a) Visiting ADI during Alien 3 at Pinewood
Peter Briggs lived in London at the time.
His attempt with Juhani Nurmi to get Giger involved in the Alien 3 production (which didn't leave Giger happy in the end) led to him wrangling an Alien 3 set visit at the end of the shoot in Pinewood Studios
He drove down to Pinewood and there he met with Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff where their company amalgamated dynamics where doing the creature works for Alien 3,
They said "Oh hey, let's let's show you around" and so he got to see the creature shop and got to see the alien.
He met a young sculptor, he didn't know his name at the time, but this was a young man named Chris Halls who would later change his name to Chris Cunningham (When Peter Briggs would work on Judge Dredd a few years later, he would suggest Hall's name because he did work for the 2000 AD comic and at the time Peter didn't make the connection between the two names. )
Tom and Alex regaled him with some entertaining horror stories from the shooting and it was clear from that the film was in trouble
It got to a point where making conversation they probably said something to the effect "hello what's your story?"
"Well you know, I want to be a writer really. Yeah, i just got an agent and I'm trying"
They responded "oh, how's that going?"
He replied "well, not really anywhere, I've got
The asked him "What are you writing right now?"
With a long pause He responded shamefacedly shuffling his feet he said "Actually
I'm doing Alien vs Predator"
Their faces both seem to drop with amazement and then they started roaring with laughter .
They then said "Seriously"
He replied "Yeah"
They were looking at him as this 25 year old young man that
they'd never heard of.
Tom arched an eyebrow and then Alec said "Oh man, oh man, we can't see that happening, that's never going to happen"
Predator 2 had just come out and so Peter asked them "Have you guys seen Predator 2?" because Predator 2 had just come out (UK release 3rd May 1991) and there was the trophy case sequence in there with the Alien skull as what would have been then a sort of cameo
They replied, "No no, we haven't seen it, we've been too busy with this",
However they had heard about Danny Glover's character seeing the alien skull in the predator trophy room at the movies end.
The assortment of skulls presented there would something of interest to Peter Briggs like many other people, and he even interested to think that there was a Dracs skull from the 1985 Wolfgang Peterson movie "Enemy Mine" displayed there.
Afterwards off he went.
- Peter Briggs: I lived in London at the time, and wangled an “Alien 3” set visit at the shoot’s end as guest of Amalgamated Dynamics FX shop owners Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff. With film journalist friend Juhani Nurmi, we’d concocted a crazy notion to introduce “Alien” designer genius H.R. Giger to Finnish director Renny Harlin, who was the attached “Alien 3” director prior to Vincent Ward. Juhani was a longtime friend of both, and made the introduction. Giger would carry on (quite vocally in interviews) through the finished film. After being shown the Pinewood Creature Shop (production all-but over at this point), Alec, Tom and myself sat around yakking fanboy stuff and discussing the difficult shoot. They said they hadn’t seen “Predator 2” at that juncture, but had heard about Danny Glover seeing the Alien skull cameo in the Predator trophy room scene at the movie’s end. Alec knew I was a struggling writer (developing sci-fi material for the short-lived Paramount UK at the time) and asked what I was working on. Tom arched an eyebrow (neither were aware of the Dark Horse comic) when I said I’d just started writing “Alien vs Predator” as a spec script. “Man, I can’t see how that would happen!” remarked Alec; amusing in retrospect given Amalgamated Dynamics ended up doing outstanding work on both of the “Alien vs Predator” spinoffs. (https://bloody-disgusting.com/interviews/3354279/alien-vs-predator-writer-responds-sigourney-weaver-exclusive/)
- Peter Briggs: I managed to wrangle erm a a visit to the set of Alien 3 and I, so I went down to Pinewood, I drove down to Pinewood, and er and met with Alec Gillis and er, Tom Woodruff you know and their company amalgamated dynamics where doing the creature works for Alien 3, and erm and and they were like "Oh hey, let's let's show you round". I got to see the creature shop and saw the alien and that was all great and they sat down and they regaled me with some horror stories from the shooting is clear then that film was in trouble, erm and er, so they said oh hello what's your story "Well you know, I want to be a write..." erm, "really" and I said "Yeah, i just got an agent and I'm trying", and they said "what are you writing right now" and I said "well" there's a long pause "actually I'm doing Alien vs Predator" and and and both of their faces like dropped and like like like amazement just for a just for a second, then they started roaring laughing, they went "oh man, oh man, we can't see that happening, that's never going to happen", which is hilarious in retrospect you know in 2003 they ended up being the guys who did the creature work on Alien Vs Predator
Interviewer:Yes I was going to say Woodruff played one of the creatures in the movie,
Peter Briggs: Oh yeah, Tom was always the guy in the creature suit, he was the guy in pumpkin head and yeah, he he always wears the alien suit and he's always been a good sport about it erm, and so they were like really Alien vs Predator
I was like "Yeah", and you know Predator 2 had just come out and I said, you know, have you seen Predator 2, and they said "no we've been too busy, we've no time to see it yet". So I told them about the trophy case scene in when Danny Glover goes to the Predator ship, there's the alien skull and I don't know if you guys know this but in, there's a bunch of interesting other skulls there. I think Chris Walas, who was one of the guys on the movie I think he, he erm, the Drax skull from enemy mine in there
Interviewer: I never noticed that one
Peter Briggs: I think that's one, I think that's one of the ones in there, um and er and and anyway you know that, that's how I came back from my trip to Pinewood, er, suitably boyed (Best Movies Never Made podcast #63)
- Peter Briggs: So I had, I came to the realisation which was something I should do, and and the same time, a friend of mine, a Finnish film journalist called Juhani Nurmi. he was very good friends with HR Giger, so I'd been pushing Juhani to get Giger onto Alien 3 and he, he, you know, he was in turn, friends with Rennie Harlin who had just hit with Nightmare on Elm Street, and so we engineered getting Giger onto Alien 3 and the result of that I guess was the summer of 1991, I went to Pinewood Studios and went onto the set of Alien 3 as a guest of Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff and that was an entertaining experience. so I got shown around the creature shop. I met a young sculptor there, I didn't know his name at the time, it was a guy named Chris Halls who changed his name to Chris Cunningham and then a year, about six months later, I was working on Judge Dredd, I had to write the Judge Dredd movie and suggested Chris Halls based on his work in 2000AD. I didn't make the connection at that point between the two guys, but I sat down withe Alec and Tom and they told me some entertaining horror stories about Alien 3, it was pretty obvious even at that stage the film was in trouble and Tom and Alex said "what do you do?" I said "well, I'm trying to be a writer" and they said "oh, how's that going?" I said "well, not really anywhere, I've got an agent"
"well, what are you writing at the moment?", and I shamed facedly shuffled my feet and I said "actually I'm writing Alien vs Predator" There was like a brief moment where Alec and Tom sort of looked at me and then howled with laughter and they just went "Seriously" and I went "Yeah". I think it was Alec who said "oh man, I can't, I can't see that happen" which is hilarious when you consider that they ended up doing the visual effects for Alien vs Predator another ten years on. And I said "Have you guys seen Predator 2?" because Predator 2 had just come out I think at that point and obviously the trophy case sequence in there with the Alien skull. And they said "No no, we haven't seen it, we've been too busy with this," and you know we talked about that and off I went. (Alien vs Predator Galaxy podcast #130)