'The Making of Alien' Celebrates Those Lost in the End Credits



by Brad Gullickson

One-time Disney inbetweener animator Ron Cobb, who joined the project to supply 10 conceptual paintings in an effort to gain investors in 1976, suggested the gory detail.

The film is a snowball launched down a mountain by O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, absorbing the rewrites of Walter Hill and David Giler, and solidifying under the art direction of European geniuses H. He, of course, leans into the myths providing context surrounding the hallmark moments of your favorite films, but it his ability to sift through the traditional lore and elevate the noteworthy elements left behind in the typical DVD extras (ah, remember those?

) Cobb, the man who went from Sleeping Beauty to Famous Monsters of Filmland to Xenomorph acid blood, deserves your recognition, and Rinzler The Making of Alien is chockablock with similar tales of essential micro achievements. The book is broken down by the chronology of creation; beginning in May of 1968 when Ridley Scott went strolling for a sandwich only to stumble into a screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey and ending in April of 1980 when Alien took home a little gold man during the 52nd Academy Awards. We hear the saga from the above-the-line talent, experiencing the anxieties of the cast wound tight by Scott so that the director could achieve the routine tension of a cooped up blue-collar crew.

Again, though, the real morsels reside within the below-the-line folks trudging to attain the explosive meat of the chestburster sequence or the even more mundane details of the corporate sigils that pockmark the Nostromo. Take a deep breath; blitz through the pages and marvel at the equally infinite number of concept drawings, storyboards, production stills, and poster art.

Such a brushoff is a kind of acknowledgment of the absurdly large gathering of minds required to push one movie into reality, but we owe more to the Ron Cobbs of this world.

Published on August 7, 2019
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  • rinzler
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