Aliens Storyboards (1)

Before I start I’d like to point out all material is sourced via this amazing Aliens tribute site: Though it doesn’t appear to have been updated for a some time it’s still extremely extensive, with script revisions, FX info and costume design and detailing – a must read!

So with regards to this post… here we have a small selection of storyboard frames from everybody’s favourite “Vietnam in Space” movie: Aliens – (Directed James Cameron, 1986). Theses samples are taken from across several drafts I believe and were illustrated by artists Roger Dear, Maciek Piotrowski and Denis Rich, apparently these scan’s are taken from the films Laser Disc Release, although full versions (copies?) of the storyboard do crop occasionally on ebay. The first thing you notice is just how close to the final film print they actually are, you can almost hear them! I’ve tried to arrange them in chronological order from top left and across –  I’m not sure the final “fueling” thumbnail (bottom row) made it into the film.

As for the film itself, well I think there’s a fair chance that if your reading this you’ve probably seen it more than once. Better than Ridley Scott’s original? well it’s hardly worth arguing over as both will forever be tagged as visionary film making. As for the sequels? Alien 3 nullifies the events of it’s predecessor and ultimately pails into insignificance, though Fincher’s effort does have it’s merits including some great sets and very nifty camera work. Ressurection as with 3 is best enjoyed when you remove all thought’s of the first two movies, it’s watchable nonsense which is more than can be said for you know what….

Here’s a funny clip giving you a insight into James Cameron’s thoughts on that which is unmentionable:

Ridley Scott’s Storyboard for Alien is here:

7 thoughts on “Aliens Storyboards (1)”

  1. I always got the feeling that Black Hawk Down was Scott’s unofficial sequel to Alien – set in a hostile environment populated by hordes of relentless and faceless killers, only this time they were Africans not Aliens.

  2. Hey Dan,

    Aha, right that’s an interesting idea, I actually thought that with Black Hawk Down it wasn’t just the ‘enemy’ that was essentially faceless, it’s also difficult to distinguish most the individual marines themselves once all in battle gear – though there’s not a particularly large amount of character development anyway… a 2hr ‘fly-on-the-wall’ exposure to the brutality of Modern Warfare – definitely one of Scott’s best

  3. Good point about the marines.

    Actually Black Hawk probably has more in common with Cameron’s Aliens than it does with the original Alien, which I guess is what brought it to mind. Essentially Vietnam again – advanced military hardware ineffectual against a determined enemy better able to utilize its environment.

    Looking at the storyboards here I’m reminded of the extreme muscular ‘boxiness’ of the hardware in Aliens – gotta love that APC. I think Cameron really cemented that style in the 80s, and in this film it was the perfect antithesis to the sinuous biological shapes of the aliens.

  4. Yeah Cameron’s Box-Butch hardware has a very distinctive look, many precursors visible in Terminator. I read that Cameron worked as a Truck Driver prior to film, which goes some way in explaining his gratuitous close-up-hydraulic porn… hmm kind of the best bit’s when you think about it! ramp’s closing, airlocks opening, light’s pulsing, klaxon’s wailing…

    Anyway some more bit’s of trivia I have read:

    The APC was a modified airport tug:

    The Drop-ship Cameron originally modeled himself:

    Actually a fantastic expansion of Cameron’s alien universe (no not AVP) is “The Colonial Marines Technical Manual” by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood, featuring full hardware schematic’s and user’s feedback! aslo included: space warfare-tatics, how an Synthetic’s brain works! and a speculative alien autopsy…. great fun! << From $45 on Amazon

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