ID4: The Creature within

leading from

concept art by Patrick Tatopoulos
a) Alien pearl within an oyster shell
The first image of what we find the aliens in the film are not what we think they typically look like and later we discover in a surprise that they're exactly how we think they should be. They disguised them first in an organic shell that was an exoskeleton and it would give the creatures a colossal force and slowly the shell like an oyster would open to reveal its pearl, its occupants true appearance, semi humanoid beings who were physically frail. And so the small frail alien inside would be travelling in a suit which is now an organic being in its own right. And so both of Tatopoulos' concepts appear in the film.  

Tatopoulos prepares the alien for a scene in the Area 51 Laboratory
(source:S.F.X magazine #34 (UK Version) Jan1998, p86)
b) The relationship between the suit and the creature inside
When the suit comes off, the creatures are vulnerable, and its only the suit that makes them physically dangerous, while these creatures inside that are small are acting as the brain need to be protected. However, their arms and legs don't fit into the arms and legs of the suit, the whole creature folds with its arms and legs into the head of the suit. In the film, there's a scene where they open up the suit and find the alien sealed up in something near enough as a foetus in its own birth sack.  

Independence Day alien coming out from inside the suit 
(source Internet)

c) Small alien's head shaped like its attacker craft 
When he came to designing the head of the small creature within, because he had been designing the extra-terrestrial attacker aircrafts and motherships, without meaning to do it, he realised that the shape of the head of the alien creature was also the shape of its attacker aircraft and this sort of thing came instinctively

alien attacker craft
bodies aliens in of Independence Day preserved floating in tubes
concept drawings for the extra-terrestrial invaders 
(source: SFX Octobre 1996, p30)
 maquette of an extra-terrestrial invader (source: SFX Octobre 1996, p30)
 alien maquette ( source: ID4 Blu-ray)

A urethane rod and cable puppet of the invading alien species 
from Independence Day (20th Century Fox, 1996). This 14-inch-tall 
puppet is mounted on a brass rod with cables being fed through into the 
torso and limbs. Likely used in scenes showing the nuclear missile being 
fired into the heart of the mothership by Captain Hiller, played by 
Will Smith, and David Levinson, played by Jeff Goldblum. The 
puppet shows signs of production wear and age. Accompanied by a 
copy of  the film. Length, 39 inches  (source:
plan for marionette of the alien suit by Patrick Tatopoulos 
(source: SFX Octobre 1996, p30)

 source quotes
  1. Patrick Tatopoulos: It was Roland's idea to put one creature inside the other. They have a biomechanical suit. The suit comes off and they're vulnerable that adds character. Otherwise, why would they need the suit if they're still dangerous without it. The brain doesn't need to fight, it needs to be protected. (The Art of the Making of Independence Day Resurgence. p34)
  2.  Patrick Tatopoulos:The alien is basically folded into the head of the suit. The arms and legs are independent. The arms don't fit into the arms and the legs don't fit into the legs like a costume. (The Art of the Making of Independence Day Resurgence. p34)
  3. S.F.X.:Comment s’est déroulée la création des extra-terrestres?
    Patrick Tatopoulos: Une fois que Roland m’a ré-orienté vers un design plus classique, j’ai
    conçu  deux versions différentes des créatures. Il les a étudiées toutes les deux, mais n’a pas pu me dire laquelle il préférait. C’est alors qu’a germé dans son esprit l’idée qu’il pourrait y avoir deux extra-terrestres dans le film, l’un se situant à l’interieur de l’autre. Il a présenté ça comme une sort de carapace organique qui donnerait une force colossale à une être au physique frêle. Mes deux concepts figurent donc dans le film.(SFX Octobre 1996, p30) 
    A fusion of translations by Googletranslate and Babelfish of the above:
    SFX: How did the creation of extra-terrestrials take place?
    Patrick Tatopoulos: Once Roland got re-orientated to a more conventional design, I designed two different versions of the creatures. He studied both, but could not tell me which he preferred. It was then the idea germinated in his mind that there could be two aliens in the movie, one located inside the other. He presented it as an organic shell that would give a colossal force to a being that was physically frail. My two concepts appear in the film.
  4. Patrick Tatopoulos: I tried to avoid a H.R. Giger look; I wanted the aliens to look like locusts with a reminiscence of a human. They were designed as living exoskeletons, like an oyster, with the pearl, or small alien, inside.(, June 1998)
  5. "We're going to split the skull open and peel it back in order to reach the living creature inside.  This, " he said rapping on the yellowish exoskeleton, " is only a suit of armor. The animal you are seeing now is actually a completely separate species which the alien to raise to maturities, slaughter then got internal organs are scooped out but the musculature is preserved. The skull and chest have a seem down the middle allowing aliens to slip in and out. So they wear the body of this other creature sort of like crawling inside a zombie. Then by a process we may never understand the physical impulses of the frail creature inside are carried out by the corpse of this much larger much stronger animal. Notice how the tentacles seem to flop around with little control. As you will see in a moment, the animal inside has no tentacle, so it may be that they are not able to manipulate these extra arms. Alas, until we find a healthy specimen to study,  this bio armour will remain a mystery gentlemen. are you ready." (Independence Day, novel by Dean Devlin , & Roland Emmerich and Stephen Molstad, p192-193)
  6. Patrick Tatopoulos: The interesting thing is there were two different designs that I showed to Roland, and he said that he liked them both, so this very interesting concept came up to incorporate both ideas. One of the ideas that I loved was that the small alien inside the big one is actually the true alien - because, being a very fragile alien, it would be travelling inside a suit [which is] now an organic being. It's almost like a man covering himself in the skin of a bear. So the concept of the alien was those two designs combined. (Scifi Now 118, 2016)
  7. Patrick Tatopoulos: We looked at films like Close Encounters and Aliens, but we were genuinely trying to bring something fresh. For many years I've been trying to work both hands of the spectrum, designing the set and also working on the creatures. When I designed the alien, I also designed the small craft, the attacker, the destroyer and the mothership; all those things have to feel a part of the same civilisation. When we finished we looked at the alien head and the attacker, and we realised that the top of the alien head looks exactly like the aircraft - it was two designs without really thinking about it. That sort of thing comes instinctively. (Scifi Now 118, 2016)
  8. An essential element is to develop the creature before creating its environment.  “A great example is Independence Day [1996]. I designed the alien before I nailed the spacecraft.”  The technique allowed the sets to be built to accommodate the required proportions of the outer space being.  “If you had somebody working on creatures and somebody working on sets sometimes that gelling thing doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s a cool creature on a cool set but do they seem to blend with each other? Sometimes they do. (

No comments:

Post a Comment