|Photoshop image after words by Martin Bower|
Martin Bowers said to Ridley " The brief I was given is that it had to had to have these spires and things."
Ridley in a nicest way replied "I'm not having this fucking stuff, you don't mind if I do a bit of work do you?"
Then he literally put the hammer and chisel to knock parts off the tower and simplify them.
Martin confused protested ""Uh! You know, you know that was six weeks work!"
Ridley followed this with a solution " right, all that detail there, cover that over with a sheet of perspex with loads of loads of grid lines on it",
This meant that they get a piece of 3/8 inch perspex and run it across a circular saw, criss crossing it, to make very complicated criss cross sets of line and then cover over the detail of the refinery with these pieces.
Nicky Allder revealed that this continued to go on during the shoot to make sure the towers had a heavy feel to them rather than a Disneyland castle look
With EMA tubing for running pipes, storage tanks and some hobby kits for fine details, there was a lot going on in that miniature. They spent about three months doing the bulk of it.
In time to come, Martin would wish that someone had filmed Ridley knocking away at the spires of the Nostromo agains a black background in a monster suit, gorilla suit or some such thing,
- Martin Bower: Sorry to be a name dropper but, as a very hands on guy, he spoke to me a lot of times about things he wanted erm changed, erm, made that fairly obvious. On the first day, it is true, you read the story, know that he walked in and said anybody got a hammer or a mallet and has anybody got a chisel, and somebody handed him a chisel and a mallet, and there were spires on here, spires on here, spires everywhere, spires on here, spires on there, he went around and pyooosh around here like that, goes to another piece and here goes to another piece, and somebody should have filmed him doing it against a black background in a monster, gorilla suit or something and that would have been good, erm, and you know we're all on this things for like four months and we're all looking at each other going "hmmmm", you know it was a learning curve, (https://www.facebook.com Martin April 8th 2020)
- Dennis Lowe: (86:00 Scott came over to have a look and he hated it (laughter) and he put the hammer to it, and I think what happened, they all gave me that kind of quiet look (laughter) and I think I had to wear that because I like promoted the Bismarck in space and he came over and said "I'm not having this fucking stuff" (87:00), I thought that was the end of my influence. (Alien Makers IV)
- Martin Bowers: And Ridley came to Bray Studios and it was like a hurricane hit the place and he said "right" and he'd go around and look at all the different models and I started explaining things, and pins... nice bloke, you know, 'e... 'e... 'e was, 'e was saying (36:00) "what,, What, you know this", I said, well you know, the... the... brief I was given is that it had to had to have these spires and things", and he sort of said "well, we're not having any fucking of that stuff", and he picked up a chisel, I remember him picking up a mallet and chisel, and 'e said, 'e said you don't mind if I do a bit of work do you, something like that, you know, with 'is, 'e's.. north-east accent, and he started whacking bits off of it and I'm going "uh! you know, you know that was six weeks work", and off he's.. literally, people think I'm exaggerating it but you probably remember it, he knocked all these pieces off and he said "right, all that detail there", that's like three weeks work, "cover that over with a sheet of perspex with loads of loads of grid lines on it", so what we'd have to do, get piece of 3/8th inch of perspex and run it across a circular saw, criss crossing it, to make these really complicated sort of criss cross sets of lines and then cover over the detail that we spent all this de.. all this time on with all these (37:00) pieces of perspex, so I was really, you know, re-doing the whole thing of course, because we'd shot it all with spires and now we had this thing which I must admit fitted the story better, so Ridley's obviously quite right, although it was obviously a bit of a shame covering up that detail, he had his own ideas so essentially he shot the whole thing again, because he came to Nostromo... (Alien Makers I)