|An early storyboard showing the Nostromo refinery|
Bill Pearson remembered that they were shown Ridley's storyboards by Brian Johnson as a starting point which showed the Nostromo lander and refinery.
They were very gothic in style.
The first job that they had to do was a tower for the refinery from Ridley's black and white boards. Simon Deering and Bill made one prototype tower together.
He tried to mimic what Ridley had drawn.
They made the structure very transparent and there was a lot of latticework in the platforms.
It was a kit bashed structure.
Nick Alder would do some test footage of it.
It was possibly that Ridley had said he wanted to see how the towers looked when painted black, and so Nick Alder lit them in various ways and shot them black and in some of the shots, they looked silver.
He proved a point that they didn't have to be black and they could be black lit to look silver.
That tower ended up on the Nostromo refinery and turned out to be one of Ridley's favourite pieces of "wiggetry"
- Phil Pearson: The first stuff what we got was actually Ridley's storyboards. Uh, I mean I know who Ridley was, I've always been a bit of a filmophile, so I had seen The Duellists and thought it was a great piece of work. Everybody else on the film said, "Oh, it's the guy who did the Hovis Ad, is directing this picture so god help us" and even when you know you'd... on the shoot, you'd get some of the guys in the background whistling the Hovis theme, um, I don't know what Ridley thought about that, but I'd always had a tremendous amount of time for him and I knew that he had been an art director at BBC, and also it was rumoured that when he came on board Alien, he had directed over a thousand commercials at that time,. So the guy knew what he was doing, there was.... of that there was no doubt, and , and also he was a damn fine artist. So, the storyboards were our starting point. Brian gave us the relevant frames of... the Nostromo lander and refinery. In Ridley's storyboards, they were very gothic in style and the first job we had to do was, erm, a tower for the refinery from Ridley's black and white board. We made one tower, one protoype tower, that was Simon Deering and myself 'putting that together. It was, as I say, very very gothic. You could, I was trying to mimic what Ridley had drawn, so it was very transparent, ah, there was a lot of latticework in it, platforms, er, so, we kit bashed it mainly and Nicky Alder did some test, some actual test... ah... footage of it. Er, I believe Ridley had said that he wanted to see how the towers would look painted black, so Ridlet... ah sorry, Nickt Alder lit them and shot them black he lit them in various ways and in some of the shots, they looked silver, so you proved a point, they didn't have to be black (Alien Makers 1, interview with Bill Pearson)
- Phil Pearson: He proved a point that they didn't have to be black and they could be black lit to look silver. and silver look like black. That tower ended up on the Nostromo refinery and it seemed to be one of Ridley's favourites after all that time. If you watch the film very closely, you'll find that the towers do move 'round quite a bit but not always in the same place because Ridley would say "Oh Get us that tower, put it in to this corner, I'm over here shooting," So, he did have his favourit pieces of Wiggetary. (Alien Makers 1, interview with Bill Pearson)