Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Alien- HR Giger

Watched Alien on Monday and was rather surprised that I found it more enjoyable than I thought I would. I've seen Alien before as well as Alien 2 and Alien vs Predator so I wasn't surprised at all to find that the rest of the crew had been turned into a nest for the creature. The imagery is rather dark and dirty, giving it the feel of a horror film. Having borrowed a book on HR Giger the creator of alien, it's easy to see where the dark strange illustrations come from. His work is very dark and very disturbing. What appears to be something pretty innocent, after gazing at the image for a couple of seconds you then start to see that they suggest something completely different. The majority of his drawings consist of different body parts at different angles, all jumbled up together.


  1. Interim Online Review - Unit 2 : Space 10/11/09

    Hi Charlotte,

    I know you struggled at first with the 'olde worlde' language of King Solomon's Mines, so it's good to see you getting to grips with the various spaces.

    There is a noticeable lack of drawing so far - I'd like to see many more 'thumbnail' sketches of your proposed spaces, in which you explore much more vigorously the various different ways in which you might frame and compose and depict the three scenes; remember too, that one of the prime functions of concept art is to evoke and to 'wow', so be sure to look for opportunities within the descriptions of the spaces for maximum theatricality and 'gasp-factor'; you're not simply creating a space, you are creating a 'world', and it is a constructed world, so you can take certain liberties and exercise artistic license; often, in movies, light sources are used to pick out particular details, when, in reality, there would be no such light source - likewise with colour. I want to see you create some gutsy, filmic spaces.

    Other things to consider; the 'point-of-view' or POV; some concept art has an 'establishing shot' perspective - i.e., it depicts an entire space to 'establish' the environment; another approach is to view the environment from the 'subjective' position of the characters - so that 'we' see what your characters are seeing; this puts them 'inside' the space (as opposed to viewing from afar) and can encourage a more dynamic use of perspective - a more 'immersive' composition.

    I want to see many more developmental drawings from you over the coming days - and a quick word to echo what Simon said about an earlier post. While your blog is an informal space, it also represents you professionally, so whatever you upload should be 'fit for purpose' - I know you're struggling with a scanner, but the photographs of book pages etc. give your blog a rather haphazard and amateurish feel; as you progress, you're going to want this aspect of your work to represent you more professionally; check out Leo's blog, or Ruben's, or Jordan's for examples of well-executed and sophisticated blogging.

    See the 2nd comment for some general stuff re. the written assignment.

  2. Written Assignment stuff…

    Some general structural advice regarding framing your essay in the more general context of ‘production design’ – by way of introduction to your specific case-study (i.e. the movie or game of choice), you’ll need to demonstrate your understanding of the purpose of production design/designers in enshrining certain ‘narrative values’ within the look of the production; you should discuss the general aims/objectives/definitions of production design – see below:

    “Before designing anything, the designer develops a "design concept," an overarching metaphor for the film's appearance that governs individual choices. This "concept" may or may not be established in conjunction with the director. Once settled upon, however, it structures all decisions made, helping the art staff to give an individual film visual distinction.”
    Read more: http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Independent-Film-Road-Movies/Production-Design.html#ixzz0WRjZ6wTX

    You’ll find alternative definitions that you may want to include, but your following analysis of your chosen exemplar should be an in-depth discussion of that ‘overarching metaphor’ that organizes all the various components of the production’s design; you need to be looking for recurring motifs, colour values, use of space, set-design etc. that, collectively, create ‘the look’ and be able to talk insightfully about the narrative contribution of ‘the look’ – i.e. – how does it assist in the audience’s understanding of the narrative or thematic framework.
    IMPORTANT; try and think of your written assignments as ‘complete worlds’ – i.e., that they must contain all information necessary for your reader to follow your discussion coherently. Never presume prior knowledge on the behalf of your reader; do not, for instance, presume that your reader understands or is familiar with ‘Production Design’ – you always need to define your terms WITHIN the essay; likewise with films and games; give their release date, their director etc. Use footnotes to give definitions or information that would otherwise interrupt flow of argument; for instance, if you don’t want to pause rhythm of sentence by giving reader additional information about a particular artist or designer, use a footnote to put this data into the ‘margins’ of the discussion. On Word, goto to Insert and then ‘Footnote’ to install footnote at bottom of page.

    AVOID DESCRIPTION – obviously, you will need to give some plot details to contextualise the scenes you want to discuss, but I don’t want a blow-by-blow account of the game/film; give a brief précis and get on with the ANALYSIS.

    Below is a list of useful websites; use them in addition to other sources of reference (books, docs, making ofs) to SUPPORT your observations; you need to gather EVIDENCE to corroborate with your analysis. GENERIC observations (i.e. ‘stating the bloody obvious’) are to be avoided at all costs. Tell me something I DON’T know!



    The gloves are coming off; the brief asks you to produce 1,500 words… and that’s what want; shortfall assignments will be penalized accordingly – or failed.

    Good Luck! ☺

  3. Hi Charlotte,

    in regards to what Phil has said, I shall go into a bit more detail as to what you should have in your blog by now.
    1.An analysis of the 3 scenes you are illustrating with sketches and annotations.

    2. Research into the genre and examples of how others have tackled this subject.

    3. Numerous thumbnail drawings, sketches and notes.

    4. Visual research to identify and justify the "Look" of your universe.

    5. Preliminary drawings that are starting to focus your research and experimentation to a starting point for your 3 final images.

    Ideally this needs to done and up ASAP.... Remember scan don't photograph sketchbook pages and reference material.

    Hope that helps as a checklist.

  4. Thanks :). I may print that off and put it up with my other notices at home. That way I've not only got it on my blogg but on paper as well. That way I've got no reason to forget what I have to do etc. And will do. Thaknfuly base room now has scanners set up. That means I can use them. Tried uploading scanner at home to my laptop but Cannon doesn't do the right drivers for vista -_-.

  5. What model canaon do you have? I have a canon mp610 scanner/ printer combo and that runs fine with vista.

  6. Hi Charlotte,
    I have copied and printed off the list Simon has suggested (Thank you Simon).

    You need to make a real effort to get your work out here onthe blog, not only because it is part of your course curriculum but because the feedback you will receive from your peers and staff will be invaluable as the course progresses.

    I looking forward to your next blog ... this afternoon ^-^