Alien: Cardboard model of the Nostromo interior

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Alien: Nostromo


a) At the start of the film, they didn't quite know precisely what the inside of the Nostromo should be, but finally they had to work it out in order to plan the running of the choreography of the crew through the ship.

b) It got to a point where trying to hold the various all this information in their heads was driving the production designer, the art director and Ridley mad.

c) While still in Ridley's commercial office in London, during the early stages of Alien's production before they decamped to Shepperton, they built a three dimensional three deck model of the Nostromo, from cardboard and balsa wood and it was very much what someone would see if they were to look at a cross section of the ship.

d) They wanted to be able to know if it was feasible to get someone from point X to point Y using the sets they had available. What they found was that it would have been too expensive to do what the script said, so they used a model to work out out alternative routes.

e) It was very crude, to the point that it was smashed up afterwards, perhaps without even being photographed

  1. Fantastic Film:  Was there ever a conceptualization of precisely what the inside of the Nostromo should be?.

     
    Ridley Scott: Not at the start, but we finally had to do it in order to plan the running choreography of the crew through the ship. It just got to the point where trying to hold the various geographical to-ings and fro-ings of the crew in our heads was driving the production designer, the art director and me mad.
    Finally it became necessary to actually build a three-dimensional, three-deck model. We had to be able to know if it was feasible to get someone from point X to point Y using the sets we had available. What we found was that it would have been too expensive to do what the script said, so we used a model to work out alternative routes. It was made of cardboard and balsa wood, and was very much what you would see were you to look at a cross-section of the ship.

     

    Fantastic Film: Does it still exist?


    Ridley Scott: No it was smashed up.
?


    Fantastic Film:  Was it photographed?

     

    Ridley Scott:  I don’t think so. It was very crude. I mean, we built it at a very early stage in the production, when we were still in my commercial office in London. We even had Giger coming in there. We were there for a few months until we decamped from there to Shepperton.  (Fantastic Films 11 October 1979 vol2 no5)
  2. Michael Seymour: We worked out carefully the placement of each compartment, where it would be below or above in realtion [sic] to the next deck. (Cinefantastique (Vol. 9, No. 1. 1979))

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