design and he wasn't, he was doing work at the very beginning of Alien 3

Alec Gillis: But sorry

Tom Woodruff: But he wasn't, he wasn't brought in in a capacity to design stuff that we were, that we were building. In fact, it ultimately, er er, Fincher had us just doing our own designs, and it, it was just, it was not clear, it was not made clear, no clarity with Giger that while he was doing his design which we would have loved to have seen first hand but Fox said, "No, you guys, you can't go over, you can't have any contact with Giger." Well, we had a couple of phonecalls but erm, that they didn't know about, but it was, you know his, his feeling was that he was being kept out of the picture and from my limited perspective, I don't disagree with that. There was not a lot of information going back and forth.

Alec Gillis: And and and and, for the record, we think Giger is, you know, if you're going to put a, you know, if you're going to choose three people who are geniuses, absolute game changing geniuses of creature effects, Giger has definitely got a spot there, because the guy came at design from a completely different angle that anybody else did on the first film and I was a fan of his stuff back on you know, Brain Salad Surgery and all those and all those old albums cover works, I, I didn't know him by name but I knew his work and when Alien came out, I was like "That's that guy. That.. Who is this guy?" right. So, I get chills now when i think that we were told "You're going to be doing Alien 3" and we're talking to Giger, because we tried to convince Stan and Jim Cameron to bring Giger in on Aliens and and Jim was like "No, no, this is my deal. This is, I want, I want my own movie, I love Giger but this is going to be my thing," and Jim designed the queen, right and you can't argue with that because that's an absolutely gorgeous creature as well. So for us, we were like, "Oh, good, we're going to get to work with Giger, that's going to be a trippy experience, because he's a genius" and then we discover he wont leave, er, erm, Switzerland, he's going to stay in his house, and we're like "Okay, that's, okay then that's that kind of takes sculpture out of the arena, he's not going to be sculpting. It's not going to be practical to move sculptures back and forth" so we guess he's going to be doing airbrushings and we're going to see some of that stuff, and what we were getting was Fincher showing, Fincher pinning up faxes. Giger was drawing in ball point pen and I think some of those have been out, I've seen, but Fincher, it was back in the day when you had those roles of faxes like hot whatever it was, but he would pin those up and he would, and Fincher would candidly say with us, "here's what I like about this and here's what I don't like. Don't do that, don't do that, don't do that" and I think the thing that really, the thing that really survived the most in terms of the design, things that we made, was purely, more purely Giger, was the bambi burster in the first iteration of the directors cut, the first version

Tom Woodruff: Big long gangly legs

Alex Gillis: Gangly legs, big bulbous head, and it's pretty much what Giger drew and that's what we did. Where the the the the bifurcation started was that um, Fincher would show us what Giger was doing of the Alien warrior and say I'm not crazy about this, his his, I, he's going off, he's doing what he did with Ridley Scott, Giger is doing what he did with Ridley Scott which was to provide tons of ideas, all this, you know, brilliant insanity, and Ridley would kind of corral him right,  so , I think, I think, that is what Giger expected, from what I've read about Giger, that's what he thought this relationship with David Fincher was going to be, but he never had to leave his house, you know, and when it didn't turn out that way for various reasons, some of which Tom alluded to, which was the studio going "yeah yeah" and all that, erm, you know and and we like this, we don't like that, it, then at some Giger decided we were the culprits because he had a great relationship with Fincher, but Giger was not, he was not a, kind of a like a, he was a fine artist, he was a genius fine artist, and you either took what he did and used it, as Ridley Scott did, but he's not really the kind of guy where you go "You know what. do this, do that and change it" we are, because we're crafts people, and and in that case, we don't consider ourselves Fine Artists. We are the guys who go "What do you want? How can we help" You know, we're team players, you know, we're blah blah blah, so that's what we were doing, we were following that and all, and I think Giger, at least from what I read in in from some of these magazines had started thinking that um "Messrs, Misters Woodruff and Gillis must have put a worm in um, in Fincher's ear" and we were like 'What? We only talked to him three times on the phone, two or three times, and it was great", and now we're going like "What? What exactly happened?" And then we were, we were just as surprised as anybody in the, I think it was a Cinefantastique Article where it showed him signing er er sending something to Fox with a pentagram, well like this is er why the studio is afraid of you, right,

