Top SFX shots No. 50: Alien Resurrection

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s quirky fourth entry to the Alien series boasts many eccentric touches worthy of mention, including an elegant solution for the astronaut who even has to carry his whiskey freeze-dried, as well as the first CGI examples of H.R. Giger’s stunning creature design. But oddly it’s Resurrection‘s use of a pretty old (and pretty cheap) CGI trick that really takes one’s breath away, as the adolescent Ripley clone that those mad space-scientists are brewing up morphs into her adult state, with Sigourney Weaver’s features. Both the child and adult maquettes were created by Tom Gillis and Alec Woodruff and morphed together by effects house Digiscope. Morphing was already old news from John Landis’s video for Michael Jackson’s Black And White, Casper (1995) and various others, but this was the first time the technique had ever been used as something more than a party-trick. Adolescent Ripley was created by Gillis and Woodruff using a base model onto which were imposed the features of young Weaver, and derived from pictures supplied by the actress.

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