The Man Who Made The Whole World Sleep With Light On
Long time ago in the 40’s somewhere in Switzerland there lived a little boy, named Hans. A son of a pharmacist he had an incredible passion for walking around the graveyards and digging in for some human remains. Skulls were pure treasures for cute Hans.
Once his dad saw what his son was doing there (luckily, the kid never dared to bring his finds home). Instead of heavy punishment or at least a slap, the father brought him a real human skull from work. Since then, Hans stayed at home and had no wish of going out. In 19 he already had tons of paper wasted for weird creepy drawings that showed a mix of humans, aliens, and machines.
If that had happened in any other country – it would definitely end up at the local madhouse, but the Swiss didn’t get into rehab. He received an invitation to Hollywood where his psychedelic vision of the world was appreciated first by young filmmakers and later brought him some serious contracts with eminent film directors.
Hans Ruedi “H.R.” Giger – a genius, who gave us Alien and is responsible for all that fantastic universe we saw in the movie. If you have ever watched the film (but who haven’t?), you should remember the atmosphere of overwhelming horror that grabs the soul at the beginning and never let goes until the end.
His unique style was a mix of science fiction, fantasy, occult, macabre and some psychedelic visions. A terrifying mix of green, brown, gray and metallic, incomprehensible organs of biomechanical origin, tentacles, disfigured babies, and women stuck in weird poses.
The concept of an Alien came into his had instantly. He already knew how to express his feeling via paper, so Giger just tried to act the same way after reading the plot – he made a sketch out of his emotions, trying to make it as creepy as possible. Unfortunately, we won’t see his true vision of it in the movie, as Giger’s original designs for Alien are even more chilling than the film and producers asked to change them.
He captured imaginations and haunted dreams with his bio-mechanical visions, drawn from his own nightmares. In his corner of Shepperton Studios, Giger single-mindedly worked his black magic. With the help of assorted bones, bits of old machinery he had designed a costume for the Alien.
He also designed and built the eggs from which the alien, in its fledgling facehugger form, would soon spring, as well as the surface of the planet LV-426, with its horseshoe-shaped ship – dubbed ‘the derelict’ – its dank, ribbed interior, and its pilot (the ‘space jockey’), apparently growing out of its own set of command.
Giger worked without any breaks, and soon it was a whole universe created by a single man and based on his worst nightmares. In 1979 the movie was launched and Giger deservedly won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 1980 – a just reward for his hard work and singular vision.