Interview with Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. of Studio ADI

JM Prater
January 15, 2018
Perfect Organism: The Alien Saga Podcast

As Alien fans, we’ve become used to change. Different directors; different scripts; different planets; different eras; different timelines; even different film studios. With everything so constantly in flux, it’s easy to forget that Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. have been there since nearly the very beginning. From their pioneering work on Aliens, to the foundation of the legendary Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc., Gillis and Woodruff have been at the vanguard of the effects industry for more than three decades.

In this exclusive, unprecedented interview, our very own JM Prater visited Gillis and Woodruff at Studio ADI in Hollywood for a sit-down conversation about their love for the Alien Saga, their relationships with the fans, and much, much more.

Listen to the full interview (01:18:40)

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studioADI: ALIEN 3. Dressing the Whippet

studioADI
Published on 6 Dec 2017
YouTube

One unused attempt at a running chestburster in Alien 3 included this adorable whippit. It didn’t quite work on camera the way that we hoped, though and the effect was scraped.

Be sure to check out some of new Fox approved Alien art pieces, available December 1st.

My Pop Life #171: Praying For Time – George Michael

Ralph Brown as Aaron “85” (Alien 3)

by magicman (Ralph Brown)
12 Oct 2016
Magicmenagerie’s Blog

That autumn I was doing a play called Earwig by Paula Milne at The Pit, somewhere under The Barbican in London with the RSC. Then I got a call from the agent for a meeting in Pinewood studios for Alien 3. This was terribly exciting. I adored the first Alien film, and was less keen on the second, but devoured it hungrily nonetheless. The combination of horror and science fiction was thrilling and brilliantly done. I gleaned a few details before the meeting – it was going to be set on a prison planet with no women except Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver. It would be directed by a young first-time director called David Fincher. Much to the irritation of the RSC I had my (pretty long) hair shorn at Fish in D’Arblay Street – a number four if I recall. I’d been going to Fish since I’d done West at The Donmar Warehouse in 1983, and they’d been close-up witnesses to the disappearing head-fur since then. Anyway, I got offered the part of Aaron, or to be more accurate, Fincher recalled me and asked me which part I fancied playing. HOW COMPLETELY THRILLING !! (I thought) IS THIS WHAT MY LIFE WILL BE LIKE NOW??? I chose Aaron. The 2nd in command. The survivor. Good part. Or so I thought. This is an extract from my diary at the time – an actor at his first Hollywood barbeque, getting burned. Nobody explains what it’s going to be like, and even if they did, I didn’t listen. Who does ?

Alien 3 – Paranoia in Pinewood

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My Pop Life #174: Learning To Be – Eleven

Header image: Ralph Brown, Anita Lewton, Jen, Gary Kemp, Donya Fiorentino with David Fincher, Annie & Paul McGann (circa 1992, Ralph Brown)

2009-03-26 Simon Dack (Angus weekend Magazine) - Ralph Brown [RETOUCHED]
Actor and writer Ralph Brown (March 2009, Simon Dack / Argus Weekend)

by magicman (Ralph Brown)
31 Oct 2016
Magicmenagerie’s Blog

“If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters both the same…” said Rudyard Kipling in his incomparable poem “If…”. Well I can’t. I pretend I can, but no, I prefer the triumphs. Is that what they’re called? Those goals into the top corner. Those victories. Yes, I prefer those imposters to the failures. But people always say wise self-help guru stuff like “you learn more from your failures” or “crisis and opportunity is the same word in Chinese” or even “I get knocked down but I get up again”. You know? I prefer not to get knocked down at all. I feel like my life was built on crises. But still they come.

In 1994 I was living in Los Angeles. It was David Fincher‘s idea. He’d directed Alien 3 in 1991 and suggested that Jenny and I move to California. “Come to LaLa” is actually what he said. In 1992, after we’d got married and shot Undercover Blues in New Orleans which coincided with our honeymoon, (see My Pop Life #158) we rented an apartment in West Hollywood and stayed for three years. David was very disappointed with Alien3 because the studio hadn’t accepted his cut, indeed had hacked the shit out of his cut, and after the glamorous premiere in LA and razzamatazz opening weekend fizz had died down, it was a film which didn’t knock everyone out, neither the public it seemed nor the critics. David took it very badly – personally and professionally. He spent the following two years silently fuming and plotting his revenge, and his next move. We spent a lot of time together, round his apartment which at the time was on Beverley & La Brea with his new wife Donya Fiorentino, and Rachel his PA, her boyfriend Paul Carafotes, and David’s friends Chip & Carol, Ron, James, Marcie, and other friends. We had a handful of friends already there – Anita Lewton from Moving Parts days (early 80s) was in Venice Beach, Suzy Crowley and Tony Armatrading were hanging out too.

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Thanks to Joe Frady

Art of the Title: David Fincher

David Fincher: A Film Title Retrospective

August 27, 2012
Art of the Title

studioADI celebrated the 25th Anniversary of ALIEN 3 with 2 videos featuring a still happy young Fincher

ALIEN 3 Filming Decimated Bishop BTS ADI

studioADI
Published on May 13, 2017
YouTube

ALIEN 3 celebrates its 25th anniversary this month, and to celebrate we present this gem from deep within the VHS vault–footage from the prep and rehearsals of the Bishop puppet shoot complete with direction from David Fincher. Despite the aged quality of the video, it’s still an interesting watch demonstrating the collaboration between director and effects crew on set.

ALIEN 3 Alien BTS 25th Anniversary

studioADI
Published on May 18, 2017
YouTube

As the 25th Anniversary of ALIEN 3 approaches, we could not ignore our contribution to the film’s title character: the Alien itself. Through the miracle of VHS and exclusive photographs, ADI takes you back to that year of hard work at Pinewood Studios. Enjoy the retrospective!