Tom Woodruff: [Giggle]

Alex Gillis: Because they don't understand, they're not like us, we would look at that and go "Wooh! Fucking Giger sent me a letter with a pentagram on it. This is awesome! And we would try to, you know, we would use that in a positive way." Send that to a lawyer. What happens? You know, so, I, I, I've,, we've always felt bad for Giger, I'\ve always felt that there was a bunch of miscommunications. His relationship with us, you know, never really existed, so it didn't really matter if he didn't like us ultimately, or thought we had done him wrong or anything because we weren't really players on the scene, I felt bad for him that he that he cut, that he felt that he was cut out of the loop by the studio and , and then, and then we can talk about the inclusion, Oscar inclusion is what was a big deal with him I think, er, because the rules did not erm, you know, favour him, the Oscar rules don't don't, did not favour him, I think he was upset about that.

Jaime Praeter: Anyway and there was that sculpture that he did that's on the wall in his.. which is of this beautiful beautiful.

Alex Gillis: Mmhmm

Jaime Praeter: Beautiful

Alex Gillis: The Sphinx

Jaime Praeter:  Yeah, um, and the question was posed, erm, was there a time wen like you know we're not going to do this design, we're going to take some of those ideas, because you guys did do the lips, you know, they're similar the way the legs look on the puppet was similar, but what there a time when like, you can't really do this specifically, so we're going to have to do a version  of it, or was that always the a... the case

Tom Woodruff: It was always, it was always the case,

Jaime Praeter:

Tom Woodruff: it was always the case of of Fincher, who, in a, in our work ethic, everything goes through the director, so Fincher you know, in in in pointing out what he liked and what he didn't like, the first time I ever heard of, of the alien having lips was when Fincher said "Give it lips, give it, give it these beautiful gorgeous" er, erm " lips"

Alec Gillis:
Michele Pfeiffer

Tom Woodruff: Michele Pfeiffer's lips, and and we thought, first of all I remember thinking, Fincher's funny, is, wait does he really mean Michele Pfeiffer, but you get the point, right, and the erm, the er, the er, the er, the way the leg was, was built and was articulated from our end, it was, you know,  Fincher, saying I want this thing to move fast like, think of it like a leopard, you know, running round, so. That means it's going to have a different leg configuration and there's only so many leg configurations so, the idea that that we looked at Giger's art and and took things is not accurate, it's like like, we and Fincher looked at Giger's art and Fincher said "You know" we want this, but I don't want this, i don't want this, I don't want this. but I don't know that, I don't know what Fincher didn't have separate conversations with Giger anyway, you know, being the director and and and wanting to have his own David Fincher film, erm, I would think that the he would have been very specific. I know that we also were invited by Giger to come see his sculpture, he sculpted in his basement, it was too big to move out of his house and that's again was when Fox, you know, just from the point of view of being a fan, right, to be, to have to have HR Giger invite you to his home in Zurich and see his art first hand and then to have to turn him down because of political reasons you know is really messed up. Erm, there's no way to get around it.

Jaime Praeter: Yuh, I remember, I don't know if it was a documentary that Charles De Lauzerika did, but I remember you, I remember you talking with him in that thing, he invited you over, but in that point in production, you guys just didn't have the time to go over

Alec Gillis: We didn't have the time and as Tom was saying, I remember there was a production manager going "You know what, erm, erm, things are a little strained with Giger right now, it would be better if you guys did not engage in, you know ", and we were like, "we don't know what that's about" but erm you know, it's, we were working for them so

Jaime Praeter: Yes,

Alec Gillis:
That's what we do.

Perfect Organism Podcast No75 cane be found at :

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